October 22, 2002, 12:00 AM

Permission-based e-mail drives multi-channel sales, study says

As a result of receiving permission-based e-mail, 68% of recipients have purchased online, 59% in stores, 39% through catalogs, 34% through call centers and 20% through regular mail, says a new study of e-mail marketing from DoubleClick.

 

Permission-based promotional e-mail from retailers is driving consumer purchases in all channels, not just on the Internet, says a recent study sponsored by marketing services firm DoubleClick Inc. As a result of receiving permission-based e-mail, the study says, 68% of recipients have purchased online, 59% have purchased in stores, 39% through catalogs, 34% through call centers and 20% through regular mail.

Not surprisingly, online shoppers are the most receptive to permission-based e-mail messages. The study notes that about 78% of online shoppers have made a purchase after clicking on an e-mail promotion. Of these shoppers, 33% have clicked through an e-mail message to make an immediate purchase online, 35% clicked through and purchased later online, and 9% clicked through and purchased later offline. DoubleClick warns, however, that proper accounting of this delayed purchasing behavior requires ongoing analysis of e-mail performance across multiple channels.

The study found that 66% of online shoppers plan to use e-mail promotions to purchase online during this year’s holiday season, and that 48% plan to use e-mail promotions in purchasing gifts for birthdays. The study found that 46% of online shoppers have used a coupon or code when shopping online during the past year.

In other findings, the study found:
-- 91% of consumers prefer e-mail content based on interests they’ve specified; of those customers that request customized messages, 35% are more likely to make a purchase as a result.
-- 60% of respondents cited the “from” line as the most important factor that motivates them to open an e-mail message, and 35% cited the subject line.
-- 75% of respondents cited e-mail as their preferred method of communication with merchants; 20% cited postal mail and none preferred telemarketing.
-- 78% of consumers communicated with customer service reps by e-mail during the past year; of these, 57% preferred communication via e-mail, and 38% preferred the phone.

The 2002 Consumer Email Study is the third annual study sponsored by DoubleClick and conducted by Beyond Interactive and Greenfield Online. The study was based on a September poll of 1,000 consumers who use e-mail at least once per week. Respondents were equally divided among men and women; the average age was 44.3.

 

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