Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Which is more annoying, spam or direct mail?

06.11.2006
You open up your e-mail inbox and are inundated with spam that offers everything from inkjet cartridges to “investment opportunities” that are obviously too good to be true.

You open up your mailbox at home to find more unsolicited ads, everything from pizza coupons to credit card offers.

Ever wonder which is more annoying?

According to a new study by a researcher in the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, most people find spam more intrusive and irritating than direct mail. The study, published in the fall issue of the Journal of Interactive Advertising, also explores why people find spam so annoying.

“Overall, spam definitely is regarded as more annoying, irritating and intrusive than postal direct mail,” said Mariko Morimoto, assistant professor of advertising. “That was pretty much our hypothesis. And while it’s easy to figure out that spam is more annoying, I also wanted to know why.”

Morimoto and study co-author Susan Chang, assistant professor of advertising and public relations at the University of Miami, randomly assigned 119 college students to a survey that asked about either spam or direct mail. On a scale of one to seven, where one is most intrusive and seven is least intrusive, students gave spam an average intrusiveness score of 1.93 compared to 4.24 for direct mail. For irritation, the average score was 2.46 for spam compared to 3.87 for direct mail.

Results from a focus group study conducted by Morimoto and Chang found that people find spam more intrusive than direct mail because it makes it harder to get to legitimate and wanted messages. Discarding direct mail, on the other hand, wasn’t perceived as time consuming.

And while spam often contains adult content or other inappropriate material, direct mail pieces often contain potentially useful items such as sales promotions and easy-to-use coupons. E-mailed coupons must be printed, which is an extra step that consumers would rather not have to take.

Morimoto’s focus group participants also said that the cost associated with direct mail leads them to believe that they’re getting information from a reputable company. Because spam is inexpensive to send, consumers tend view spammers as being less reputable.

Despite the negative feelings associated with spam, Morimoto said it can be effective when used properly. Her focus group work found that people don’t seem to mind receiving e-mails from companies with which they have previously done business.

Morimoto, for example, doesn’t mind e-mailed suggestions from Amazon.com based on previous purchases. E-mails that read, “Mariko Morimoto, do you need a college degree?” on the other hand, are not welcome.

“If you cultivate your relationship with consumers in some other venue and then extend that effort to e-mails, then spam can work,” she said.

Sam Fahmy | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uga.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Study shines light on brain cells that coordinate movement

26.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Smooth propagation of spin waves using gold

26.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Switchable DNA mini-machines store information

26.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>