Does 3.1 billion, globally, sound like a lot of email addresses? That number will increase dramatically over the next three years to over 4.2 billion, according to the Radicati Group. Radicati’s report breaks down the geographic makeup of these email accounts: over 49% in Asia Pacific, Europe, 22%, and North America, 14%. Consumer email accounts will represent the lion’s share, 75%.
Consumers can expect to continue to consume and send email at an accelerated clip. The average number of emails received and sent per day will range from 105 to 125 in 2015. With all the press about increase in SPAM, still roughly 75% of the email a consumer will receive will be legitimate.
Email will continue as the number-one activity on a mobile device. There were over 500 million wireless email users in 2011, a number projected to grow to over 1.2 billion wireless email users by 2015.
Email has a significant impact on the everyday consumer. Yet are we pushing the threshold with new forms of messaging? The Olympics virtually launched SMS and permission-based app-driven notification messaging (push messaging). Millions of people were engaged with thousands of brands around a single event stretched over weeks -- the perfect petri dish for mobile app engagement!
I find push messaging extremely interesting from a marketer perspective. I try not to infuse my personal experiences with the bothersome, meaningless notices pushed from the game apps on my iPhone or irrelevant daily deal notices. I think about how rich views of consumer data and engagement data can help drive valuable notifications without blowing up the experience altogether.
I love the idea of knowing that consumers are near their shopping mall, and pushing them a 20% “local’s discount” at their favorite store that expires that afternoon. Still I wonder how consumers won’t see it as intrusive when 100 brands that they’ve opted into do the same thing at the same time. How are we going to manage the balance of convenience with value when consumers hear 50 dings on their phone as they’re driving?
I realize the push messaging market needs to mature before it enters mainstream CRM. Even with the technical character limits of push messaging, the value of the “out of inbox” notification that is contextually well-timed is worth paying attention to.
Combining geo-location data with POS data, plus traditional customer data & segmentation, is still a challenge for many in the marketing population. Doing this near real time and persistently is even more of a stretch. While consumers take the inbox seriously, overuse of push messaging will have far more of an impact on brand perceptions than SPAM ever has. The allure of reaching consumers must match marketing’s ability to do it responsibly. Consumers may opt in to push messaging, yet as we’ve learned in the email space over the last 15 years, consumers have short memories for opt-ins. And the consumer backlash against abuse in push notifications will have far more impact on a brand than asynchronous email ever will.