E-marketing's value goes way beyond the inbox
E-mail's influence on offline sales, brand advocacy and discovery is even higher than expected, according to research from multichannel marketing firm e-Dialog.
The 'Global E-mail Attitudes Survey' of some 13,000 consumers in 13 countries across the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific revealed that e-mail's influence over multichannel purchasing is powerful, with the majority of consumers (58%) having been driven to make a purchase in a store or over the phone by a marketing e-mail.
And, while web sites are the preferred place for consumers to opt-in to such lists, they are also very willing to subscribe to e-mail messages offline - for example when placing a catalogue order (46%), at the point-of-sale (29%), or via SMS (13%).
In addition, two-thirds of consumers indicated that e-mail inspired purchases have prompted them to further research a brand and its products while more than half say it spurred a peer recommendation.
Moreover, roughly half of consumers said they are willing to act as brand advocates in order to connect e-mail content, such as special offers and promotions, to social networks. This activity is highest in Asia-Pacific, however, where the number of consumers indicating such willingness exceeds the global average.
While regional differences were identified, the research suggests a global opportunity for companies to maximize their marketing investments by connecting e-mail with various digital and offline communication and commerce opportunities.
According to Simone Barratt, managing director for e-Dialog International, "There is a tremendous opportunity for brands to strategically connect e-mail marketing to in-store, social networking and mobile channels to drive revenue, acquire new subscribers and importantly, connect the dots for cross-channel measurement and attribution. But they must not forget to take differences across borders into account so as to optimize relevance and effectiveness in every channel."
While still somewhat nascent, the research also shows that the mobile channel presents new opportunities for marketers. Some 68% of the consumers surveyed said they use their mobile devices to manage their personal e-mail while doing something else on their desktop computer.
Additionally, an increasing number of consumers across all regions are purchasing products and services based on promotional SMS messages. However, the cultural differences here were strong, with 57% of Asia-Pacific, 21% of European, and 14% of US consumers having done so.
"While Asia-Pacific consumers tend to be more sophisticated across mobile and social channels than other regions, the value of an e-mail address and its ability to drive cross-channel customer conversations thata ultimately turn into conversions cannot be discounted," said Darren Fifield, managing director for e-Dialog Asia-Pacific. "E-mail is a permanent, and very influential, fixture in the consumer's life and there are abundant opportunities to continue using it globally to improve long-term customer loyalty through data-driven, cross-channel coordination."