Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Which Is More Annoying, Spam Or Direct Mail? Study Reveals Answer

Date:
November 3, 2006
Source:
University of Georgia
Summary:
According to a new University of Georgia study, 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.

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.

Related Articles


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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Georgia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Georgia. "Which Is More Annoying, Spam Or Direct Mail? Study Reveals Answer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 November 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061102125406.htm>.
University of Georgia. (2006, November 3). Which Is More Annoying, Spam Or Direct Mail? Study Reveals Answer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061102125406.htm
University of Georgia. "Which Is More Annoying, Spam Or Direct Mail? Study Reveals Answer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061102125406.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Building Google Into Cars

Building Google Into Cars

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Google's next Android version could become the standard that'll power your vehicle's entertainment and navigation features, Reuters has learned. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
After Sony Hack, What's Next?

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 19, 2014) The hacking attack on Sony Pictures has U.S. government officials weighing their response to the cyber-attack. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
How 2014 Shaped The Future Of The Internet

How 2014 Shaped The Future Of The Internet

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) It has been a long, busy year for Net Neutrality. The stage is set for an expected landmark FCC decision sometime in 2015. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins