Out of the Mouths of Recent Grads

Attention email marketers: Consumers are wise to us.

The consumer panel at the Email Insider Summit this morning includes five recent graduates, and believe me. They get it. They don't really want to see our email marketing, but they sure appreciate the deals we send. That seems consistent with every consumer survey I've ever seen about advertising, "I hate ads but I can sing the jingles."

The dependence on discounts and offers is a bit disturbing. Does this mean that email will never get out of the margin-cutting game that we suffer in now?!

We also heard that consumers will unsubscribe or report spam from anything they don't find interesting.

We know all this stuff - we see it in our data every day. However, it's always a bit shocking to hear it in consumers' own words. More of a lesson about how important it is to respect their preferences and create value with our email marketing.

Take a look at this collection of comments and I'm sure you'll also find some great quotes for your next meeting or executive presentation!

  • One consumer panelists is completely publisher agonistic. She relies on someone else alerting her to news stories. Does not care about the source, but the referral.
  • I don't pay for content. I won't be subscribing to too much print. I won't renew those I have. I like magazines. I like carrying them, because no matter where I am, I always have something to do.
  • I would never friend a company on Facebook, I would much more likely sign up for email. Rather get it through email, but if I really want a deal, I might do both.
  • Gmail is much more secure and has better filters. Everyone tells me that. It looks more professional - when you start to look for a job, you need a more professional account than Yahoo! or Hotmail. I am conditioned to thinking that Google is the all-powerful being and that I need a Gmail account.
  • I hate it when marketing messages use his first name. You are not my friend. You are here to sell me something. Do it and get it over with.
  • I sign up for a lot of email marketing to get coupons. Always looks for a code before purchase.
  • I like to have email marketing around - to see if there are deals. But I don't really read them.
  • I will sign up to your program with my “junk” account at Hotmail if I don’t trust you â€" if I think you will share my email address with 15 other companies, then I won’t sign up with my primary account.
  • Usually the ones that get read have 20% off in the subject line. I read the ones from Coach because I can save more at their sales. Amazon I really like because you see in the subject line what movies are on sale. I don't have to go to the website.
  • I got an email from Victoria's Secret and it said, "Last day for a sale." The next day, I got the same message again. Hey, they lied to me! It was not the last day of the sale. I will never open another message from them again. (She clarifies that she still shops in the store, but nothing online.)
  • I am so into email, but I use my Hotmail account for junk. I use that for companies that I need to sign up, but don't really want to see your stuff. My Gmail account I use for brand messages that I actually want to see.
  • I love posting coupons on Facebook. If I'm looking for deals, I know my friends are, too. I never knew you could get so many coupons through emails. My friends don't, so they are happy I post the coupons. I have a lot more clothes now!
  • Banter between panelists: (1) It's easier for me to just email someone - they are already in my address book. In Facebook, I have to go search for them. (2) I'm the opposite, I rarely use email. So it's easier for me to use Facebook.
  • I do really like when a company has an official app for my phone, rather than just texting. It's frustrating to find too many unofficial apps. You must show me which is the official one and prove value through it. For example, I use a comparison app for buying at Amazon vs. Target. I buy where I get the best deal.
  • The only times I will unsubscribe is if it's coming all the time, but I rarely bother to unsubscribe. I will unsubscribe from anything that isn't valuable. I get too many webinar ads and I get some things three times a day. I unsubscribed because I was constantly being tempted to buy. I wanted to distance myself. I have clicked the Report Spam button. I don't worry about that. Especially if I didn't ask for it.
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