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Consumers would rather date Simon Cowell than receive email marketing

21st Sep 2010
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Marketers are wasting more than £2.5 billion each year on untargeted emails that just over half of UK consumers simply ignore as spam.

These are the findings of a survey undertaken among 2,031 UK adults by business intelligence software vendor Kognitio. The study revealed that brands are wasting over half of the nearly £5 billion that they spend on email marketing messages each year because 52% of respondents simply see them as a nuisance and ignore the lot.

Almost two-thirds of respondents even said that they would rather clean the kitchen floor, visit the dentist or go on a date with Simon Cowell or Anne Robinson than have to deal with such emails.

Roger Llewellyn, Kognitio’s president and chief executive, said: "Almost three-quarters of consumers (73%) believe that marketers will send them anything, regardless of its relevance. With this number so high, it’s no wonder that they begin to identify one of marketing’s strongest potential tools with the bugbears of spam, junk mail and cold-calling."

A big contributor to the problem was that most consumers were either confused by or ignored the terms and conditions presented to them when signing up for marketing emails, which meant that they were bombarded with irrelevant information. As a result, just under three out of five now wanted tougher legislation to make the whole process more transparent.

But 64% of those questioned indicated that they would be more open to email marketing if it was correctly targeted and was actually relevant to them.

"Marketers spend far too much on email marketing to allow it to devolve into this state. Yet the situation is not unrecoverable. The Information Commissioner’s Office’s recent code of conduct for using personal information online sets up clear guidelines for marketers to follow with most online information," Llewellyn said.

Brands should also pay closer attention to how they used customer data or risk continuing to throw money away "on alienating customers with emails", he added.

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