Consumers explain how marketing should work
More than half of US and UK consumers' e-mails would be opened and read if marketers would demonstrate that they knew the consumer, and a large segment of consumers would be more likely to subscribe to e-mails be and more tolerant of message frequency if marketers demonstrated knowledge of their preferences, according to research by e-Dialog.
With 'high frequency' and 'a lack of interest' being cited as the top two reasons for consumers not opening and reading commercial e-mail messages from companies they already deal with, the company concluded that more than half of US and UK consumers' e-mails would be opened and read if marketers would demonstrate that they actually knew something about the recipient.
This conclusion is especially true, it seems, for mobile e-mail users who were found to be much more sensitive to the frequency of messages received using a small screen.
According to the report, entitled 'Manifesto for E-mail Marketers: Consumers Demand Relevance', the main things that consumers want marketers to show is that they know:
- The types of products or services the consumer likes (64%);
- The types of offer the consumer likes (61%);
- Whether the consumer is a new or returning customer (54%);
- The consumer's communication preferences (47%);
- The consumer's usual shopping habits - such as whether they use online searches, make in-store visits, prefer catalogue purchases, and so on (36%).
The study suggests that a large segment of consumers want marketers to exhibit a more intimate knowledge of their preferences, interests, and purchasing history. This segment, nicknamed 'Preference Seekers', is more likely to subscribe to e-mail communication and is therefore more likely to be tolerant of frequent e-mail messaging. However, the need to deliver relevant messages to this segment is even greater, as their inboxes appear to be more cluttered than other consumers.
"This study suggests that most consumers will open and read messages that are personalised based on preference data," concluded Simone Barratt, managing director for e-Dialog International. "But these preference seekers are clearly more engaged and interested in receiving tailored messages. This could be a very profitable segment but marketers will need to work hard to satisfy subscribers through more robust preference capture and relevance, along with frequency metering, testing, and behaviour analysis."
As a result, and with 86% of consumers wanting companies to ask about their e-mail preferences at the time of registration, the company advises marketers to ensure that every page of the brand's web site has a link back to a central 'Subscriber Preferences' centre.
The full report has been made available for free download from e-Dialog's web site - click here (free registration required).