Survey: E-Mail Works for Multi-Channel

  |  October 21, 2002   |  Comments

A DoubleClick study suggests that e-mail can impact offline sales.

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 email. More surprising, however, is the finding that 59 percent of those polled said they had received email marketing and then made purchases in retail stores.

Additionally, 39 percent said they bought something through a catalog after email 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 email. About 33 percent said they clicked an email 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 email has an impact on consumers who receive an email 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 emails based on the "from" field.

Already, the industry recognizes that the sender has an important impact on consumers' willingness to open emails -- 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 email marketing efforts. Respondents said they receive 60 percent more email per year than they did in 2001 -- 254 emails in their in-box weekly, on average.

About half of the respondents also said they have their email sorted into a "bulk" or separate email 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, email 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."

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