Consument gaat steeds slimmer om met commerciele email

14 oktober 2003, 04:28

Uit Doubleclick’s meest recente Consumer Email Study (pdf) blijkt dat de consument steeds slimmer omgaat met commerciele email.

DoubleClick Inc. (Nasdaq: DCLK), the leading provider of marketing tools for advertisers, direct marketers and web publishers, today announced the results of its fourth annual Consumer Email Study at the DMA Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida. The study reveals an increasing sophistication in consumer usage of email and in fighting spam, and shows, despite the spam crisis, a continued acceptance of legitimate commercial email which continues to drive multi-channel purchasing.

How Consumers Are Coping with Spam

Consistent with the 2002 study, spam remained the number one concern consumers have about their inbox (89% cited spam as their number one concern). Email volume was up slightly from last year?s levels (264 emails per week versus 254 in 2002), although the ratio of spam (56%) remained constant. This may be due an increased use in bulk folders which are now used by 52.9% of respondents versus 48.8% in 2002. Consumers are also demonstrating an increasing sophistication in how they are dealing with spam. A greater number, (65% versus 60% in 2002) are deleting spam without reading it, and only 4% are reading it to determine whether it might be of interest (versus 5% in 2002 and 18% in 2001).

When asked about how they are dealing with spam, in addition to the increased use of bulk folders, 36.1% of consumers use a report spam function of their email program, 15.9% have downloaded spam filtering software and 13.7% have created a second email address for making online purchases.

How Consumers Define Spam

When asked about how they define spam, 95.5% of consumers cite ?emails intended to trick me into opening them,? 93.5% cite ?emails from senders that are unknown to me,? and 92.5% cite ?emails of an offensive subject matter.?

Significantly the study shows that men have a much broader definition of spam than women. Sixty-five percent of men cited ?an email from a company that I have done business with but comes too often? as an example of spam, while only 56% of women agreed with this statement. Sixty-one percent of men cited ?an email that may have been permission based but comes too frequently? while only 55% of women agreed that that statement defines spam. Thirty-six percent of men cited ?any email that tries to sell me a product or service? should be considered spam, compared with 32% of women. Correspondingly, women are more sensitive than men to emails of an offensive subject matter with 94% of women considering offensive email to be spam, compared to 91% of men. These differences suggest that women are more sensitive to pornographic and offensive emails than men, but also, as the primary shopper in most households, women may be more tolerant of email marketing in general.

Email Remains a Popular Communication Channel

Despite the current email environment and the proliferation of spam, email remains a popular channel for consumers and an effective channel for marketers. The vast majority (91%) of consumers receive some form of permission-based email with 57.2% receiving special offers from online merchants, 55.4% receiving them from traditional retailers, and 48.5% receiving them from catalogers. Permission-based email also continues to be the preferred method of contact from their favorite retailer regarding new products, services or promotions (preferred by 59% of consumers), while only 32.1% preferred direct mail.

Of categories in which consumers do not currently receive emails, respondents are most interested in receiving grocery coupons (cited by 22.1%) and household tips/recipes/crafts (13.6%). Other categories of strong interest were electronics and computer software/ hardware (13.8%) and apparel/shoes (12.3%).

The ?from? line continues to be the most compelling reason to open permission-based email, cited by 63.3% of all respondents, an increase from 59.9% in 2002, most likely driven by the importance of identifying a sender and distinguishing legitimate email from spam. Of all types of subject lines, discount offers are the primary motivational factor for opening permission based email (increased to 59.5% of all respondents from 56.7% in 2002), while compelling news and information fell from 57.6% of all respondents to 48.6% in 2003.

?The encouraging news from this year?s study is that consumers are clearly differentiating between spam and legitimate commercial email,? said Scott Knoll, Vice President and General Manager of DoubleClick?s Marketer Solutions Division, speaking at the DMA Annual Conference. ?However, it is also clear that marketers must continue to tailor the content, targeting and frequency of their messages to remain successful marketing through the email channel.?

Email Continues to Drive Multi-Channel Purchases

The 2003 study shows permission-based emails are a significant driver of purchases, not only online but also through catalogs and in retail stores. Two-thirds (65%) of respondents have made a purchase as a result of an email that they received from a retailer, cataloger or online merchant. Although email typically drives online purchasing, the study shows that email also has a significant impact on purchases in retail stores and through catalogs and call centers.

Most action taken in response to email marketing does not result immediately from the click. While 27% of consumers have clicked through and made a purchase during that same online session, an even greater number (33.6%), have clicked through to find out more information then purchased online at a later date. An additional 12.2% clicked through to find more information and then purchased offline through catalog or retail. Because consumers often click through an email but purchase at a later time online or offline, this activity may go unaccounted for unless the marketer is analyzing email performance over time and across all of these channels.

The channel where a purchase is made as a result of permission-based email is highly specific to the category of product: 70% of consumers that purchased travel services, as a result of receiving a permission-based email, did so online, with only 13% purchasing by catalog/phone/mail. Fifty-eight percent purchased apparel/shoes online, with 41% purchasing via offline retail and 23% via catalog. Over the counter and prescription drugs had equal levels of online and retail purchase at 32%.


Marco Derksen
Partner bij Upstream

Oprichter/partner Upstream, Marketingfacts, Arnhem Direct, SportNext, TravelNext, RvT VPRO, Bestuur Luxor Live, social business, onderwijs, fotografie en vader!


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