Authors of the Adobe Email Usage Study 2019 report released this week find that American consumers are spending an average of 143 minutes every weekday checking personal e-mail, but find only 25% of commercial messages interesting enough to open.
But 60% of respondents also said they most prefer to receive offers via e-mail vs. direct mail, social media, and other marketing channels.
Personalization of e-mails is also important to consumers, but degree varies by generation:
- 46% of Millennials want personalized messages from brands
- 43% of Gen X
- 30% of Baby Boomers
52% of respondents said they check personal e-mail "every few hours" throughout the day.
But on average, respondents said they find only 26% of personal e-mails from brands sufficiently interesting to open, down from 31% in 2017 and 2018.
Most annoying attributes of personal e-mails reported were:
- E-mailed too often (43%)
- Urging me to buy something I've already purchased (24%)
- Marketer's data about me are wrong (23%)
- Too wordy or poorly written (23%)
Most reported failures of personalization involved:
- Recommendations not matching interests (31%)
- Name misspelled (19%)
- Expired offers (19%)
- Offer not appropriate to season or location (15%)
- Promoting things I've already purchased (15%)
Adobe VP/Global Marketing/Digital Experiences Sarah Kennedy said:
"The Adobe survey findings solidify how important email still is in the everyday lives of our customers, and this means there is still a big opportunity for marketers to utilize email to engage with people in relevant and useful ways.”
Findings are based on results on a survey of 1002
Findings suggest some action items for marketers using e-mail:
- Work on finding the message frequency with which your target audience is most comfortable, by A/B testing and tracking unsubscribe rates.
- Consider that Millennials - who want personalized messages more than do Gen X or Boomers - may tolerate a higher message frequency.
- Carefully maintain your customer database - personal information and who has received what offer, and who has bought - to avoid failures of personalization.
- Use conversational language in promotions, but don't release anything containing egregious spelling or grammar errors.