Email Marketing: Despite Significant Increases In Email Spam, Canadian's Willingness To Subscribe To Permission Based Email Continues

The Average Internet User Sees 130 Spam Messages Per Week, An Increase Of 51% Over Last Year

Eight In Ten Canadians Have Registered To Receive Email From An Average Of 8.5 Websites

Two-Thirds Of Canadian Internet Users Willing To Provide Email Addresses To Companies That Ask

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Vancouver, BC – A new study released by Ipsos Reid, "Email Marketing 2007: SPAM or Marketing – Do Canadians Know the Difference?", has found that even though an amazing 66% of Canadians prefer communicating via email over other methods, 44% of us agree that we can hardly keep up with the amount of email that we receive. And spam is the primary culprit. Yet Canadian’s willingness to provide email addresses to companies that ask continues unabated. But will the continued influx of spam and increasingly fickle attention level of consumers mean that permission-based email is doomed to a short lifespan, or will the innovation being applied to this relatively new tool be enough to propel it forward for several more years?

After a steady decline since 2003 in the amount of email received by Canadians in an average week, that figure has risen again. Canadians report receiving an average of 206 e- mails per week, a 26% increase over last year and up from a high in 2003 of 197. But a significant percentage of our inboxes is occupied by spam. Three-quarters of Canadian Internet users (76%) report receiving at least one unsolicited e-mail per week, and the average number of unsolicited emails received has jumped markedly from 86 in an average week in 2005 to a whopping 130 currently. But the culprit for the perpetuation of spam is ourselves, as a surprisingly high percentage (25%) of Internet-enabled Canadians have opened an average of 3 spam emails per week, mainly because of curiosity (61%), or wanting to know more about the product or service (25%).

Despite the continued and increasing influx of spam, Canadian’s appetite for permission- based email continues to increase, as nearly eight-in-ten (79%) have registered with at least one website to receive e-mails, registering with average of 8.5 sites, up from 8.2 in 2005. Entertainment sites top the list as the most popular sites to receive emails from followed by travel sites, e-commerce sites, news and information sites and health and fitness sites. Yet Canadian’s willingness to provide one’s e-mail address to a website continues to increase, as 67% say they are willing to provide their e-mail address to websites, up from 61% in 2005.

Although companies have had success in enticing Canadian internet users to register on their website to receive e-mails, many are also deregistering from sites as well. Four-in-five Canadian internet users who have registered at a website to receive e-mail have also deregistered, stating a variety of reasons including a loss of interest (43%); the inability to deal with e-mail volume or no time to read the emails (25%); and, too much junk mail or irrelevant information (22%).

Steve Mossop, President of Ipsos Market Research in Western Canada says, "The challenge for marketers is clear; to keep Canadians interested in your email communications, you must be relevant and engaging, find an appropriate frequency for your communication, and keep the volume at a reasonable level. Striking the right balance of relevancy and frequency is critical to your email marketing success. If you don’t understand the needs of your audience, the ultimate penalty is similar to the treatment of spam, and that is a lost customer at the simple click of a mouse."

The Ipsos Canadian Inter@ctive Reid Report is the largest, most comprehensive and authoritative source of its kind about quarterly Internet trends in Canada. The results are based on two separate data collection instruments. In the first, 1,000 web users from Ipsos Reid’s Canadian Internet Panel are surveyed online. Panelists are chosen through random telephone surveys conducted on an ongoing basis across Canada. Results are complemented by a further 1,000 interviews via telephone with Canadian adults in order to verify results of the panel, and track issues among non-Internet users.

Telephone interviews for this release were conducted from January 24 to 31, 2007 while the online data was collected from January 25 to 30, 2007. These data are statistically weighted to reflect the population proportions of regular online users by online expertise and regional distribution. With national samples of 1,000 telephone interviews and 1,070 online interviews, one can say with 95% certainty that the overall results are within a maximum of ± 3.1 percentage points of what they would have been had the entire population of Canada’s regular online users been surveyed. The margin of error will be larger for sub-groupings of the survey population.

For more information on this press release, please contact:

Steve Mossop
Ipsos Reid
(778) 373-5001

About Ipsos Reid

Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader, the country's leading provider of public opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 600 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in the country, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos Reid's marketing research and public affairs practices offer the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada, all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos Reid offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of the Canadian economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, retail, and technology & telecommunications. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey- based market research group.

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Email Marketing: Despite Significant Increases In Email Spam, Canadian's Willingness To Subscribe To Permission Based Email Continues

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Karen Beck
Associate Vice President, Canada
Ipsos Marketing