Smartr Survey Reveals Americans Place an Average Value of $20K on their Business Contacts

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Despite high value of contact information, nearly 50% still keep this info in a paper address book and nearly one-third with contact info for others admitted that 25% of contacts are out of date

Smartr Infographic: Contact Info Value

The survey reveals that we put a huge price tag on our contact information, so manually keeping a paper or electronic address book for something so valuable is akin to keeping your money under your mattress.

Xobni, the leader in email and contact management with a product suite called Smartr, today announced the results from two recent online surveys conducted on its behalf in July & August 2011 by Harris Interactive.

Overall, the surveys prove that Americans believe their contact information/address book is incredibly valuable, but that they are finding difficulty managing this information. More specifically, those with both business and personal contacts who place value on their contacts put an average $20,000 price tag on business contacts, and believe their personal contacts are worth an average of $17,000. Yet, nearly half (48%) of online American adults still store their contact information in a paper address book. Additionally, nearly one-third of online adults with contact information for others say that at least 25% of their contacts are out of date.

“It’s clear that contact management is painful when done manually – just take a look at your address book,” said Michael Albers, VP of product management at Xobni. “Yet, the survey reveals that we put a huge price tag on our contact information. Manually keeping a paper or electronic address book for something so valuable is akin to keeping your money under your mattress. Smartr has set out to fix this by automatically managing one of your most valuable assets – your relationships.”

While the survey was chock-full of interesting data (see accompanying infographic), two main takeaways were that people place a very high value on their contact information, and that managing contacts is becoming increasingly difficult.

1)    Contact Info = Incredibly Valuable
Key takeaway: The majority of people with both business and personal contacts believe their business contact information had an average value of $20,000. Yet, nearly half of those surveyed still keep a paper address book.

Supporting stats:

  •     This value grew with age, and dropped again closer to retirement - People ages18-34 stated the average value of their business contact information was $14,000; ages 35-44 stated value of $22,000; ages 45-54 stated value of $27,000; ages 55+ stated value of $20,000.
  •     More than 1 in 5 people with business and personal contacts stated their business contact information was worth over $10K
  •     Of this group, men put more value on their business contacts with 25% placing value at over $10K, compared to 18% of women saying the same. Men also placed slightly more value on personal contact data.
  •     The younger generation has mixed feelings about contacts - 17% of those with business and personal contacts aged 18-34 thought business contacts were worth $10K+ – but the same number of people (17%) said contacts were worth less than $1-49. The next age demographic (35-44) showed more appreciation with 25% saying contacts were worth over $10K and 11% saying they believe the contact info was worth $1-49.

2)    Managing Contact Info = Incredibly Painful
Key takeaway: Despite the high value placed on contact information, online American adults with contact information for others are struggling to keep contacts centralized and up-to-date, which stunts productivity and accuracy.

Supporting Stats:

  •     30% of people agree that they are finding it difficult to keep up.
  •     Although the most popular way for people to store contacts is via their mobile phone (77%), one-third believe at least 25% of their contacts are out of date.
  •     The leading way people update outdated contact info is to reach out to a mutual friend or contact for correct information.
  •     Those with young children in the home have a particularly hard time managing contacts. Specifically, 40% of those with children under six-years-old in their home felt that twenty-five percent of contacts were out of date compared to 26% of people without children under 18 in the home – a 14% difference.
  •     While more men than women store contacts electronically, the survey showed that men struggle more with contact management. Specifically, more men than women find it difficult to keep up with contacts’ messages and status updates across various networks (31% vs. 29%), feel that getting updated information on a contact is a hassle (41% vs. 35%) and believe that 25% of their contacts are out of date (30% vs. 25%).
  •     Despite the multitude of contact management tools available, nearly half of adults still have a paper address book.•    Contact information is often scattered across multiple locations (38%), further signaling the need for a unified, automatic address book.
  •     Nearly 6 in 10 people stating they would find it useful to have an automated address book - the younger demographic (18-44) were more likely to agree than people 45 and older (63% and 52%, respectfully).

Tools and Tips to Solve Contact Management
The key to a more efficient address book is automation and contact rank. Xobni’s product for Outlook and BlackBerrry, and their new Smartr products for Gmail and Android set out to fix the problem with contact management. Xobni and Smartr creates a profile for every person in your inbox complete with phone numbers, emails, photos and social network updates – and then ranks them in order of importance. While the average user has on average only about 350 people in their self-managed address book, Smartr uncovers and displays 4,800 contact profiles – including 93 John/Jonathans. This underscores the need to have a ranked list that can be searched by first, last or even company name – so users can find all of their contacts in a flash. Benefits of Smartr that helps people manage their contacts include:

  •     Automatic building and management of address books, ensuring they are complete and fresh
  •     Ability to search for a contact by first, last or even company name – or through the “shared network” tab of a mutual contact (e.g. find the name of Nancy’s assistant by looking at “shared networks” tab in Nancy’s profile)
  •     Integration of relevant third party data, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Salesforce, in to your address book allows you to have a 360 degree view on your contacts at all times.

For more information about the automatic address book by Smartr, go to

About The Survey
The first survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Xobni from July 11-13, 2011 among 2,233 adults ages 18 and older. The second survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Xobni from August 10-12, 2011 among 2,026 adults ages 18 and older. Both online surveys are not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Terra Carmichael.

About Xobni
Xobni (“inbox” spelled backwards) is a San Francisco startup that makes your inbox and address book smarter by bringing together your individual exchanges with social media content to provide a complete view of all your contacts in one place. Xobni, and its Smartr product line, discovers all the people you’ve ever exchanged emails, calls or SMS’ with and instantly provides a full view of each contact, complete with their photo, job title, company details, email history as well as updates from LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Xobni’s first product – Xobni for Outlook - launched publicly in 2008 and the first mobile product for BlackBerry in 2010 – and together have had over 10 million downloads. Xobni is available for Outlook and BlackBerry and Smartr for Gmail and Android – and soon for the iPhone. Xobni is funded by Khosla Ventures, RRE Ventures, Cisco Systems, BlackBerry Partners Fund, First Round Capital and others. For more information, go to

About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world’s leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what’s next. For more information, please visit

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