DoubleClick found that email usage is growing as 82% of consumers have made a purchase in the past year as a result of clicking on a permission-based email, compared to 61% in the 2000 study. Also, consumers spent an average of $1,023 over the course of the year, up from $750 last year. More importantly, 37% of shoppers clicked through an email and purchased immediately, up from 20% last year, and 86% have purchased from the same merchant more than once, consistent with the previous year's data at 83%
"The study clearly demonstrates that direct marketers and online merchants should embrace permission-based email as an integral component of their overall marketing plan to effectively drive sales," said Court Cunningham, VP and General Manager of DARTmail Technology Solutions at DoubleClick. "The data also reveals that email is critical to increasing repeat purchases and therefore lifetime customer value. Email is more effective at stimulating repeat purchases than the quality of goods or even customer service."
The study also shows that consumers would like to receive emails on a weekly basis on a wide variety of topics depending on their interests:
Online merchants' special offers:
The top preference is special offers from online merchants for 77% of respondents
Local retailers/restaurants' special offers:
65% of consumers currently receive or are interested in receiving special offers from local retailers and restaurants
57% of consumers currently receive or are interested in receiving emails on household tips/recipes/crafts
55% of respondents currently receive or are interested in receiving travel information
49% of consumers currently receive or are interested in receiving emails concerning entertainment
"Clearly, marketers should make note of consumer's diverse interests and frequency requests for email when reaching out to their customers this coming holiday period," Cunningham explained.
According to the study, Internet users currently receive twice as much permission-based email on a weekly basis compared to what they were receiving in 2000, averaging 36 per week this year compared to 18 last year. The data demonstrates that 40% of respondents credit email communications as a primary reason for loyalty to online merchants, compared with 30% from the 2000 study. Furthermore, email is now the most popular means of learning about new products, services and promotions, with 64% of respondents using email in this way, compared to 58% last year.
However, marketers should take note that the main concern for providing personal information online, for 88% of respondents, is the misuse of personal information concerning SPAM and credit card usage.
The study was conducted by NFO WorldGroup and fielded by NFO InDepth Interactive between August 24 and August 27, 2001 and is based upon 1,015 respondents. Respondents use the Internet at least once a week, average approximately 45 years in age and are equally segmented between men and women. Beyond Interactive, DoubleClick's digital marketing agency, directed survey design and data analysis.