Consumer Acceptance of Marketing Emails is on the Rise

Staff Report

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Consumers continue to embrace email as a channel for keeping in touch with their favorite brands. In fact, more than 98 percent of consumers, ages 18-64, check the email address where they receive marketing emails at least one to three times per day, 28 percent say they check email between four and 10 times a day and a third (32.9 percent) indicate they are checking email actively throughout the day.

The findings, from Mapp Digital's fifth annual Consumer Views of Email Marketing Whitepaper, provides marketers with deep insights into consumers' perspectives on email marketing, how they interact with brands across multiple channels and insightful trends based on the company's findings over the last five years. The whitepaper that highlights key findings from the survey was released to the public at the DMA's &Then Conference in Los Angeles, Oct. 16 – 18.

The survey, conducted in August 2016, was fielded by Flagship Research to a national panel of 1,765 consumers between the ages of 18 and 64; 70 percent had a household income of over $35,000 and participants were evenly distributed by gender and geographic region (Eastern, Midwestern, Southern and Western United States).

The whitepaper also revealed that the percentage of 18-34-year-olds using a separate email address for marketing messages decreased from 40 to 30 percent since 2015, indicating that these consumers may be growing more accepting of email correspondence. The same group showed a slightly lower rate of subscribing to seven or more brands' emails than older age groups (38 percent compared to 44 percent of respondents overall) signifying they might be more focused on engaging with a smaller subset of brands.

"Email marketing is still very relevant to brands, specifically for the hard-to-reach 18-34-year-old audience," said Mike Biwer, CEO, Mapp Digital. "The survey results suggest that this group of consumers are engaging with fewer brands on a more intimate level. Millennials and Gen Y are strong audiences for email marketers, but now more than ever, the email marketing experience needs to cater to what they want and how they want it."

In fact, though checking email on laptops and PCs is nearly universal, 91 percent of those surveyed, ages 18-24, and 83 percent of 25-34-year-olds, say they check email on smartphones. Overall, 72 percent of respondents indicated they checked their emails on smartphones suggesting it is important for marketers to optimize messaging for both desktop and mobile devices.

"Most marketers are optimizing for mobile in some way, but there still hasn't been a widespread embrace of responsive templates," said Sean Shoffstall, Americas general manager and vice president of Marketing, Mapp Digital. "The survey highlights the mobile-first mindset of Millennials, but also indicates the general population is not far behind."

Other noteworthy findings from the 2016 Consumer Views of Email Marketing survey include:

  • While Millennials are accepting emails, 8.5 percent prefer social media and 4.5 percent prefer text messages as marketing channels.

  • Nearly half (48 percent) of Millennials indicated that love for a brand influences them to join an email list.

  • Consumers have less tolerance for email messages that don't display correctly as they age. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of respondents age 55-64 will delete the email versus 38 percent of 18-24-year-olds.

  • Nearly half (44 percent) of respondents said they were likely to share information from brand emails via social media, up from 19 percent in 2015.