Financial Audience Favors Email

OneFN, a network of financial websites, has released a survey saying that affluent investors are more receptive to email than other forms of direct marketing.

The survey, conducted at OneFN sites and released Monday, says that 55% of the audience is more receptive to email than they were a year ago, compared with 17% for direct mail, 11% for catalogs and only 1% for telemarketing. Twenty-six percent are less receptive to email, 36% are less receptive to direct mail, 28% less receptive to catalogs and 68% less receptive to telemarketing.

"Email is more popular as a direct response vehicle," says Gary Kreissman, a consultant for OneFN who conducted the study.

The survey only pertains to the OneFN audience, which is 89% male with an average income of $115,000 and average investment portfolio of $350,000.

This prompts Ann Veller, vice president of information and special projects at the Direct Marketing Association, to label the survey as "biased." She says, "It looks like direct mail and telemarketing aren't effective for this particular audience, but it's not true for the whole world."

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She also says the financial services category is "a leading generator of direct mail," with so many credit card solicitations.

She agrees that companies in the investment area use email as a retention tool. She also says it's popular in the investment area because "they don't want the intervention of a broker who wants a commission, so they do it directly for more control."

The biggest loser in the survey is telemarketing. "Upscale people in particular don't want to get telemarketing calls," Kreissman says. Veller agrees, saying, "The target audience of this survey has an aversion to sales over the phone."

The survey also says 30% are more comfortable making purchases with email and 36% say they would provide personal information if they receive fewer but more relevant email.

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