Insight: the Consumer view of email marketing

In the era of personalisation, there is no question that the relationship between brand and consumer is critical to ecommerce success.

Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of many brands, consumers don’t feel understood by the brands they favour. In fact, 46 per cent of consumers have said they would desert a brand they felt didn’t understand them.

Customer insight specialist Ometria commissioned market research company Populus to survey over 2,000 adults to find out what they really think about online marketing strategies – from consumers’ frustrations to their perception of the most successful marketers.

While the full survey can be downloaded here there are six key things that are worth every marketer knowing:

1. 67 per cent cite email as favourite channel to be contacted by brands

With 400 million monthly active users on Instagram, you’d be forgiven for wondering whether social media is on the cusp of taking to the throne as the king of ecommerce marketing. Well, no, it isn’t. Not yet anyway.

According to Ometria’s research, email still reigns supreme, with 67 per cent citing this channel as the preferred way to hear about offers, new products and other news from their favourite companies.

The second favourite marketing channel is Facebook (12 per cent); younger respondents are more likely to prefer this method, with around a quarter of those aged 18-24 choosing it.

2. There are 3 main reasons that consumers get frustrated with brands

Although email casts a (very) large shadow over its fellow channel brethren, our research recognises that consumers are getting sick and tired of the bygone age of mass-mail, and have a number of growing frustrations with the emails being sent to them.

Interestingly, our survey reveals that men find emails not directed at their gender more frustrating than women (63 per cent vs. 54 per cent).

What else vexes the modern shopper?:

  • 84 per cent dislike too many emails
  • 82 per cent get frustrated with emails regarding products that are out of stock
  • 72 per cent are riled by emails promoting products of no interest to them

In fact 46 per cent of consumers would consider not shopping again with a brand that kept sending messages with products they’re not interested in

The results suggest that brands that continue to send undifferentiated, batch-and-blast emails risk losing the interest of nearly half of their customer base – scary stuff.

On the flip side, it’s clear that personalised email content resonates well with consumers – 56 per cent of respondants citing this as a factor that would make them more likely to buy.

3. 62 per cent of respondants said they would be more likely to buy when brands recognise and reward their loyalty

In this case that means with perks and offers that weren’t available to everyone else – a solid case for having the technology in place to recognise your best customers, and send them tailored marketing messages.

4. Only 7 per cent think favourite brands understand them “very well”

We’ve established that consumers are demanding a more personal experience; that brands that make them feel understood and valued will win their loyalty over those that don’t.

But what’s the current status quo?

40 per cent of respondents think their favourite companies don’t understand the types of products they like (when they email with news and offers), and only 7 per cent feel that retail companies understand  these needs “very well”.

5. 62% aren’t bothered about being addressed by name…

Addressing customers by name is a nice touch and can certainly help capture the attention of your prospects, but our research proves that it’s time to move beyond simply ‘insert [FNAME]’.

While 38 per cent of people like a name check, an overwhelming 62 per cent of British consumers aren’t bothered.

Rather, British consumers are more impressed by emails with higher levels of personalisation. For example, shoppers are 40 per cent more likely to shop when an email sent to them recommends products or services based on previous purchases.

6. …but 59% are bothered if a company emails them with products that don’t match their personal taste

Understanding individual customers’ likes and dislikes and the products that will get them clicking and buying is no mean feat – requiring the joining up of a number of different data points (their transaction history, their browsing activity, marketing interaction etc.)

Nonetheless, our survey shows that getting to the bottom of what your customers are in the market for at any given time is vital, with 59% of people saying that they get frustrated by companies emailing them with products and offers that don’t match their personal taste.

What’s more, younger respondants have even less tolerance for being sent products and promos that they’re not interested in – 70 per cent, in fact.

Download the full report here