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Consumers Savvy About Managing Email According to ESPC Survey Results; Embrace Numerous Tools and Methods to Manage Spam Reporting and Unsubscribing

YORK, ME-March 27, 2007 -- Today, the Email Sender and Provider Coalition (ESPC) announced the results of a survey conducted with marketing research firm Ipsos that provides insight into the email behaviors of today's consumers. The results show that the average American is an experienced email user using very deliberate methods to manage email and spam.

The survey delivered a general understanding of how consumers view and treat junk mail and spam, and explored more extensively their views towards "Spam," "Unsubscribe" and other potential new functions for managing email. Consumers are experienced email users: 73 percent have used email for six or more years and over 80 percent check their email at least once per day. Those surveyed also displayed a familiarity with and affinity for using the "Report Spam" and "Unsubscribe" features, with over 80 percent of respondents using each of these to manage the email they receive. Indicating demand for more email security, 53 percent would be more likely to open and read email if the sending company displayed a certified icon in the email program.

"The results of this survey suggest that our industry has a unique opportunity to further help consumers manage their email," said Dave Lewis, vice president of marketing development for StrongMail Systems, Inc. "They've proven that they understand and use the tools they're given and have expressed a desire for more. It's now incumbent on senders and ISPs to come together to put more control in consumers' hands."

Results Contain Messages for Senders and Receivers
The results of the survey have many implications for both email senders and receivers. Senders should ensure they are recognizable in the "FROM" and "SUBJECT" lines of their emails, given results indicating that 80 percent of panelists do not open an email prior to using the "Report Spam" button. In addition, trust in "Unsubscribe" links is high with 80 percent of panelists using them; half of these respondents click on them even if they are unfamiliar with the sender.

"Just as we've seen with TV and online consumer-generated media, consumer-generated email reporting has also taken hold through direct interactions with senders and ISP's," said Ben Isaacson, privacy and compliance leader for CheetahMail. "These survey results validate the fact that email senders must constantly monitor both unsubscribe and complaint rates in order to carefully manage their reputation with recipients and ISP's."

For receivers, some strong opinions about user interfaces emerged, with 90 percent of panelists stating they would appreciate having an "Unsubscribe" button directly in their email program and 80 percent wanting access to a "Report Fraud" button. Most likely a result of CAN-SPAM, consumers trust "Unsubscribe" links nearly as much as "Report Spam" buttons, showing that they are using all the tools at their disposal to prevent unwanted email.

"This report provides a lot of actionable information for both the sending and receiving community," said Trevor Hughes, executive director of the ESPC. "Today's consumer is educated about email and, according to the results, very willing to use the functions available to them to manage their email and to provide feedback about how they manage unwanted email. The industry as a whole should listen to their needs to ensure email is viewed with trust and acceptance."

Trevor Hughes will be discussing the survey results during a presentation at the April Authentication and Online Trust Summit. For more information on his presentation and/or to request an executive overview of the survey results, please contact Carla Vicens of blast! PR.

Click here to view the executive summary of the results.

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