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Strong, Ongoing Consumer Preference for Email

He never calls, he never writes

Consumers prefer email as a primary method of personal and business communication — and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future, despite online threats and the emergence of other channels and Web 2.0 applications, according to a Habeas study, MarketingCharts writes.

The 2008 study of consumer attitudes also found that users want more control over their online interactions with businesses and have an increasing level of concern over spam and virus threats reaching them via their mobile devices.

The report found, similar to the previous one, that nearly 60 percent of users employ two or more personal email addresses, giving a different address to entities they do not trust while maintaining separate accounts for trustworthy sources.

Below, some other highlights from the study:


  • 67% of respondents prefer email as a communications channel over other online vehicles, and 65% say they believe that will remain the preference in five years.
  • Consumer opinion of the future importance of email registers far above future expectations for video conferencing (19%), instant messaging (17%), SMS text messages (12%) and Web meetings (12%).
  • 65% of the demographic ages 18-34 - those most comfortable with IM, SMS and emerging communications methods - say they will likely favor email to communicate with businesses in five years.

Online Threats

  • 69% of those surveyed expressed concern about being victimized by email fraud scams, an increase from the 62% finding in the 2007 Habeas report.
  • 43% of respondents voice concern over the spam and virus threat to mobile devices, up from 2007's 36% - and a reflection of the increasing use of the "mobile inbox" through smartphone and internet-enabled phone devices.
  • As many as 35% of those surveyed do not know what to look for when trying to sift through emails that might potentially be dangerous.

MarketingCharts has more findings, including data on online reputation management and online business practices to avoid.


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