As customer retention becomes an increasing focus for companies, more and more of them are turning to e-mail to communicate with their customers. A new study led by NFO WorldGroup and commissioned by Return Path, however, found that consumers' frequent change of personal e-mail addresses poses a significant obstacle to maintaining customer relationships. The nationwide study of male and female Internet users over 18 years old found that 41 percent changed their e-mail address in the last two years, primarily because they switched Internet service providers. Of those with new addresses, only 31 percent updated businesses that regularly send them e-mail. Complicating the matter of sending customized messages to consumers is that the majority of them have more than one address. Of the 1,912 consumers surveyed, 74 percent own two or more e-mail addresses, with an average of 2.6 per user.
Copyright January 2001, Crain Communications Inc.