Delivering relevant email is necessary if email marketers want consumers to engage with their emails. As many marketers embark on improving the sophistication of their email programs to achieve this level of relevance, two key questions must first be answered.
- What does email relevance mean to consumers?
- How should marketers use this information to achieve greater relevance in their email programs?
Answers to these questions come in a new research report from e-Dialog titled Manifesto for E-mail Marketers: Consumers Demand Relevance. The report shows that high frequency and lack of interest is cited as the top reasons for consumers not opening and reading email. If marketers demonstrate that they know their customer, more than half of U.S. and U.K. consumers report they would open and read these emails.
While every customer is different the vast majority of consumers want marketers to demonstrate they know:
• The types of products or services they like – 64 percent
• The types of offers they like – 61 percent
• Whether they are a new or returning customer – 54 percent
• Their communications preferences – 47 percent
• Their shopping habits (e.g., online searching, in-store visits, catalog purchases, etc) – 36 percent
Consumers want marketers to know their preferences
The data shows that a large segment of consumers across all vertical industries want marketers to exhibit intimate knowledge of their preferences, interests and purchase history. This segment of consumers, which we can refer to as ‘preference seekers,’ is more likely to subscribe to email and is therefore more tolerant of frequent email messages. Still, I should point out that the need to deliver relevant messages to this segment is even greater, since their inboxes appear to be more cluttered than non-preference seekers.
An overwhelming 86 percent of surveyed consumers on average want companies to ask about their email preferences at registration, I advise marketers to ensure every page of a Web site has a link back to a central subscriber preference center. In addition, consumers expect certain information be collected at registration. So, be strategic about what information you are gathering at registration, because if consumers don’t offer up the information there, you are unlikely to get it from them elsewhere. Don’t just collect the preferences of new subscribers; use the email channel itself to improve your ability in capturing product and category preferences from existing subscribers.
A person’s email address is part of their online identity
Ever since consumers started transacting online, they’ve been sharing information about themselves that enable marketers to direct targeted content to them. Now, with the explosion of applications like online banking and social networking, a person’s email address quickly becomes part of their digital identity. Marketers need to be aware that when consumers sign up for email, they’re more willing to provide a piece of their personal information in exchange for something special and exclusive. I caution email marketers that they need to hold up to their end of the promise. And, this doesn’t mean over mailing. Frequency-metering, testing, and behaviour analysis will help you to continue to deliver targeted content.
Research shows that most consumers will open and read messages that are personalized to them based on preference data. Preference seekers are more engaged and interested in receiving tailored messages. This could be a very profitable segment for your brand, but as a marketer you need to work hard to satisfy subscribers through more robust preference capture and relevance empowering tactics.
Available for download now at www.e-dialog.com/manifesto, the extensive report from e-Dialog examines key findings on what consumers want included in the messages they receive, such as highly tailored product recommendations and task-oriented notices, and even more importantly, how marketers can achieve greater relevance in their email programs. The report also provides a series of specific recommendations from e-Dialog’s email marketing experts. Four additional reports drilling deeper into the topics of mobile and social marketing, as well as into consumers’ views of email relevance in the retail and travel verticals will be released in the coming weeks.
About the Author:
Andrea Orvis: Group Director, Strategic Services @ e-Dialog
Andrea is an accomplished and passionate leader with experience developing innovative results-oriented digital one-to-one strategies for clients. As a 7 year e-Dialog veteran Andrea has been responsible for some of e-Dialog’s fastest growing strategic accounts. With over 11 years of client service experience under her belt Andrea has worked with some of the world’s most recognized direct marketers including: British Airways, Dell, CheapTickets.com, Avis/Budget, RCI, and Bose. Prior to e-Dialog Andrea worked with Arnold Worldwide’s Integrated Marketing Services division on interactive and direct mail programs for clients.