Email's Secret Formula -- Trust, Convenience, And Most Of All, Good Deals

We can sometimes kid ourselves in all marketing disciplines that our hard graft over the years has earned a loyal following who love our stuff so much that they are happy to remain loyal.

While there may be an element of truth in this, Yes Lifecycle Marketing research in MarketingProfs points out a more obvious truth. The key driver in convincing email recipients to click through and convert is the offer you have put before them. Come up with a great deal and you'll seal the deal -- that's the thrust of the research, which saw 92% of those surveyed name the sales offer as the clinching factor.

Interestingly, however, marketers have a point when they talk about their long-term hard work on establishing a reputable name. Brand name actually comes in at a very close second to a good offer. So with a good offer from a brand the recipient trusts, you're cooking on proverbial gas.

Just to add another element here -- like the rest of the Internet, email is a mobile-first channel, and so guess what ranks really high up alongside the right offer from the right brand? It's actually ease of transaction. Anyone who has had to click a dozen buttons and cut and paste reference numbers before reaching into their wallet to find a credit card and enter the number yet again will sympathise with this.

Clearly, brands that realise they have to make it as easy as possible for consumers to convert are winning here, presumably with remembered log-in and card details and perhaps integrated PayPal as a payment option. Make a purchase just a couple of clicks away and consumers are there for the taking -- as long as the offer is right and it's coming from the right brand name. 

Some may be surprised to hear that locality was way down the list of why people convert. Clearly, while the mobile is all about proximity, a customer's local and immediate needs are not likely to be pre-empted and served by email. That would be a heck of a coincidence. Instead, people will search for what they need with a location reference. 

Another small surprise is that brand loyalty is only a factor for two in three email recipients when they decide to buy, compared to nine in ten who cite the offer and brand image as important.

It sounds slightly contradictory, doesn't it? But I suspect what the figures are telling us is that people trust brands without feeling loyal to them. There are a bunch of names they'll happily respond to without feeling tied to a single supplier.

So in a way, marketers have it right when they talk about old-fashioned brand attribution metrics. Being trusted, rather than being loyally followed, seems to be the key here because it then opens up more avenues to conversion. However, let's not get too carried away here. The number one reason people click through an email and buy is a good offer. 

Being trusted and making it easy to convert are one thing -- but the most blindingly obvious point is that no matter what users think of you, it's all about the offer.

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