Over-50s shun the unfamiliar e-mail approach

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on October 25, 2007

Almost 80% of the over-50 age group do not respond to e-mail marketing from companies they don't already know, while 36% are happy to communicate with companies online after initial contact has been made through other channels, according to research by Prospect Swetenhams and Diamond Life.

The company's analysis found that the over-50 age group is not actually against the e-mail channel, or technology in general. But they do have a different view of how e-mail should be used.

Often too personal
For most consumers aged 50+, e-mail is often a media most closely associated with communicating with friends and family, and it is not generally seen as a commercial channel. As a result, companies attempting to use e-mail as a first-contact marketing channel for the over-50 age group need to be careful how they conduct their campaigns.

According to the research, consumers who are most likely to respond to internet marketing are also generally interested in travel, the theatre and arts, and investments. Moreover, at least 40% have a broadband internet connection and report spending up to 15 hours a week online. Other services likely to be accessed by this group include holiday web sites, online news, and home shopping services such as Amazon.

Still viable if done well
According to Alistair Mundy-Castle, sales director for Diamond Life, "Although the numbers don't look so big, it has to be remembered that these are very wealthy individuals, often with high levels of disposable income. It's critical that they are communicated with in the most appropriate manner - and, provided it's done well, e-mail marketing can work effectively with this group. You just have to do your homework and use it as one part of your overall communications programme, not as the only contact media."

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