Consumers' attitudes toward unsolicited commercial e-mail and postal direct mail marketing methods: intrusiveness, perceived loss of control, and irritation

Mariko Morimoto
University of Georgia

Susan Chang
University of Miami

INTRODUCTION

In 2005, marketers spent over $52.2 million on direct marketing efforts (Advertising Age 2006). In comparison to other media, more than $26.7 million was spent on network television and approximately $29 million on newspapers (Advertising Age 2006). Direct marketing, particularly traditional postal direct mail and telemarketing, has been a popular technique for advertisers. The introduction of communication technologies, especially the Internet, has dramatically changed the communication strategies of direct marketers. In particular, the use of unsolicited commercial e-mail (“spam”) is becoming extremely popular due to its cost effectiveness (Verity et al. 1994) and its high potential for interactivity with target consumers (Mehta and Sivadas 1995).