First Contact is the sales process milestone where the potential customer acknowledges their interest and identifies themselves. Most commonly, this could be through an email, a telephone call or some automated form on the website. Prior to the Internet, this had to be done before buyer education; since the emergence of the Internet, users value anonymous self-education. For most, the moment of First Contact is often a highly qualified opportunity.

For the large company, defined in this report as those organizations employing more than 2,500 employees, email is the First Contact method of choice. This is consistent for larger firms too and is due largely to the great time-shifting convenience of email: I send at my convenience, and you send at yours.

Of course, if the First Contact email were to be intercepted by the anti-spam technology, the users’ experience will be greatly affected and the customer will think less of the potential vendor who may never know that they had lost an opportunity, or even why. In this case, ignorance may be bliss, but it sure is a waste of resource.

Respondents did report 2.3 x greater frustration with their emails being trapped than being challenged. Earlier Brockmann & Company reports showed that challenge-response technologies are responsible for much higher levels of user satisfaction with email, and in First Contact circumstances.

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