Email is the favorite method of brand contact for half of all white-collar workers, according to the 2018 Consumer Email Survey, a study released on Tuesday by Adobe, conducted by Advanis.
But it had better be personalized. And we mean well personalized.
Of the employees polled, 81% say that customization is important, 19% extremely so. This is especially true for millennials.
And it is easy to annoy people with poorly timed or personalized emails.
For example, 33%, are irritated when items are recommended that do not match their interests. They also are bothered when they get offers that have already expired (22%), and when their name is misspelled (17%).
““People want to feel important and valued,” says Bridgette Darling, product marketing manager, Adobe Campaign. “It’s frustrating to receive batch-and-blast emails that haven’t been personalized based on their habits or interactions with you.”
Adobe surveyed 1,001 U.S. consumers Among other things, it found that the second most popular channel — selected by 20% — is direct mail.
When asked how they would change the emails they get from brands, 39% said they would “make them less about promotion and more about providing me information.” In addition, 27% say they want content that’s better personalized to their interests.
Here’s one stat that may be interesting to follow YOY, as capabilities increase: 12% want the ability to make a purchase without leaving an email. And 9% demand embedded videos and images, or other forms of engaging content.
Email marketers also better make sure that their emails are designed for mobile — 85% check emails on smartphones, vs. 69% on desktops. And 43% even check work emails on their phones.
Above all, marketers should keep their emails short and sweet. Twenty percent are turned off when they have to scroll too much to read the entire email, and 18% by having to wait for images to load or download.
Another 17% complain of too much text, and an equal percentage are bothered by small font sizes. In addition, 16% dislike it when the layout is not optimized for mobile.
Their main complaints in general?
Despite those gripes, email is key to the purchase process: 37% say it gives them additional purchasing incentives, and 27% said it makes them aware of brands they weren’t familiar with. Plus, 19% say it reminds them of a purchase they need to make, and 17% said it helps them select between products they are considering.
Meanwhile, employees are spending more time checking personal emails — 2.5 hours vs. 2.1. However, they’re spending less time on work emails — 3.1 hours, compared with 3.3 hours last year.
In the workplace, email is used to communicate with colleagues by 72%, and face-to-face conversations by 61%. But in a stat that Darling finds heartening, face-to-face is ranked with email as the preferred method of communication with colleagues — by 31% apiece.
A fair number of people — 39% — don’t check their work emails until they get to the office. But 27% do so when getting ready, eating breakfast or having coffee, and 23% while they are still in bed. And 11% look at them as they’re leaving the house or when commuting.
Only 28% never check work emails on vacation. Another 24% check them rarely, but 28% view them occasionally, 16% frequently and 3% — those poor people — constantly.
In addition to smartphones and desktops or laptops, tablets are used for email checking by 22%. And 5% scan them on smartwatches, a growing trend driven mostly by men.
Meanwhile, 60% check personal email while watching TV/movies, 50% check them in bed and 35% check while on the phone. Alarmingly, 14% check them while driving.
Finally, 40% check their personal emails in the bathroom, and 28% their work emails.