The barrage of repermissioning emails from brands eager to keep their customers onboard might have had the press gnashing their teeth but it appears to have had no negative effect on the medium, with new research revealing that email remains the most popular marketing channel with consumers.
According to the DMA’s latest Customer Engagement – Acquisition & the Consumer Mindset Report, email is streets ahead of its nearest rival; 73% of consumers named it their top two (out of eight) in terms of preference. The next most popular channel was post, with 41% of respondents selecting this.
Other channels included social media, text message, online (ie web banners), face-to-face, messenger apps (ie Facebook Messenger) and phone.
GDPR media coverage has clearly had an impact, the DMA syas, with 90% of respondents stating they are now aware of the new data laws, but the spike in GDPR-related emails ahead of May 25 doesn’t appear to have impacted consumer preference for the channel.
The study also examines the relationship between consumers and brands during moments where the public questions whether to try a new brand or stick with what they know.
Perhps unsurprisingly, it finds that simplicity and relevance are crucial, as nearly two-fifths (38%) of consumers rate simple to understand information as something that helps them to trust in the marketing messages they receive.
The relevance of marketing messages is positively correlated with trust across marketing channels. Meaning that when people find a message or offer relevant to them they are more likely to show a stronger level of trust in that channel.
When responding to a marketing message that sparks their interest, consumers tend to respond in several ways; 48% say they will search for the company website, 41% bear the information in mind for later use, and 37% will click on a link in the message.
Clearly, by contacting consumers with messages that are relevant to them, businesses can influence consumer behaviour both directly (ie a click on an email link) and indirectly (ie consideration of the brand).
The main barrier limiting interest in smart home assistants, like Amazon’s Alexa, is a reluctance to share data – with 41% of respondents stating this. Among those who are interested in owning or currently own a smart home assistant, 45% want to be able to verify orders each time, compared to just 24% that would be happy for them to automatically reorder products on their behalf.
DMA managing director Rachel Aldighieri said: “It is encouraging to see that GDPR hasn’t had a negative impact on consumer perceptions of email marketing. Evidently, it remains a key way to engage customers when it is used to promote the right opportunities at the right times. Marketers should take note and ensure all their communications use simple, tailored messages.
“Technology often shapes an organisation’s customer engagement strategy, but our findings show that trust will influence how receptive and likely consumers are to use it. The message from this research is clear – to increase customer engagement companies need to be customer-centric, building trust by making their messaging targeted, relevant and the benefits clear.”
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