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American Adults Interested in Opt-in Marketing Messages

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American consumers are interested in receiving opt in marketing messages, according to a new survey commissioned by San Francisco based 1020 Placecast and conducted by Harris Interactive. The survey of 2,029 adults, ages 18 and older, measured cell phone owner preference levels and receptivity for opt in mobile marketing messages from brick and mortar businesses.

The results found that 42% of 18 to 34 year old cell phone owners and 33% of 35 to 44 year olds are at least somewhat interested in receiving alerts about sales on their cell phones from their favorite establishments. Men are more interested than women; 51% of men ages 18 to 34, and 34% of women of the same age range who own cell phones, are at least somewhat interested in receiving opt-in shopping alerts on their cell phones.

Food, entertainment and consumer products top the list of categories

Only 1% cell phone owners currently receive alerts about sales at their favorite establishments on their phones, yet 26% would be at least somewhat interested in receiving such alerts, assuming they were permission-based.

Of those interested in receiving alerts, 53% would be at least somewhat interested in being notified about restaurant specials around them.

About 2-in-5 of these adults would like to receive alerts about sales for:

  • Movie/event tickets (43%)
  • Weather information (39%)
  • Clearance or liquidation sales (37%)

About another 3-in-10 of these adults would want to be alerted about:

  • Pizza (31%)
  • Clothes (30%)
  • Fast food (27%)

About one quarter would want to be notified about:

  • Electronics (25%)
  • Music (24%)
  • Happy hour specials or bar and night club offers (21%).

Impulse Shopping among cell phone owners

The survey found that marketers have a substantial opportunity to influence impulse purchasers. In fact, about 9-in-10 U.S. adults have made an impulse purchase when they were out shopping in a store based on a sale or special going on around where they were. Nearly a quarter of adults owning cell phones (22%) make this type of impulse purchase at least once per week or more often. Among women with cell phones ages 18 to 44, 27% report making at least one impulse purchase a week; among men 18 - 34, this number rises to 31%.

According to Kathryn Koegel of Primary Impact Research, "Many American consumers have their mobile devices with them all day long, including when they are shopping. Reaching a receptive audience that has indicated they are interested presents a big opportunity to influence impulse purchases, particularly with younger audiences."

Among cell phone owners in households with children under 18, 37% are at least somewhat interested in receiving opt-in alerts on their mobile phones. This number rises to 44% in households with children under age 6.

"Opt-in mobile marketing has an enormous potential if done responsibly and is specifically focused on the stores/restaurants that matter to each consumer," said Alistair Goodman CEO of 1020 Placecast. "There is an opportunity to design an opt-in service for consumers that alerts them about the brands they are interested in when they are near that brand's physical location."

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