March 6, 2009, 12:00 AM

E-mails from manufacturers boost brand image and loyalty, survey says

62% of consumers say permission-based e-mail from packaged goods companies directly affects their shopping and buying behavior.

Though shoppers don’t generally buy online directly from consumer package goods manufacturers, e-mail communication from these brands nevertheless plays a key role in influencing shoppers’ purchases of their products. 62% of consumers surveyed by marketing services vendor Epsilon said permission-based e-mail from manufacturers directly affects consumers’ shopping and buying activities.

Epsilon’s survey found that 63% of consumers reported a more favorable opinion of the packaged goods companies that sent them permission-based e-mails, and 57% said they were more loyal to companies and their products or brands because of the e-mail they receive. Permission-based e-mail refers to e-mail a consumer has opted in to receive.

According to the survey, e-mail from the companies elicits consumer behavior that is directly measurable and provides valuable information to marketers. For example, when asked how often they had downloaded or printed a coupon from e-mail sent to them by brand manufacturers, 91% of those surveyed said they’d done so frequently or sometimes. Only 9% said they’d downloaded coupons rarely or never. Additionally, 81% said they’d clicked on a link in an e-mail to learn more, 76% said they’d tried a new product for the first time as the result of receiving information in an e-mail, and 75% said they’d read company or brand content. 67% said they’d researched retail locations to find a product, 66% ordered a product sample and 65% had shared a coupon or forwarded the e-mail. 65% said they’d ultimately purchased the product online, and 34% had typed or copied a URL directly into their browser.

The survey, part of a larger survey on permission based e-mail that also covered the pharmaceutical, travel, financial services and retail sectors, was based on responses from 566 online consumers who had received permission-based email from consumer packaged goods companies.

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