Customers prefer email from marketers

There used to be a day when our mailbox or our voicemail box would pile up with unsolicited marketing messages or sales calls. Now, it is likely you receive over 100 emails a day with more than one third from unsolicited sources. The hard truth for marketers is that we have to find a way to break through this clutter and get recipients to respond to our offer or message. According to the latest study from Exact Target, an Indianapolis-based cross platform marketing solution provider, email is still the most effective channel to drive purchase behavior. ET’s 2012 Channel Preference Study surveyed over 1,400 respondents of all ages to determine which marketing channels are preferred, comparing social media to email and other forms of communication. The study identified six key factors that determine which channel is preferred to receive a particular message. They include:
  • Content– Is this message a marketing message from a company I have done business with or is it of personal nature?
  • Immediacy – is this information that I need right away or can I hold it for later consumption?
  • Accessibility – will I need to access this message at a future time? (Email is very flexible in this regard)
  • Privacy – do I want to share this message with the whole world or just with a specific contact?
  • Formality – do I need to convey a level of professionalism with this message?
  • Initiation – how did this conversation originate?
How your message stacks up against these six factors will help you determine if email is the right channel. Based on my experience and the results of this study, email and even direct mail are more likely the best channels to use, rather than social channels, if you are a business trying to reach prospective customers. Despite all the hype regarding social media, consumers are not very open to marketing messages via those channels unless it is for customer service issues. So how do you get your email to drive more purchases? Like most communications, the key to achieving a greater open rate and and a higher response is relevancy. Email from marketers must provide some type of useful information that would make a recipient want to read it and then be compelled to act. It should also be as customized as possible based on the data that you have regarding the recipient. If the average open rate of an email is in the mid-20% range, then marketers need to wake up and fine tune their messages before they get tuned out. Consider adding creative content, such as video or other downloadable information, that makes recipients want to sign up to learn more from your company. Additionally, marketers have to understand that one email is likely not enough to deliver the message thoroughly. Email nurturing takes time and requires a focused message depending upon the previous behavior of the recipient or where they are in the conversion funnel. There is no need to blast out the same message multiple times. You risk alienating your customer or prospect. Segment your list based on behaviors such as who has opened previous emails but has not clicked through to your site. Improve your offer for those stubborn recipients and get a better conversion. If you are in need of help to improve your email communications, feel free to contact me at (317)632-6501 to find out how we can help you improve your email results and your bottom line.