Yesterday Habeas and Ipsos, announced the finding of their 2008 email study which finds that there is still a very strong preference for email and the expectation that this will continue to be the case for several more years.

Some very interesting findings include that the majority of people trust companies that use opt-in email, have the ability to customize communications and can reliably get messages delivered. While having a strong privacy practice gets you bonus points, many people still believe that two-thirds of companies are still sharing their data with third parties.

Report Highlights include:

Email’s Vitality

  • 67% of respondents prefer email over other online vehicles
  • Consumer opinion of the future importance of email registered far above future expectations for other online channels.

Consumer Concerns Regarding Online Threats Increasing

  • 96% expressed concern about being victimized by email fraud, up from the 62 percent finding in the 2007 report.
  • 43% of respondents voiced concern over mobile spam and virus threats.

Online Reputation Management Best Practices to Build Trust

  • 88% of respondents said they would like organizations to give them more choices over the content and frequency of the emails they receive.
  • 80% of participants favour doing business with organizations that use opt-in permission to send them email.
  • 75% of participants prefer engaging with organizations that exhibit strong privacy practices.

Online Business Practices to Avoid

  • 25% of respondents lose faith in an organization that is unable to deliver email reliably.
  • Daily email messages ranked with pop-up advertisements as the most damaging online tactics to a company’s online reputation.
  • 80% of respondents are not comfortable with businesses sharing their email address.
  • 80% feel that a business’ reputation is negatively affected if it shares customer email addresses with third parties.
  • Internet users believe that about two thirds of companies are likely to share their email addresses with third parties.