Email continues to be the platform that marketers say delivers the highest return on investment. Here I’ve provided valuable insights from three recent reports that illustrate the continued importance of email to companies and to marketers.
How Consumers are Using Email in 2017
Adobe in its Email Use in 2017 report surveyed 1,007 white collar consumers age 18 and older who use a smartphone. The company found that 82 percent of work emails are opened, while 83 percent of those are actually read. For personal email, the open rate is markedly lower at 60 percent, with 64 percent of those read. The survey also found that people are more likely to check personal email at work than work email outside of work.
Perhaps in response to recent data on the effect of using devices in bed on sleep quality and stress, fewer people are checking work email in bed. More older respondents are also reporting that they wait until they get to the office. In addition, one-quarter of all respondents say they never check email on vacation (which sounds a bit fishy to me!).
What Consumers Want From Brands
Three-fifths of consumers surveyed said they prefer brands to contact them via email over other forms of communication, providing opportunity for marketers. In addition, two-fifths said marketing emails provide them with an additional incentive to purchase. However, 40 percent said marketing emails should have more information and less promotion.
Marketers should remember the funnel when creating their emails — particularly automated nurture sequences. Don’t jump the gun and focus on conversion when your leads are still in the awareness or engagement stage. Educate and inform!
Of the most annoying things a brand can do in their emails, 34 percent said receiving messages that don’t match their interests is most obnoxious, underscoring how important it is for brands to focus on segmentation and personalization.
Not optimizing emails for mobile was a close second, while waiting for images to load came in third.
How to Avoid Spam Complaints
In the Litmus State of Email 2017 report, 51 percent of consumers say they have unsubscribed because an email isn’t mobile friendly, while 43 percent have marked such emails as spam. As the report states, designing for mobile is no longer a “nice to have” but an imperative. Litmus calls out the increasing trend of mobile aware design (designing a single-column email with large text and well-spaced buttons and links).
Other spam drivers include sending too many irrelevant emails or too many emails, not knowingly and willingly subscribing to receive the emails, and difficulty in figuring out how to unsubscribe.
Brands that want to retain a high deliverability rate and avoid spam complaints should be using methods such as double opt-in and inserting unsubscribe code at the top of their emails.
What Are Consumers Using?
iPhone, Gmail, and iPad have remained the top three email clients, according to Litmus. Android is number four, Apple Mail is five, and Outlook and Outlook.com are six and seven. Yahoo dropped from number seven to eight.
I’ve been considering the switch from Mac Mail to either Outlook or plain old Gmail, so let me know if you have any opinions on either in the comments.
Desktop continues to drop, moving from 19 percent to 16 percent of market share. Mobile remained at 54 percent, while webmail grew to 30 percent.
Email Remains a Top Channel for All Marketers
So, why do we care about all this email data? According to the Emma 2017 Email Marketing Industry Report, nearly half of marketers say email generates the most return on investment for their organization and more than half said they plan to increase spending on email marketing in 2018.