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Consumers happy to give retailers their email address — if asked

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A new poll conducted by YouGov for e-Dialog has investigated the circumstances under which consumers would be willing to supply a company with their email address. 57% of British consumers would be prepared to include their email address when placing an order through a catalogue and more than 43% would when placing an order in response to direct mail.

In spite of this willingness, however, just 10% per cent of consumers said that a retailer had asked them for their email in a catalogue order form and just 6% had ever been asked via direct mail.

Nearly a third (27%) of consumers, however, claim to have been motivated to make a purchase in a high street store after being alerted to a product in a marketing email.

Simone Barratt, MD at e-Dialog UK, says that asking for an email address in an offline environment has already proved successful for many of her clients. “One of our clients collects email addresses for customers who use the call centre to make reservations and sends them confirmation messages containing opt-in links for promotional mailings,” she explained. “Through this effort, the company increases its customer reach and ability to build loyalty without having to spend on buying lists or assuming the challenge of converting customers from unsolicited e-mail messages.”

The survey revealed that one of the most important factors in a customer’s willingness to share their email details was brand recognition. When asked in which circumstances consumers would be prepared to provide their email address, 34% per cent said that they would only be prepared to share their details with an established brand whilst 69% per cent said they would share their email address with a brand if they were an existing customer.

“This is a huge opportunity that brands are missing out on,” says Barratt. “The research clearly shows that customers are willing to trust their contact details with established brands or companies with whom they already have an existing relationship — this gives email marketers a fantastic opening to increase the size of their email databases by adding existing customers to their programmes at a minimal cost.”

Readers can download the full report free of charge from e-Dialog’s website.

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