Consumers lack trust in e-mail, but still use it daily: Habeas report

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Almost 50% of users resort to maintaining at least three e-mail addresses, according to the recent study by Habeas and IPSOS.

The study, which was aimed at understanding consumer online insecurities and e-mail usage, found that while e-mail is one of the popular solutions - with 74% of consumers using it everyday and 96% using it every work day - consumers are not entirely trusting of it. Respondents cited inconvenience and safety/privacy concerns, as well as a perceived lack of trusted e-mail service measures in place to protect them.

"There is an e-mail insecurity factor, but no one is going to stop using it," said J.F. Sullivan, vice president of marketing at reputation services firm Habeas. "Having multiple e-mail addresses is the creative way that consumers have chosen to deal with issues like spam and phishing. People tend to have one e-mail address for the friends, another for newsletters and another for work."

The study also found that 81% of users do not forward mail from additional accounts to central addresses. What does this news mean for marketers? According to Sullivan, now more than ever reputation is becoming key in how marketers reach consumers.

"Bad addresses lead to everything else that is wrong," Sullivan added. "So having the wrong people on your list is giving to give you complaints and classify you as a spammer. So you have to be careful about who you have on your list."

Sullivan expects the e-mail through social networking sites to be another channel where consumers are selective about who they let in. He said it is key that marketers keep a clean list and good reputation to get the consumer to share their prime address in the social world.

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