Half U.S. Net Users Buy From Opt-in Email?

A survey recently conducted by email firm Lyris claims to have found that over half (51 percent) of American Internet users make purchases from opt-in commercial email they receive, and, further, that 44 percent of American Internet users regularly make purchases from online advertisements.

Sometimes you have to question the source: I mean, we certainly don’t know anyone who behaves in the way Lyris claims, and Lyris is in the business is providing “email marketing solutions,” so of course they’re going to trumpet statistics which say their services are effective at generating sales.

But the numbers and some of the ancillary findings are still interesting. First, they suggest that opt-in commercial email is regarded with a fair degree of trust by American consumers, so services like Goodmail’s controversial email certification service (to be implemented soon by AOL and Yahoo) may be on to something: by certifying opt-in commercial email as legitimate, companies may be able to effectively preserve and even expand sales generated via email, once the Internet’s killer application but lately gasping for air under a deluge of spam, viruses, worms, and malware.

Lyris’s survey also found that 10 percent of respondents make purchases via opt-in email messages as often as a few times a month, and 6 percent make purchases from online ads as often. Again, we know none of these people, but, apparently they exist. Well, maybe they exist: Lyris hasn’t said how many people it polled for this survey.

Lyris also conducted another survey, and concludes