Virtually all--98.6 percent--of consumers felt they received extra e-mails over the holidays, according to a joint report by eMarketer and e-mail vendor Return Path, which surveyed 723 people. But
more than 30 percent of respondents said the e-mails were junk; in fact, 60 percent said they just deleted unfamiliar and unwanted e-mails, received from Oct. 31 through Dec. 25. What's more, just
over a third of respondents said the e-mails had no impact on their holiday spending, while another third said the spam had only a "small" influence on them.
E-mail campaigns were not a complete
waste of effort, however, for companies that have an existing relationship with consumers. About 45 percent of respondents said they took advantage of certain e-mail offers, and nearly 37 percent said
they used e-mails to comparison shop. "I'd interpret these numbers to be positive for legitimate businesses who actually have something to offer their customers," said Trevor Hughes, executive
director of the Email Service Provider Coalition.