e-Delivery Promotional Trends vs. Consumer Triggers of e-Adoption: Dalbar

A comparative look at the current trends in Internet promotion of paperless services and the messages consumers say motivate them to elect these services.

(Boston, MA – September 2009) Paperless Delivery is, without a doubt, most providers’ preferred method for delivery of investor communications. Unfortunately, adoption of e-Delivery has been painfully slow. Are providers missing the mark in their promotion of e-Delivery services?

In a recent study of 176 Mutual Fund, Defined Contribution and Life Insurance/Annuity consumer Web sites, DALBAR found Web-based e-Delivery promotions offered by:

  • 50% of Mutual Fund consumer Web sites
  • 29% of Defined Contribution plan participant Web sites
  • 17% of Life Insurance/Annuity consumer Web sites

In order to gauge the impact of these Web site promotions on consumer behavior, DALBAR polled Internet users about their use of e-Delivery services and the triggers that caused them to subscribe.

The findings among those already utilizing the Internet showed a clear disconnect:

  • Providers’ Web site promotions had a significant impact on subscribers’ decision to elect e-Delivery.
  • However, survey participants report responding most to the convenience of e-Delivery, which, DALBAR found, was not the top benefit promoted

Effective and Ineffective e-Delivery Promotions

DALBAR has identified a number of common ‘promotional pitfalls’ that can discourage immediate adoption of electronic services. The most commonly seen pitfall is the ‘Sea of Text’ effect that causes a colorful and interesting graphic to instantly lose its impact and visitors’ attention by directing them to a page of never-ending text with more information than is necessary.

The following providers earned a spot at the top of DALBAR’s “Ranking of Effectiveness”, which ranked Web promotions of e-Delivery based on prominence, clarity of message, organization of details, and ease in following through:

  • #1: Mainstay Funds
  • #2: American Funds
  • #3: Invesco Aim
  • #4: Jackson National
  • #5: John Hancock

e-Delivery Promotions on the Web

This newly released DALBAR research includes analysis of:

  • e-Delivery Utilization By Internet Users
  • Triggers for Election of e-Delivery
  • Current e-Delivery Promotions
  • Effective and Non-effective Promotions- (includes a ranking of Top 10 promotions)

About DALBAR, Inc.

DALBAR, Inc., the nation’s leading financial-services market research firm, is committed to raising the standards of excellence in the financial-services industry. With offices in both the US and Canada, DALBAR develops standards for, and provides research, ratings, and rankings of intangible factors to the retirement, mutual fund, broker/dealer, discount brokerage, life insurance, and banking industries. They include investor behavior, customer satisfaction, service quality, communications, Internet services, and financial-professional ratings. www.dalbar.com.