21 October 2004

Email usage and spam control

Thanks to Dawn Anfuso's Excellent Email article for pointing out and discussing DoubleClick's 2004 Consumer Email Study, a series started in 2000. ROI Research carried out the survey selecting, among the TNS NFO Access panel of 900.000 US consumers, 1.000 consumers who make use of the email/Internet at least once per week. The participants responded to an email questionnaire between July and August 2004. We are therefore squarely within the space of the email users population: how many email she receives, how she understands and copes with spam, how she sets up her email environment.

We know that email is one of the routines of digital life: the large majority of respondents (81%) say they go online daily and repeatedly to email, and a third of them (33%) qualifies its usage as constant. This corresponds to a 13% increase in a year.

Also reported incoming traffic has increased (16%) in a year, with the average email user receiving 308 emails per week, of which nearly 200 are considered spam. Compared to 2003, this number has increased 6%.

Among the categories proposed in the questionnaire to explain what makes a message into spam, respondents converge on deceptiveness (96%), unknown senders (93%), offensive subject matters (93%), with frequency (58%) and irrelevancy (57%) in the case of permission-based email. Once an incoming message has been classified as spam, some delete it (72%), some set up bulk folders (64%, a 11% increase in a year), some send a spam report (49%, a 13% increase in a year), some attempt to unsubscribe (28%). Email users have also reacted to spam by adopting spam filtering software. They are now 27% to do so; they were 16% in 2003. A small percentage (4%) declare inaction. The result is that overall, respondents estimate at 7% the average number of spam messages that are opened. Most of the email users who have created bulk folders rarely or never inspect their content (77%); some (44%) check them frequently. In that case, they either rarely or never found emails they should have seen (47%); or have sometimes found such emails (43%). Privacy is now concern number one among email users (91%) with spam second (85%).

In terms of their email environment, 40% of users have at least three email addresses. The primary one is a free email address for 48% of the users; their home ISP address for 42% of them.

Where: US
When: July and August 2004

Posted at 12:08 PM in Usage of email | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


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