Email Most Effective at Attracting Customers to Go Online


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UK consumers find customer emails, TV & newspaper advertising, and targeted direct mail the most effective advertising techniques for encouraging consumers to go online.

The research, commissioned by Response One, examined the relative effectiveness of different advertising media for encouraging consumers to visit a company’s website and seriously consider a purchase. The report found that emails to existing customers easily topped the list, as it is 52% more likely than average to inspire a web visit and serious purchase consideration.

The more ‘traditional’ media of TV and newspaper advertising and direct mail (coming 34% and 16% above average respectively), were second and third behind customer emails, against all expectation. Sponsored search engine links and adverts enclosed with bills and statements are also of above average effectiveness in encouraging web visits and purchases.

“This study punctures the received wisdom that online advertising is the best means of driving web visits and purchases. Marketers still need to be using a mixture of direct mail and above-the-line advertising, as well as ensuring that they are communicating in a relevant and compelling fashion with their existing customers over the email and through existing lines of communication such as bills and statements,” comments Amanda Ling, data intelligence director, Response One.

She continues, “These findings are very revealing and of crucial importance to many industries, such as retailers, banks and mobile phone vendors, whose reliance on web interaction and online sales has increased dramatically over the years.”

Interestingly, the research also found that advertising on social networking sites is not considered by the majority of consumers. UK consumers felt that such advertising, far from being effective in driving web visits and transactions, was on a par (at 26% below average) with unsolicited email (31% below average). A notable exception to this observation was in the 18-24 year old bracket, who put social network adverts and customer mobile texts both on 22% above average for encouraging web visits and purchase consideration.

Amanda Ling explains, “Even for this age group, these two techniques still did not rival the overall top scorers – customer email, TV/Newspaper adverts and targeted direct mail. This is not to say that the habits of the 18-24 age range will not perpetuate into their forties and fifties, and therefore make social network advertising a mainstream method of driving web traffic and transactions. However, the marketers of today cannot wait around for another 20-30 years as this group grows up towards their highest earning and spending decades. Nor can today’s budgets be weighted towards social network advertising, unless the vast majority of a company’s audience sits in this age bracket.”


Notes to the Editor


A representative sample of over 1,000 UK adults was surveyed during January and February 2008, with the sample balanced by age, gender, region and social class. Respondents were asked to state how effective different types of advertising are at encouraging them to visit a company’s website and seriously consider a purchase. Fieldwork was conducted by Ciao Consumer Surveys, a member of the Greenfield Online Group (NASDAQ: SRVY).

About Response One

The Response One Group is a new breed of data solution providers with a unique integrated full service offering including: list and media planning, data intelligence, direct solutions and media sales. Our premise is simple really; excellence in all data disciplines balanced with a passion for what we do and an almost unhealthy dedication not just to get the job done but to take our clients further. Our knowledge, expertise and our people set us apart from any other data solutions specialist. We consistently deliver on our promise: to maximise the potential of your marketing. For more information, please visit their website,

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