Email: Everyone's Doing It

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Only about 10% of consumers check their email less than once a day.

As the tool that just about everybody uses personally and professionally on a daily basis, email remains one of the most effective digital channels for reaching consumers today. Fluent, with its inaugural “Inbox Report,” provides data and insights into how marketers can utilize the channel more to their advantage.

“The Inbox Report: Consumer Perceptions of Email 2015,” which polled more than 1,600 U.S. adults to examine their behaviors and attitudes toward email, states that since just about everybody these days owns a smartphone there are few obstacles to delivering email messages to consumers in virtually every socioeconomic status across the country.

When and how
As a matter of fact, the research shows that about 20% of consumers check their inbox at least five times per day. In addition, only about 10% say they check their email fewer than once a day. When it comes to where they check, age matters. Younger adults, 18- to 34-year-olds, are more likely to check via mobile devices, while those 45-years-old and up are more likely to check at home.

Speaking of devices, nearly two thirds of consumers say they mostly check email on their smartphones—compared to just 27.3% who check via desktops and 11.2% who say it's tablets.

Why
The research shows that receiving discounts and savings (42.3%) moves the needle most for email acquisition. Learning about new products is second, at 19.8%, while women (45.7%) are more likely to subscribe to email lists to save a buck than men (36%).

Sixty percent say free samples or immediate discounts and coupons when given specific incentives as to why they joined. Yet again, women are more likely than men to say they signed up for an email list to receive free samples (44.3 to 24.3%).

Return to sender
Despite being the best option for engaging with consumers, many are missing the mark with email marketing. In fact 35.9% of respondents say they never find marketing emails useful, while just 11.1 and 9.2% say they “often” or “always” find marketing emails to be useful, respectively.

About a third say they “always” or “often” unsubscribe from marketing emails they've signed up for. The top two reasons for unsubscribing from marketing emails are that they're sent too often (34.8%) and that the content is irrelevant (20.8%).

Getting it right
The goal for a successful email campaign should be to drive some sort of measurable action. For more than half (53.1%) of consumers, that action has been an in-store purchase. Such actions are more common among older adults, while millennials are more likely to purchase online.

The three most common actions consumers take after reading a marketing email are making an online purchase (27.1%); visiting the company's website (26.2%); and purchasing an item at a retail store (21.6%).

Recommendations
Having digested the facts and research, Fluent offers these three tips to help marketers capitalize on email marketing's myriad strengths.

1) Tailor content to mobile subscribers. With the abundance of Americans checking email on their phones, this is a no-brainer. Well-performing mobile emails, the report says, usually contain certain key elements: large and concise text, clear call-to-action buttons, and relevant content.

2) Offer discounts, savings, and samples to grow subscriber lists and boost conversions. People read marketing emails for numerous reasons, but nothing gets consumers more apt to sign up than the opportunity to save money. It is, after all, the top reason respondents sign up for mailing lists.

3) Deliver great content, but not too often. The two most common reasons for unsubscribing from email lists are that marketers are sending too many emails, or they aren't delivering relevant content. It's rare that people complain they receive too many emails with incredible offers and too much interesting, relevant content. The report says that, “The cardinal rule with marketing emails is to deliver great content that is relevant to your audience, while avoiding inundating their inbox with offers to the point of intrusion."

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