Email hits the big 5-0 but relevance is still a big issue

data_breach2Some 50 years since email was invented by MIT graduate Ray Tomlinson it remains the channel of choice for most marketers, yet brands still struggle with the mantra of “relevance, relevance, relevance” with nearly three-fifths (58%) of consumers finding little to no value in three-quarters (75%) of the missives they receive.

That is the key finding of new DMA research, which despite its stark conclusion shows there has actually been a notable decrease in the proportion of consumers who fall into this category over the past year. Customers who believe that less than one in four emails is valuable has fallen from 69% in 2019 to 56% this year.

In addition, only one in six consumers (15%) report that at least half of the emails they receive are useful.
The research also highlights customers are keen to engage with a diverse range of communication channels.

Despite email’s supremacy when it comes to customers’ channel preference (77%), brands’ apps, social media and SMS have a huge role to play in the eyes of many consumers.

For example, a brand’s app is favoured by 49% of consumers for pre-purchase information and by 52% for additional benefits – the second-most preferred medium for these types of communication, after email. Whereas social media is for customer service (51%) and post-purchase (50%).

DMA head of insight Tim Bond said: “While email remains the most effective and popular way for brands to engage with consumers there is still a lot of room for improvement. Over the past year an increasing number of consumers are finding a higher number of marketing emails useful.

“However, the fact that most consumers only find 25% or less valuable means that brands must become better at understanding what is relevant to their customers through intelligent marketing.”

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