Metrics Briefs

SAN FRANCISCO (01/26/2000) - E-MAIL WE WANT TO READ: Which kinds of personal e-mail are most popular among Americans? Jokes top the list, drawing approval from 76 percent of users. Gossip is also popular (46 percent), along with urban legends and inspirational stories (25 percent), and - for the brave of heart - love notes (25 percent). Three-quarters of Americans with business accounts receive such treats in their e-mail at work.

ONLINE DRUG COMPETITION: The Net grabbed a small but price-effective share of the almost $1 billion spent by pharmaceutical companies last year trying to get consumers to request their new prescription drugs. According to Cyber Dialogue, the Net prompts 2 percent of such requests, while print influences 5 percent and TV 8 percent of requests. Online ads are a better buy. Each Internet-driven prescription request costs $14, but each TV-driven request requires $197 in ad spend, and print-driven requests eat a whopping $220 apiece.

WHERE THE WOMEN ARE: Now that the women are online, where are they going?

November data from AdRelevance/Media Metrix reveals that Toysrus.com drew the highest total number of women with nearly 3 million unique visitors for the month, edging out "women's" concept sites like iVillage and Women.com, which had higher percentages of women but fewer total visitors. Here's a conversation starter: 31 percent of Women.com's visitors were men.

YOUNG MEN DOMINATE CHINESE NET: In the early bloom of the Internet in China, young men are the main users, says a survey just released by the Chinese government. Of the almost 9 million Chinese online, 80 percent are men, and nearly three-quarters of total users are under age 30.

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