Those who believe that email is the best way to cut through the noise to grab their customers’ attention better think again; a new study shows consumers are very choosy about whose emails they open, even though they have signed up to scores of different companies.
According to the DMA report, consumers receive more branded emails than they have ever done yet they trim the number of brands they are in contact with, almost two-thirds (61.6%) settling on between six and 20 brands, an average of 9.8 brands.
Inbox vetting is also an increasingly mobile activity; half of consumers use email ‘on the go’, with a tablet, or more likely smartphone. Consumers manage inboxes while mobile, but they will revert to a PC or laptop to buy.
When it comes to email accounts, consumers retain one core account, 51% have addresses that have been in use for at least a decade. Of brand emails received, 63% are deleted immediately, and 75% of emails are deleted within 24 hours of their delivery.
Consumers are also clear about what they expect: 78% wanted ‘interesting’ subject lines; 48% wanted images, up from 28% last year; 47% said they wanted emails from a person, not a company, up from 24% last year; and 41% want emails to be mobile-ready, up from 19% last year
Even then, consumer behaviour may confound tracking techniques. When presented with a relevant, interesting email from a brand they trust, the most popular options are to take the click in the email (58%), or leave the email for later (57% would save the email, 48% would bear the information in mind for later). However, a significant proportion claim to do neither of these things.
Some 47% would go to the company’s website via another route, up from 35% last year; 40% would go to the shop, up from 30% last year; and 23% would go to a price comparison website, up from 15% last year.
DMA managing director Rachel Aldighieri said: “There are two consequences for marketers – firstly, if an email doesn’t prompt a click, but another action, then multichannel messaging has to be right and marketers should make it easy for them to find what they want.
“Secondly, if significant numbers of consumers shun the click, then attribution will be problematic. Knowing the consumer journey is extremely important, and using consumer data to map this journey and the place email takes in it will win significant benefits. It could also mean that clicks attributed to search may be correctly applied to email.”
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