Are We In The Early Days Of Email Fatigue?

Europeans are spending more time than ever on email. That's the good news. The bad news is they are engaging less with branded email. That's the finding from an Adobe survey that begs the question: are we in the first stage of email fatigue?

The crucial statistic in question is that only just over a fifth of Europeans find branded email in their personal account interesting enough to bother opening. That's down 10% in just one year. It gets worse for brands using a customer's work email. Only 15% bother to open email sent to corporate accounts. 

The research goes into great detail, but suffice to say that email gets a lot of attention. Nine in ten Europeans check their personal accounts at work, four in five of us check our work email outside the office and around two in three still check email while on holiday. Nearly as many admit to reading email while watching television, with almost one in two keeping an eye on their inbox in bed. Four in five are mostly checking personal email address on their phone -- a pretty high figure to wake up any email marketer that is not currently sending out adaptive messages.

Interestingly, the move to mobile email is bringing with it a less formal approach with a third of people using emojis in their communications and one in four even admitting they would use emojis in an email to their boss.

Having peaked our concern, the Adobe researchers still point out that although email is becoming a little more relaxed, like messaging, it's still one heck of a channel, an absolute mainstay of digital marketing. That's because despite nearly half of us thinking some brands simply email us too frequently, email is still our most popular means of communications. Some 58% of consumers like to be contacted over email. That's down from 63% the year before, but it still dwarves the 16% of us who prefer messaging or a text. 

Put simply, yes we're getting a little fatigued by brands sending us too much stuff and not adapting it for the smartphone (that's the biggest bug bear for one in five of us), but and it's a very big but -- we still like it more than any other channel. Actually, correction, we like it far more than any other channel. Perhaps, then, just as people are blocking ads and become more cynical about social influencers, they're likewise getting peeved at being bombarded by some branded emails. But of course, there's always the option to unsubscribe, which other channel don't offer and so email is way out ahead as the consumers' contact method of choice.

Sure, there's a little fatigue, but it's general to all digital channels and despite it, email is still way out there in top spot.

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