Send Emails That Recipients Actually Want

According to the “What Consumers Want From Marketing Emails” study from Technology Advice, 40% of the more than 1,300 U.S. adults surveyed ignore marketing emails. Of the 60% who do read them, only 16% do so on a regular basis.

Key Survey Results

  • 60% of respondents report reading marketing emails, though only 16% do so regularly
  • Only 12.8% of U.S. adults read more than half of the marketing emails they receive
  • For women, receiving promotions and discounts was the most cited reason for reading marketing emails, while receiving news and updates was the most popular reason for men
  • Nearly half of respondents reported receiving irrelevant email on a daily basis.
  • 43% of respondents wanted businesses to email them less frequently, while 48% wanted more personalized or informative email content

In order to determine what percent of marketing emails are read by consumers, adults who indicated they either regularly or rarely read business emails were asked to estimate what percent they typically read. Approximately 58% of subscribers said they read just 0 to 25% of such emails. 42% of subscribers reported reading more than 25% of all emails they received.

Percent of Emails That Recipients Actually Reads

Emails Read

Percent of Respondents

0-25 percent


25-50 percent


50-75 percent


75-100 percent


Source TechnologyAdvice, March 2015

Age appears to play a significant role in email consumption. Readership fell markedly in demographics over 45, and respondents aged 25 to 34 were the heaviest consumers. 47% of this group said they read anywhere between 25% to 75% of all emails sent by businesses.

Zach Watson, author of the study's report and content manager for TechnologyAdvice, says “… there's still a segment of the market that's just jaded to email… they think that everything that they receive from an email is spam… ”

Personalization is what marketers need to prove these naysayers wrong, says the report. But given that 57% of marketing message readers read a quarter or less of all marketing emails received, marketers need to target subscribers with personalization before they even open a message; for example, by using the subject line, suggests the report. It's particularly important for email marketers to be good copywriters and lure subscribers into interacting with the brand right from the get-go.

49.1% of email readers say that they receive irrelevant emails every day, says the report. And, about 25% of respondents believe that marketers could improve their email efforts by providing more informative content, or personalized offers (23.9%).

Personalization isn't the only way that marketers can get customers' attention, says the report.  Promotions or discounts (38.9%) is the number one reason respondents read marketing emails, according to the study, followed by the desire to receive news or updates (26.2%).

Frequency is another area that can make or break email marketers' relationships with their subscribers, says the report. Nearly 44% of marketing email readers say businesses could improve their email efforts by sending less frequent emails.

In addition, when asked how often they received irrelevant emails, 49% said they received them on a daily basis. Another 29% confirmed that they were the victims of weekly email irrelevance. This means that nearly 80% percent of US adults receive emails bereft of value at least weekly.

The report concludes by noting that the majority of American adults are open to receiving emails from businesses, and they read a fair amount of these correspondences and offers. Most readers are quite discerning about which emails they open, which represents the catch in the email marketing proposition. The responsibility of capturing people’s attention falls to email technicians who must use their skills to engage a skeptical readership.

Like anything in which they invest their time, consumers expect businesses to provide value in exchange for their attention. This explains the 40% of respondents who desired discounts and promotions above all other types of emails, says the report

For more information, please visit Technology Advice here.



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