• December 23, 2005
  • By Colin Beasty, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

The Email Marketing Transition

As email continues to become an integral part of consumers' lives, a new study has revealed that there has been some merging of personal and professional email usage. DoubleClick's "Consumer Email Study" also sees declining consumer concern with regard to spam, viruses, and identity theft. According to the results, 57 percent of respondents view their work email during the day at least occasionally, while 55 percent view work emails from home in the evening, and 54 percent on weekends. In addition, 48 percent of respondents check their personal emails at least occasionally at work during the day--21 percent frequently doing so. The data in the study data shows constant use of email and, for marketers, it calls into question the notion of a best time of day or day of week for marketers to deploy their email campaigns, according to Eric Kirby, general manager of DoubleClick Email Solutions. The study also highlights the importance of effective preference management and data capture to ensure consistent and relevant communication with customers. Roughly half the 1,000 email users that DoubleClick polled said they owned at least three email accounts. Although 95 percent consider one of their addresses to be their primary account, 72 percent use a single address for making online purchases. In addition, the average consumer has maintained the same email address for four to six years, with two-thirds of respondents having never changed their email address. "This year's study shows that email is firmly entrenched as a critical communications tool for the majority of consumers," Kirby says. Spam still constitutes the largest portion of email that consumers receive, but the overall percentage has dropped every year since 2002, from 45 percent in 2002 to 30 percent in 2005. Although spam remains a large concern for consumers (55 percent are very concerned), of greater concern are viruses (75 percent), identity theft (67 percent), spyware (66 percent), and scams (61 percent). Most respondents--78 percent--have made a purchase as a result of an email marketing campaign, 59 percent have redeemed an email coupon in a store, and approximately 33 percent have clicked on an email and made an immediate purchase. Not surprisingly, 74 percent of respondents point to "a brand I know and trust" as the element most likely to drive a response to an email. "For marketers," Kirby says, "this presents enormous opportunities, while requiring a significant degree of sophistication to communicate and interact with consumers on their terms in a mutually beneficial manner. If marketers can balance these factors, the opportunities for effective email marketing are boundless." Related articles: Email Delivers ROI
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