Consumers take control of the inbox: Merkle report

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Consumers are seizing control of their e-mail experience, according to a new report by Merkle that found 88% of consumers feel "mostly or completely in control of their inboxes," up nine points from 2004.

In its annual e-mail marketing study, called “View from the Inbox,” database marketing firm Merkle studied attitudes and behaviors toward e-mail marketing among US consumers. The study was conducted in conjunction with survey research firm Harris Interactive, which surveyed 2,512 adults in the US who use e-mail at least once a week.

The report also found that 58% of consumers believe that e-mail is “a great way for companies to stay in touch,” up 45% from three years ago.

In addition, the report said that half of the respondents made an online purchase in the previous year as a result of marketing, which is up 3% from last year.

While 50% those surveyed reported that a firm which “does a good job with e-mail,” has influenced their purchase decision, 32% of respondents have attributed bad e-mail marketing as a reason for no longer doing business with a company.

Relevancy is a hot topic in the marketing world, though it is often a vague term to define. According to the Merkle report, 41% of consumers see transaction confirmation e-mails as the most relevant, followed by 18% of people who find account summary e-mails to be the most relevant.

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