There are few moments in my day that make me happier than when I get down to inbox zero. Feeling free from the tyranny of email is a beautiful thing.
But recent research seems to indicate that I’m in the minority in enjoying my empty inbox.
A survey conducted by Mapp in August of 2016 found that consumers of all kinds are still inviting brands into their email. After checking in with 1,765 US adults aged 18-64, the study found that 44% were subscribed to seven or more brands’ emails, and 72% are subscribed to four or more.
Consumers may be opting-in to marketing email, but that doesn’t mean marketers have carte blanche to bombard them with any old messages. Expectations around personalization and mobile-friendliness are rising, and those who fail to meet them will be kicked unceremonious out of the inbox.
Rising Personalization Expectations
It seems the cat’s out of the bag: consumers know that we’re collecting personal information on them — and they expect us to put it to good use in our email marketing.
A huge majority — 76.9% are looking for content that’s customized based on interests they included in their profile, which isn’t terribly shocking. The same goes for the number who expect that we’ve got access to the purchases they made online; 76.3% won’t be surprised to see that data impacting their emails.
What’s interesting is how many people want personalized email content based on their gender (57.9%), where they live (48.4%), and purchases they made in-store (40.6%).
We’re well beyond using someone’s first name in the salutation and moving on.
It’s time to sync up multiple data sources so we can deliver meaningful, relevant email experiences that our customers expect. If we don’t, they may not be so free with their personal information in the future.
How to Save a Potential Unsubscriber
If a subscriber wants to be set free, should you just let them go?
We all know that a smaller email list that’s clean and highly engaged is far more valuable than a huge one with single-digit opens and clicks. But, if we can get someone re-interested in our emails when they’re on the verge of opting out they can go from lackluster to loyal overnight.
According to MAPP’s survey results, consumers say that brands can take the following actions to keep them on a mailing list when they’re considering unsubscribing:
- Give them an option to receive emails less frequently
- Send more personalized and/or relevant content
- Send more personalized emails based on preferences and/or interests I listed
- Let them “snooze” their subscription so they stop receiving email for a period of time
- Send personalized emails based on past purchases (see a pattern emerging?)
- Send personalized emails based on what I browsed on the website
The theme here is fairly obvious: if you want to keep people on your list, get specific in what you’re sending them.
Email Drives Purchase Behavior
Aside from having more impressive numbers to report at your quarterly review, keeping your subscriber count up can also have a direct impact on your revenue.
Nearly half of the respondents said that they buy products and services from a marketing email once a month, and 20.7% said they make a purchase multiple times per month.
And emails don’t just drive purchases when the include offers for instant savings. Staying in touch with customers via email reminds them to shop, drives to make purchases offline at a brick and mortar store, and increases their overall spend.
Don’t Blow the Sale With a Mobile Mishap
Email clearly gives us direct access to a short-term sale, but an ever-increasing number of subscribers are opening emails on mobile devices.
What happens if they get an email that doesn’t look right on their screen of choice? Half of them will delete it right away (even more when you get into older demographics).
Now that Gmail has finally begun embracing responsive email design, there’s no excuse for email marketers to neglect this crucial aspect of modern email creation. (For complete coverage on this historic change, check out Litmus’ blog.)
Unfortunately, we can’t rely on subscribers who open an email on a mobile device to complete the purchase right away.
There’s still significant hesitation about buying on the go, with 44% of consumers saying they’re just more comfortable purchasing on a desktop or laptop computer.
Other causes of hesitation include:
- Difficulty navigating mobile websites
- It’s hard to type payment information into a mobile phone or tablet
- Security concerns
These are problems that marketers ourselves can’t do too much about, but we can tackle a few other concerns that are lingering with consumers:
- Nobody wants your app. Don’t make them download it to buy.
- Too many steps to complete a purchase means there won’t be one. Take a page out of Amazon’s book and strive for a one-click buying process.
Don’t Miss the Email Party
Email subscribers are a hugely valuable resources, regardless of your brand, industry, or audience. Don’t neglect their interests and preferences by throwing the same old stuff their way.
Segmentation, personalization, and automation can all help, but in the end successful email marketing (and most other marketing, for that matter), comes down to just one thing: give the people what they want.
Other Articles You Might Be Interested In:
- Email Marketing 4 Steps to Using an Editorial Eye on Your Email Campaigns
- Email Marketing 5 Key Pieces of Effective Email Design
- Email Marketing Two Techy Reasons the Future of Email Marketing Looks Bright
- Plans Ultimate Marketer’s Guide to Productivity Part 1: Email and Scheduling
- Email Marketing Using the Psychology of Email Addiction for Marketing
- Email Marketing Why the Best Email Marketing in My Inbox Doesn’t Feel Like Marketing