It may be easy for email marketers to watch on smugly as the big money side of the business, display, is rocked by ad blocking, viewability and fraud issues. The same goes for social, the trendy preserve of the "ninja" which is finally being asked to account for itself. Email has none of these problems but it would appear from the latest research from Amaze One that it still has the recurring theme of control. Spam levels may not be at the level they were in the truly dark days of the channel but still 70% of consumers reveal they are concerned about how their personal information is collected and less than one in five, 18%, feel like they have any control.
However, the good news is that email is in a relatively good position. Consumers reveal they are most comfortable handing over private information when a company is going to tailor offers to their past behaviour and two in three are happy to give their email address for this, compared to the tiny one in fifteen -- 7% -- who are willing to hand over their social media identity. Put simply, consumers are happy to give up their email address for relevant offers and timely messages, but the same cannot be said of their Facebook or Twitter handles. Customers want offers in their inbox, not their timeline.
The downside is, just over a half of consumers feel they are contacted too frequently by brands and of those people nearly three in four are routinely ignoring messages because they feel deluged.
So email has a golden opportunity compared to the trend dark arts of the social "ninja." People want to give over email addresses for offers and they want separation between their timelines and branded offers. The one thing they want is not to be deluged and to feel more in control of how their data is used.
As brands across Europe re-permission email lists over the next two years, this has to be the guiding principle as unambiguos, informed consent is sought. Give people clear guidance on how their data will be used, what you will email about and how frequently and trust with your brand can be restored. Even better, allow people to set a guideline of not being contact more than x times per week or month to make them feel more in control.
Do this and you can point out the next time the marketing board meets that you have answered the concerns consumers have over email and, by the way, did you realise those people are nearly ten times more willing to receiving offers and messages over email than social media?