June 3, 2009, 12:00 AM

For new e-mail lists, just ask your customers, study suggests

69% of consumers would provide their e-mail address if asked by a retailer of which they’re already a customer, and 34% would do so with an established brand even if they were not already a customer, e-Dialog UK reports in a study of British consumers.

69% of consumers would provide their e-mail address if asked by a retailer of which they’re already a customer, and 34% would do so with an established brand even if they were not already a customer, e-mail marketing firm e-Dialog UK reports in a study of adult consumers in Great Britain.

“This is a huge opportunity that brands are missing out on,“ says Simone Barratt, managing director of e-Dialog UK. “The research clearly shows that customers are willing to trust their contact details with established brands or companies with whom they already have an existing relationship – this gives e-mail marketers a fantastic opening to increase the size of their e-mail databases by adding existing customers to their programs at a minimal cost.”

The study, based on a March 2009 survey of more than 2,000 British adults conducted for e-Dialog by YouGov Plc, also found that 57% of British consumers would provide their e-mail address if requested when filling out a catalog order, and 43% would provide their e-mail address if requested on a direct-mail order form.

Incentives, however, can help to garner e-mail addresses, the study adds. 37% of consumers in the study said they would be reluctant to provide their e-mail address if don’t see what they have to gain, and 76% expressed concerns about receiving irrelevant e-mail messages.

“It is imperative that brands understand that in order to acquire consumers’ e-mail addresses they need to communicate the benefits-such as personalized offers, exclusive previews of products or extra loyalty points-which those consumers will receive as a result of sharing their e-mail address,” Barratt says.

The study found that 45% of consumers would respond to requests for their e-mail address if they received credit toward a future purchase, and that 40% would respond to an increase in loyalty reward points.

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