Online Consumers avoid Irrelevant Content, According to Study

National Survey Reveals Up to Two-Thirds of Adults Would Stop subscribing to Emails if Shown Wrong Content 

Portland, OR—According to the results of the Online Personal Experience study, nearly three-fourths (74%) of online consumers get frustrated with retailers when emailed (e.g., email offers, product selection, brands, etc), that has nothing to do with their interests. While not surprising, it appears their frustration may be an ominous sign for online retailers. As an example, the poll revealed that 67 percent of online adults would lose their patience and opt out if shown content products they dislike the most. This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive among 2,091 U.S. adults ages 18 and older.

“These results align perfectly with additional market research indicating that consumers have reached the tipping point when it comes to being sent email content that isn’t relevant to them,” said David Swift, the CEO here at SwiftERM. “It’s a wake up call for brands to fix this problem or risk losing customers and prospects.”

No More Irrelevant Information or I’m Leaving Your Mailing List!

Previous research commissioned by SwiftERM shows that almost every online consumer has received information emailed them that has nothing to do with their personal interests or demographics. * This new study further demonstrates that online consumers are overwhelmed and running out of patience:

  • 74 percent get frustrated with retailers when emails appear that have nothing to do with their interests
  • 67 percent would opt out if presented perpetually with product that they dislike
  • 57 percent would opt out if they were married and shown ads for a dating service
  • 50 percent would leave the site if shown a recommendation to purchase products for the opposite gender

I’ll Do Almost Anything to Receive Information That Interests Me!

When online consumers are asked what they would be willing to give up to receive appropriate content based on their personal interests, the responses revealed a huge opportunity for online marketers to personalise email experiences for consumers.

Percentage of consumers who would be willing to give up:

  • 28 percent- Social networks for a week
  • 25 percent- Chocolate for a month
  • 21 percent- Mobile or smart phone for a day
  • 17 percent- Having to use only a landline phone for a week
  • 13 percent- Sex for a month

Can I Trust Businesses With My Personal Information?

The SwiftERM survey results show that consumers are still somewhat wary of providing personal information to online businesses without knowing more about how it will help to improve their website experience:

  • 57 percent are OK with providing personal information on a website as long as it’s for their benefit and being used in responsible ways
  • 77 percent would trust businesses more if they explained how they’re using personal information to improve their online experience

“Consumers have been pretty consistent and clear in their feedback,” commented Swift. “The way to avoid alienating them is to give them what they want—personalised, relevant email content using their data in a responsible and transparent way.”