The Effectiveness of Email Marketing: A Consumer Perspective

Email Marketing

How effective are the email marketing campaigns from our favorite brands and stores? We take a consumer approach to investigate this question.
With busy lifestyles that are always on the go, social media accounts to manage, and a large number of advertisements connecting with consumers through different mediums, traditional email marketing is beginning to look outdated to young consumers. However, despite the flaws, email marketing is an embedded, and still successful, concept of marketing to the American people. Here, we’re talking about the good, the bad, and the ugly of email marketing and what makes it successful.

The concept of an email isn’t appealing.


An email itself is bulky and outdated. Opening an email usually requires clicking through links, visiting the company website, and encourages a purchase. It also takes a commitment to spending time on the email; something millennials are stereotyped not to like. It’s asking too much of millennial consumers, especially when in reality we have little money to spend on the products. Social media marketing, including on visual apps such as Instagram, is more appealing because of its ability to capture the brand, product or concept in a single image while keeping the involvement of consumers at a minimum.


Less is more.


According to a recent study done by Marketing Sherpa, a marketing research firm, 91% of Americans want to receive promotional emails, but 86% of Americans want to receive promotional emails only on a monthly or weekly basis. The study also found that at the very least, the consumers want control over how often they receive the emails. Until modifying the settings, companies bombard customer’s email accounts with way too many emails. Doing so takes away from the excitement and act now appeal that would come if the emails are fewer and far between.


Focus on what matters to the consumers.


Seeing as emails do usually require commitment and a call to action, the call to action must be meaningful! To a millennial, this might mean a flash sale, upcoming promotions, and special events. Save the branding and content marketing for social media and blogs, which can be explored at the consumer’s interest. An email with an all-caps subject line, flashing “SALE,” or another action word, is much more appealing than “Letter from the Editor”. Can the editor give a discount for reading her opinions? Unless the answer is yes, it’s best to save that for someone who cares.
Another attribute of email marketing that can encourage purchases is taking a personalized approach to the recipient. In today’s digital world, it can be easy to add a name to the beginning to an email, or use software to see where the consumers are interested. Use this data to create personalized emails that reach and matter to the customers.


Mobility matters, but so do conversions.


According to the 2015 Consumer Views of Email Marketing, by Bluehornet, 54.1% of consumers ages 18-24 check their email on their mobile device, followed by 39.9% on a laptop or desktop. It’s essential that emails are mobile friendly! If it’s not, the email will be skipped, and there’s a minimal chance of conversion. Only 22% of consumers are likely to make a purchase from their mobile phone, so it is SO important that the call to action for a purchase must be clean cut and to the point.


Despite its outdated feel, email marketing is alive and thriving for American consumers. The best way to continue to reach the millennials, and drive conversions, is through ease of access and personal touches. With this, the trend of email success can continue for these companies. Otherwise, these emails will begin to gather dust in our inboxes, and become a thing of the past.


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