Email marketing reaches 90% of Belgian internet users

– A joint survey amongst Belgian internet users and businesses carried out by
EmailGarage and iVOX confirms email marketing as a mature marketing
communications medium.
– 90% of internauts subscribe to at least one electronic newsletter, 75% of them
subscribe to 3 – 4 newsletters.
– Personalization and ‘identification with’ customers prove to be key to successful
email marketing

Personal relevance or saving money

67.7% of respondents subscribe to email newsletters because they are relevant to their
hobbies. Saving money is also important to many: 56% subscribe to newsletters that deliver
exclusive savings. 49.5% will also subscribe to the electronic newsletters that offer information
about limited-time offers.

Companies can clearly be a lot more commercial, in their approach to email marketing, for
example offer more deals and discounts. Commercial approach helps overcome two biggest
problems that businesses say they face when it comes to email marketing: acquiring new email
addresses and making sure their current subscribers remain on the list.

Of course, everything that’s relevant to the consumers’ daily life is also reflected in the
contents of the emails that they find most interesting. So, the most interesting topics for the
consumers are (in the order of decreasing interest) as follows:

1. Supermarkets
2. Real estate
3. Airline tickets, hotel & accommodation
4. Computers
5. Healthcare & beauty

Email marketing helps build the consumer-brand relationship through dialogue

Nearly 50% of Belgian internet users have subscribed to the newsletters of the brands they
love. And they are prepared to give – not only to get. 76,4% will share their personal
information to receive more appropriate promotions and information.

Also worth mentioning that although all of the survey participants are online-literate, over 30%
of them have subscribed to electronic newsletters off-line: at an event, in a shop, or at a fair.
So, it is important to keep the communication channels open across all media.

Respect your readers: talk to them in their language. Literally.

The study clearly demonstrates that it is crucial to address newsletter readers in their own
language – literally, not only figuratively. Says Steven Deketelaere, Managing Director iVOX:
“One of the things that irritate Belgian internet users the most is email in English. 2 out of 3
Belgians will not read a commercial message if it is in English. You speak to the Flemish in
Dutch, and to the Walloons in French. English as a compromise is not acceptable.”

Businesses are clearly well aware of this: 83% of businesses customize their emails in at
least some fashion. These companies also reap the benefits from personalization: their results
are consistently stronger than those of the 17% of the companies that do not customize their
email marketing communications.

Says Luc Robijns, General Manager EmailGarage: “There are many possibilities and
opportunities for companies to optimize the dialogue with their customers. By paying more
attention to the language the reader speaks, by keeping in mind the relationship – is it a
prospect or an actual customer, a one-off or a regular customer and so on – and by taking into
account the customers’ preferences and behavior. The research clearly showed that there is
still a lot of space for improvement in this area.”

Methodology of the consumer survey (iVOX)

– Sample: N = 1045
– Fieldwork: late April 2008
– Method: CAWI (Computer-Aided Web Interviewing), online research panel iVOX
– Population: Belgian internet users (all profiles: low-heavy, newbies & experts), 18-70

Methodology of the business survey (EmailGarage)

– Sample: N = 281
– Fieldwork: late April/early May 2008
– Method: CAWI
– Population: Belgian businesses (all profiles: small-large; heavy and light users of email
marketing; B2B, B2C and non-profit)


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