SOURCE: Email Sender and Provider Coalition

March 27, 2007 15:00 ET

Consumers Savvy About Managing Email According to ESPC Survey Results; Embrace Numerous Tools and Methods to Manage Spam Reporting and Unsubscribing

YORK, ME -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 27, 2007 -- Today, the Email Sender and Provider Coalition (ESPC) announced the results of a survey conducted with marketing research firm Ipsos that provides insight into the email behaviors of today's consumers. The results show that the average American is an experienced email user using very deliberate methods to manage email and spam.

The survey delivered a general understanding of how consumers view and treat junk mail and spam, and explored more extensively their views towards "Spam," "Unsubscribe" and other potential new functions for managing email. Consumers are experienced email users: 73 percent have used email for six or more years and over 80 percent check their email at least once per day. Those surveyed also displayed a familiarity with and affinity for using the "Report Spam" and "Unsubscribe" features, with over 80 percent of respondents using each of these to manage the email they receive. Indicating demand for more email security, 53 percent would be more likely to open and read email if the sending company displayed a certified icon in the email program.

"The results of this survey suggest that our industry has a unique opportunity to further help consumers manage their email," said Dave Lewis, vice president of marketing development for StrongMail Systems, Inc. "They've proven that they understand and use the tools they're given and have expressed a desire for more. It's now incumbent on senders and ISPs to come together to put more control in consumers' hands."

Results Contain Messages for Senders and Receivers

The results of the survey have many implications for both email senders and receivers. Senders should ensure they are recognizable in the "FROM" and "SUBJECT" lines of their emails, given results indicating that 80 percent of panelists do not open an email prior to using the "Report Spam" button. In addition, trust in "Unsubscribe" links is high with 80 percent of panelists using them; half of these respondents click on them even if they are unfamiliar with the sender.

"Just as we've seen with TV and online consumer-generated media, consumer-generated email reporting has also taken hold through direct interactions with senders and ISPs," said Ben Isaacson, privacy and compliance leader for CheetahMail. "These survey results validate the fact that email senders must constantly monitor both unsubscribe and complaint rates in order to carefully manage their reputation with recipients and ISPs."

For receivers, some strong opinions about user interfaces emerged, with 90 percent of panelists stating they would appreciate having an "Unsubscribe" button directly in their email program and 80 percent wanting access to a "Report Fraud" button. Most likely a result of CAN-SPAM, consumers trust "Unsubscribe" links nearly as much as "Report Spam" buttons, showing that they are using all the tools at their disposal to prevent unwanted email.

"This report provides a lot of actionable information for both the sending and receiving community," said Trevor Hughes, executive director of the ESPC. "Today's consumer is educated about email and, according to the results, very willing to use the functions available to them to manage their email and to provide feedback about how they manage unwanted email. The industry as a whole should listen to their needs to ensure email is viewed with trust and acceptance."

Trevor Hughes will be discussing the survey results during a presentation at the April Authentication and Online Trust Summit. For more information on his presentation and/or to request an executive overview of the survey results, please contact Carla Vicens of blast! PR.

About the ESPC

Formed in November 2002 to fight spam while protecting the delivery of legitimate email, the ESPC boasts a membership comprising many of the brightest and most innovative minds in the email industry, including Email Service Providers, Mail Transfer Agents, Internet Service Providers, application and solution developers, and deliverability solutions providers. The ESPC is composed of 75+ members including Acxiom Digital; CheetahMail, an Experian Company; Constant Contact; Datran Media; ProspectivDirect; Return Path Inc. and StrongMail Systems, Inc. For more information, please visit www.espcoalition.org.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is a leading global survey-based market research company, owned and managed by research professionals. Ipsos helps interpret, simulate, and anticipate the needs and responses of consumers, customers, and citizens around the world.

Member companies assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media. They measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos member companies offer expertise in advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, and public affairs research, as well as forecasting, modeling, and consulting. Ipsos has a full line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and online research products and services, guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and methodologies. The company was founded in 1975 and has been publicly traded since 1999. In 2005, Ipsos generated EUR 717.9 million ($853.8 million U.S.) in total revenues, of which 34 percent came from its North American operations. Visit www.ipsos.com to learn more about Ipsos' offerings and capabilities.

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Carla Vicens
    blast! PR for ESPC
    (919) 833-9975 x.10
    Email Contact