A study by college marketing firm FuturePages, St. Paul, MN, found that college students are very Web savvy when it comes to handling direct marketing and e-mail.
Nearly two-thirds of the survey’s respondents cited e-mail as one of their top three uses of the Internet. More than 75 percent of students maintain more than one e-mail account, and more than 25 percent have at least four.
Of interest to marketers is that one reason students keep multiple addresses is because they use one for the express purpose of reviewing marketing-oriented e-mail. According to the study, 78 percent click on links included by Web site promoters in this e-mail.
Eleven percent of respondents visit a site primarily because it offers a promotional item or contest, and a whopping 84 percent said they register if the site offers something free. In addition, 61 percent of students said they welcome advertising that is targeted to their interests.
As for click-on banner advertising, 21 percent of students are enticed by a free offer in the ad, with another 17 percent tempted by a discount offer. The study also found that students were more inclined to click on an ad if they had heard about the product or service through other media.
“This survey not only confirms common beliefs about college students’ behavior related to the Internet but raises some new issues,” said Tom Borgerding, vice president of business development at FuturePages. “Looking at the raw data has also caused us to make some inferences about this market that we intend to integrate into the marketing and advertising plans we create and place.”