2016 Consumer Views of Email Marketing

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Getting consumers to open, click and convert through emails

If you’re an email marketer you’ve probably noticed the big shift in how subscribers consume information. Most notable is the eight-second window a marketer has to grab the attention of a subscriber. The digitized lifestyle is also responsible for the subscriber’s intolerance of irrelevant, untimely and useless content, meanwhile the shifts in content consumption across devices are greatly affecting purchase behavior.

Mapp (formerly known as email service provider BlueHornet) wanted more insights specifically into how consumers relate to email marketing in today’s digital age so we surveyed almost two thousand consumers between ages 18 and 64. Our 2016 Consumer Views of Email Marketing report includes our survey results and analysis, actionable takeaways and key trends in the email marketing landscape. Here are some highlights from the report:

The Anatomy of a Modern Email Subscriber

We delved into the consumer mindsets of Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers. The mobile-first mindset of millennials stands out like a sore thumb, with 91% of them resorting to smartphones in order to check email. Are marketers taking the opportunity to offer a good email engagement experience across devices? Subscribers are also actively checking their email, giving marketers priority access to their inboxes, and increasingly less tolerant of brands that don’t offer the value they’re looking for. What can brands do to keep subscribers on their list engaged? Consumers are happy to share with us what they want and how best to deliver it.

Email Drives Consumer Purchase Behavior

Generational differences heavily affect the trends in consumer purchase behavior. The reasons for subscribing to email offers and the various types of offers consumers want to receive differ between younger and older generations, but the majority of consumers still say that marketing emails drive their purchase behavior. The reach and effectiveness of email require marketers to increase relevance and personalization tactics for each of these consumer segments. Which consumers are most likely to purchase multiple times in a month and which generation responds best to “Free Shipping” offers?

While generational and gender differences affect many preferences, all consumers are expecting a personalized, integrated, cross-channel experience and have high expectations for how their data is used in their emails. Marketers must continue to collect and organize data, generate holistic customer and segment views, implement automation and personalize where possible in order to drive response.

The 50/50 of Mobile and Tablets

According to Google Analytics data, 50% of all online traffic is now coming from smartphones and tablets. However, with email marketing, it’s no longer enough to make emails responsive and mobile optimized. The entire purchase experience has to be seamless as consumers switch between devices. While the majority of consumers immediately delete emails that render incorrectly on their device, what exactly determines whether a consumer goes through with a purchase on a responsive email campaign? The primary obstacles to making mobile purchases vary between age groups, but a few things are certain: continually reinforcing security and creating a good user experience will impact purchase decisions.

Email Subscribers Are Social

Email subscribers want deals and offers and most social followers engage because they want to save money, but email shouldn’t be used purely as a promotional channel. Actively promoting social interaction in emails and showcasing the value of following a brand trigger deep levels of engagement from consumers. How often are consumers engaging with a brand’s social presence and why? Generation and gender continue to affect social network preferences and engagement, but unsurprisingly Facebook leads the pack. Nonetheless, brand advocacy on social media is a result of email marketers sending much more relevant content, making the social crowd much more likely to share messages. There is a surprising reason why consumers follow a company on social media, and consumers also tell us which content is swoon-worthy.

How do the differences in consumer email usage affect marketers’ use of the platform? What do the trends in email marketing consumption tell marketers about consumer purchase decisions? How can marketers increase mobile transactions and social engagement? The insights in Mapp’s report answer these questions and many more while giving marketers step-by-step guidelines to getting a consumer to open, click and convert through an email.

Get Mapp’s 2016 Consumer Views of Email Marketing whitepaper:

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About Julie

Julie is a talented and passionate marketing expert with more than 11 years of digital, traditional and integrated marketing solutions experience. She is the Sr. Marketing Manager at Mapp, an email service provider that empowers marketers to launch email marketing programs, small or large, with sophisticated and advanced email segmentation. Prior to joining Mapp in 2013, she created and executed strategic events and campaign marketing for peak performance strategist Tony Robbins, and DriveCam, a global driver risk management firm. Julie is originally from Michigan, where she graduated from Western Michigan University with a degree in Marketing and Public Relations. She currently resides in San Diego and when she's not juggling multiple marketing projects or volunteering, she enjoys camping, hiking with her Australian Shepherd, good food and wine, and the great outdoors.

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