September 19, 2002, 12:00 AM

As spam grows, consumers clearly pick out legitimate e-mail, survey says

86% of online shoppers polled say they’ve opted in to receive e-mail marketing, while 71% have made purchases as a result.

As consumers` concerns over the increasing volume of e-mail spam rise, so do concerns about the effectiveness of e-mail marketing. Will shoppers recognize and open legitimate e-mail marketing messages or lump and delete them with unsolicited messages?

E-mail marketing services provider Digital Impact and Harris Interactive put the question to consumers in an online survey of nearly 3,000 Internet users. Results showed that consumers are clearly able to distinguish between genuine e-mail marketing and spam and appreciate the benefits of receiving legitimate e-mail marketing offers, according to Digital Impact. 86% of consumers polled said they have requested to receive legitimate e-mail marketing messages from various sources, and 71% have made purchases based on e-mail marketing. 59% defined e-mail marketing as information on products or services they have requested to receive. In addition, 79% of consumers polled reported a neutral-to-positive impression of e-mail marketing.

“Consumers value and appreciate e-mail marketing and can clearly distinguish between legitimate messages and spam. The survey validates the power of e-mail as a marketing medium,” says David Kleinberg, senior vice president of marketing at Digital Impact.


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