More than one-quarter of consumers in Asia-Pacific believe that promotional e-mail or newsletters that were opt-in—but no longer engage them or address their needs—are spam, according to the Epsilon/Return Path "2008 Consumer E-mail Survey."
More than four out of 10 respondents said that instead of just unsubscribing, they reported legitimate e-mails to which they had subscribed as spam, using a "Report Spam" button or link.
Consumers in Asia-Pacific were not hostile to all e-mail marketing. More than one-half of respondents said they would use e-mail coupons. More than seven out of 10 had made direct purchases as a result of receiving relevant promotional e-mails.
In fact, two-thirds of respondents said they would divulge personal information in order to get more relevant e-mails.
But consumers can be merciless when they do not want to get more e-mail from a marketer. In Japan, Webmail provider and portal goo found that more than six out of 10 e-mail newsletter subscribers would unregister altogether from the site of the merchant who had sent the e-mail when they were finished reading.
Considering how much effort marketers put into getting permission to avoid spam filters in the first place, it is clear that e-mail needs to be continuously reviewed for relevance.
The link between e-mail relevance and legitimacy is not limited to Asia-Pacific. One-third of Internet users in North America interviewed in April 2008 by Ipsos for Habeas said that an e-mail's content contributed to its legitimacy—about three times as many as mentioned third-party seals of approval.