Direct Marketing, Mail Order, and E-commerce News from the National Mail Order Association

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DoubleClick’s sixth annual consumer email study Shows Email As Integral Part of Consumer Lifestyle

-- Spam Concerns Have Dropped Considerably, Replaced by Fear of Virus and ID Theft --


New York, NY, --- DoubleClick Email Solutions today released the results of its sixth annual Consumer Email Study, which reveals a merging of personal and professional email usage, and a declining concern with regards to spam. While consumers have become increasingly reliant on the channel, they have also become increasingly sophisticated in their use of email and are more comfortable with marketers leveraging data to make communications more relevant.

Professional and Personal Email Usage

As email has become an integral part of the consumer lifestyle, the 2005 data show a merging of professional and personal email usage. According to the data, fifty-seven percent of respondents view their work email at work during the day at least occasionally, while almost as many view work emails from home in the evening (55%) and on weekends (54%). In addition, forty eight percent of respondents check their personal emails at least occasionally at work during the day, with twenty-one percent doing so all the time.

This data shows a constant usage of email and, for marketers, it calls into question the notion of a ‘best’ time of day or day of week for deploying email campaigns. It also highlights the importance of effective preference management and data capture to ensure consistent and relevant communication with customers.

Email Account Usage

Almost half of all respondents report owning at least three email accounts. While ninety-five percent consider one of their addresses to be their primary account, almost three quarters of respondents (72%) use a single address for making online purchases. The average consumer has maintained the same email address for four to six years, while two-thirds of respondents have never changed their email address. Those that did change their address did so most often due to changes in employment or ISP, especially when upgrading to broadband. Of particular interest is the value that consumers place on free email addresses, which have been maintained for an average of six years, probably due to their accessibility from home, work or the road.

Changing Attitude Towards Spam

While spam still constitutes the largest portion of email that consumers receive the overall percentage has dropped every year since 2002 (from 45.5% in 2002 to 30.3% in 2005), and while spam is still an issue that concerns a large number of consumers (55% are very concerned), viruses (75%), identity theft (67%), spyware (66%) and scams (61%) are of greater concern to consumers.

Consumers have consistent views of what constitutes spam, most of which match industry definitions, although almost half of respondents also consider permission-based email that comes too frequently or that is no longer relevant as spam. With regards to dealing with spam, almost half of respondents check their bulk mail frequently, usually to confirm that no wanted messages have been incorrectly filtered into their bulk folder. More than forty percent report finding legitimate email in their bulk folders.

Measuring Beyond Opens and Clicks

Email continues to drive commerce both online and in stores. While seventy-eight percent of respondents have made a purchase as a result of an email, fifty-nine percent of respondents have redeemed an email coupon in a store and almost one third of respondents have clicked on an email and made an immediate purchase. Another third of consumers reported clicking on emails for information and returning later to make purchases. For marketers, it is particularly important to factor this latter activity into their ROI analysis for their email marketing programs.

It is also important for marketers to track the branding impact of their email program. Seventy-four percent of respondents point to “a brand I know and trust” as the element most likely to drive a response to an email. DoubleClick Email Solutions has commissioned a study which will be released in early 2006, to examine this impact of email on the marketer’s brand.

“This year’s study shows that email is firmly entrenched as a critical communications tool for the majority of consumers,” said Eric Kirby, General Manager of DoubleClick Email Solutions. “For marketers, this presents enormous opportunities, while at the same time requiring a significant degree of sophistication to communicate and interact with consumers on their terms in a mutually beneficial manner. If the marketer can balance these factors, the opportunities for effective email marketing are boundless.”

Methodology

DoubleClick, working with ROI Research and the Greenfield Online panel of 900,000 U.S. households, polled 1,000 email users via email during May and June of 2005. All respondents recruited use email/Internet 1+ times per week, which reflects the usage of the larger online population (94% of the 18+ online population according to Nielsen, 2003). This is the sixth report of an annual series of consumer email perception studies. Trending information was derived using the data from previous years. The sample mirrored previous studies and reflects the online population as a whole. The research is available to DoubleClick customers, and an executive summary of the findings are available at: http://www.doubleclick.com/us/knowledge

About DoubleClick Email Solutions
DoubleClick Email Solutions delivers the most complete and flexible email products and services to more than 400 companies globally. Many of the world’s most sophisticated marketing organizations across all industries leverage our world-class technology, constant innovation and unrivalled insight into email marketing to achieve superior results. DoubleClick Email Solutions is a recognized leader in the industry, offering our flagship DARTmail service and UnityMail software. Email Solutions clients benefit from DoubleClick’s comprehensive product and service solutions that enable them to successfully profit from their email marketing investments.

DoubleClick Email Solutions is an operating unit of DoubleClick Inc. that together with DoubleClick Digital Advertising Solutions provides agencies, marketers and publishers the ability to successfully profit from their digital marketing investments. DoubleClick has global headquarters in New York City and maintains 21 offices around the world to serve its more than 2000 clients.

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