RealTime IT News

Survey: E-Mail Works for Multi-Channel

E-mail can drive purchases in other channels -- including offline stores -- according to new research funded by Web ad technology player DoubleClick .

The study, conducted by Beyond Interactive and Greenfield Online for DoubleClick, surveyed 1,000 consumers and found that 68 percent of the respondents said they have made purchases online after receiving e-mail. More surprising, however, is the finding that 59 percent of those polled said they had received e-mail marketing and then made purchases in retail stores.

Additionally, 39 percent said they bought something through a catalog after e-mail marketing, 34 percent through call centers, and 20 percent through postal mail.

According to the study, 78 percent of online shoppers have made a purchase after clicking on an e-mail. About 33 percent said they clicked an e-mail and made an immediate purchase, while 35 percent said they clicked through and made a later online buy. Another 9 percent said they clicked through and purchased later offline.

The upshot is that e-mail has an impact on consumers who receive an e-mail and don't click, according to the findings.

However, few multi-channel marketers take advantage of tools to track post-delivery or post-click conversions, or to reconcile offline purchasing activity with online marketing efforts.

The DoubleClick study also found that the majority -- 60 percent -- of consumers open e-mails based on the "from" field.

Already, the industry recognizes that the sender has an important impact on consumers' willingness to open e-mails -- hence the number of marketers and vendors who employ "forward to a friend" buttons for their campaigns.

But such mechanisms might become far more commonplace, as DoubleClick found a growing number of impediments to typical e-mail marketing efforts. Respondents said they receive 60 percent more e-mail per year than they did in 2001 -- 254 e-mails in their in-box weekly, on average.

About half of the respondents also said they have their e-mail sorted into a "bulk" or separate e-mail folder, into which they rarely look. Three-quarters of the respondents who use a bulk folder rarely or never read mails directed to the folder.

"When executed effectively, and with respect for consumer preferences, e-mail has a dramatic impact on purchasing behavior, not only online but also in stores, catalogs and through call centers," said Court Cunningham, senior vice president at New York-based DoubleClick. "The results highlight the importance of measuring the impact of marketing activities over time and across multiple channels."