E-Mail, E-mail Everywhere!

Ten years ago relatively few Americans had an e-mail address. Today very few do not.

DECEMBER 30, 2005 – In its “Sixth Annual Consumer Email Study,” DoubleClick posits that not only have consumers become increasingly reliant on e-mail, they have become more sophisticated in its use and more comfortable with marketers leveraging data to communicate with them.

The study begins: “Consumers are increasingly reliant on and comfortable with email as a communication channel. It is no longer a novelty, and is fully integrated into the personal and professional lives of most consumers. This integration has facilitated a merging of personal and professional time with most consumers checking work email from home and checking personal email while at the office.”

DoubleClick reports that 90% of consumers go online to send and receive e-mail several times a day. 44% report that their use of e-mail is “constant,” up 11 points from those who reported constant usage in 2004.

Since people are using e-mail more, it’s no surprise that there’s more e-mail. The average consumer now receives 361 e-mails per week, a 17% increase on 2004.

70% of all e-mail messages are considered spam. However, it is important to note that the increase in e-mail volumes occurs across all categories, not just spam. The percentage of total e-mail that is perceived as spam has remained stable since 2002.

Even more importantly, the study states that consumers are somewhat less concerned about spam because they are developing strategies to deal with inbox volume. They dump it.

In other words, spam is not “scary” anymore. That is a big turnaround in consumer attitude � of which marketers can take full advantage.

The increasingly important role e-mail is playing in all aspects of marketing and customer services and communications cannot be ignored.

When asked what they would like to see e-mail replace, 51% of respondents said telemarketing, 44% said in-person sales calls and 41% said direct mail. In addition 33% would like to see e-mail replace retail offers and coupons, while 31% said bills and statements.

Although e-mail began mainly as an acquisition vehicle, it is emerging as a critical channel for customer retention and loyalty marketing with 94% of consumers now expecting e-mails to confirm orders and 90% expecting shipping confirmations. Consumers are also clearly open to the idea of e-mails doing even more.

The study confirmed that the “from” line is still the most compelling reason to open permission-based e-mail. “This reflects the significance of sender recognition and the power of brand names – critically important as consumers face ever rising volumes of e-mail.”

For more information about how your company could more profitably be using e-mail, purchase eMarketer’s E-Mail Marketing: How to Improve ROI report.

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