According to a new study by Forrester Research, “Take Advantage of Positive Email Attitudes,” summarized by MarketingCharts, 42% of US online adults delete most email advertising without reading it, down from 44% in 2012 and 59% in 2010. And, the percentage of consumers agreeing that most email ads they receive don’t offer anything that interests them fell by 3% points from 2012 to 38% this year.
Consumer Attitudes to Email Marketing (33.5 Thousand US Online Adults, September 2014)
% of Respondents
Delete most email advertising without reading
Receive too many email offers and promotions
Nothing of interest
Unsubscribed from unsolicited lists
Wonder how companies got address
Difficult to unsubscribe
Great way to discover new products and promotions
Read email “… just in case”
Forward to friends sometimes
Buy things advertised through email
Source: ForresterResearch/MarketingCharts, September 2014
There appears to be a clear trend towards improved attitudes, says the report, as more consumers agree that email offers are a great way to find out about new products or promotions and fewer complain of receiving too many email offers and promotions, compared to the 2010 responses. However, there have been few significant changes in the past 2 years, and even with the positive trends, the report indicates that email marketers still face challenges.
Respondents were much more likely to say that most email ads they receive don’t offer anything that interests them than to say that email offers are a great way to find out about new products or promotions; and they were more than twice as likely to say they delete most email advertising without reading it than they were to say they read most email ads just in case something catches their eye.
According to correlative research conducted among email subscribers by Marketing Charts, engagement isn’t just about offers and promotions, however welcome they may be. And consumers actively preview emails before opening them.
Other findings from the study indicate that younger adults report an above-average inclination to often make purchases through promotional emails; and 13% of respondents have manually turned on the images in a promotional email during the past 12 months, down from 18% in 2012.
Additionally, almost 30% of the respondents to the Forrester Research survey agree that they often wonder how companies that send them offers got their name and email address. The MarketingCharts study examines implicit opt-ins (where consumers joined lists in order to complete an action, such as create a website account), concluding that this group of subscribers could account for a substantial share of the average email list and requires a different approach from marketers.