Targeting, Personalization Keep Email-Fatigued Consumers Engaged

Almost half of consumers have self-imposed an email detox by abstaining from their inbox to mitigate the stresses of the workplace, according to a new study released Monday by Adobe. 

Adobe surveyed over 1,000 respondents who identified as white-collar workers in the United States on their email habits and perceptions, and discovered that 45% of respondents have taken a detox from their email inbox before.

Of those who abstained from their inbox, 82% completed their planned exile with the mean detox period coming in at 5.3 days, according to Adobe.

Although 15% of respondents felt out of the loop during their self-imposed detox and 13% felt anxious, the majority of consumers felt relief during and after an email absence. Thirty-seven percent of respondents stated that they felt liberated during the detox, while 34% of users expressed they were more relaxed while abstaining from email.  

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The responses are likely due to the fact that time spent checking email has increased 17% year-over-year, according to Adobe, with the net hours spent in the inbox increasing as well. A full quarter of respondents admitted to checking their email the entire time they are awake, and in addition, 17% of respondents even admitted to checking their email while driving.

“It’s become our toolkit, our organizer, our daily planner all-in-one,” says Bridgette Darling, product marketing at Adobe Campaign, about why she thinks people are checking their email more often. "It’s the way I organize, communicate and how I get through my day-to-day in work and personal life.”

With the inability to log off, or perhaps an expectation, it's no surprise that consumers feel “relaxed” or “liberated” away from their inbox.  

“That’s why it’s important to target by the individual consumer and not by larger segments,” says Darling with regard to the implications of marketing fatigue. Darling says that brands can mitigate inbox stress by incorporating data into their campaigns. 

“Not every individual communicates the same way and, as marketers, we need to make sure we’re constantly tracking engagement,” says Darling. Instead of abusing inboxes with batch-and-blast campaigns, Darling recommends that marketers respect consumers’ preferences by implementing an email preference center. 

“One of the easiest ways -- and we always encourage our customers to do this -- is to utilize preference centers,” says Darling.  “Giving the voice back to the consumer -- that’s always really positive.”

Darling says marketers can add inactive subscribers to a preference center campaign, giving consumers the opportunity to identify what types of products, offers and communication they want. She says that understanding what is interesting to consumers, as well as avoiding mass email sends, are important steps to mitigating email stress and marketing fatigue. 

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