Kevin Mabley, senior vice president, Epsilon Strategic Services, said that "... Email builds loyalty and brand awareness and drives on and off-line behavior... there are other impacts that cannot be represented merely by click-thru rates or online purchases."
The email branding research captured activities that may not be measurable by typical email marketing platforms, says the report. For example, 33% of respondents said they usually visit sites directly, instead of clicking on an email link. In the retail category, 67% of respondents said they purchased products offline as a direct result of receiving an email from a retail company. In addition:
Consumers responding to this permission-based email branding survey said the receipt of emails makes them feel better about a company and increases chances that they'll make a purchase, online or off-line.
84% of respondents said they like receiving email from companies with whom they register, because even if they don't always read the message, it's good to know the information or offer will be there when they're ready. This response rate is up significantly from 69% in the 2005 study.
50% of consumers agreed that receiving email from a company makes them more likely to purchase products from the sender in the future, regardless of where they make the purchase, is higher than the 37% in 2005. While customers may not purchase immediately, the correspondence is having a greater influence on their shopping behavior and brand recognition. However, in 2005, 43% of respondents said it would be okay for companies they know and trust to send email more frequently, but n the recent study, that number dropped to 29%.
Respondents say, " I like receiving email from companies I've registered with, even if I don't always read it. It's good to know it will be there when I'm ready for it."
There were some noticeable differences, says the study, between the responses from men and women. 60% of women and 49% of men regularly save email in their inbox to refer to it later when making purchases. This suggests that men are more likely to make impulse buys while women will wait for a deal or contemplate a purchase further.
Mabley concludes, "The study is a valuable tool... for marketers to measure the indirect impact email marketing has on offline channels... multi-channel branding can extend well beyond the typical metrics associated with direct e-commerce transactions and response rates to email campaigns."
Epsilon's special report, Beyond the Click: The Indirect Value of Email, can be found as a PDF file here.