A Deeper Dive: What The Adobe Survey Says About Consumers And Email

Email receives high marks from white-collar workers, judging by The 2018 Consumer Email Survey, the study released by Adobe on Tuesday. But there are some warning signs. 

For instance, 24% say that instant messaging — not email — has innovated the most in the last five years.

Granted, email is second, chosen by 22%, followed by video conferencing or chat (21%).

But when asked about the biggest improvements in email, 26% say stronger spam filters — hardly an endorsement of the channel. Only 16% cite improved mobile viewing, and 12% cite better email design. Another 14% mention filtering.

Still, email is the preferred method of contact by brands for 50%, followed by direct mail with 20%. Mobile apps, social media channels, text messages/SMS and phone calls each are selected by 7%. 

The study found that 31% of personal email offers are opened, compared to 27% of work offers.

The study also found some warning signs for employers, or anyone communicating by email.



Of the 1,000 white collar workers surveyed, 41% feel indifference when checking work emails, and 42% feel indifference when dealing with personal emails.

At work, however, only 17% feel excitement when scanning work emails, versus 34% who are enthused about personal emails.

Here is a harrowing thought: that 8% feel dread or guilt when opening work emails and 3% when looking at personal messages. Those folks may even fear brand communications. 

Want to avoid annoying colleagues at work? Don’t use these phrases:

  • Not sure if you saw my last email (cited by 25%) 
  • Per my last email: 13%
  • Per our conversation: 11%
  • Sorry for the double email: 10%
  • Please advise:  9%
  • As previously stated: 9% 

The study shows that “workplace communications norms may be shifting,” says Bridgette Darling, product marketing manager, Adobe Campaign.

It also shows that “brand engagement must take place on consumers’ terms.”

That may be tricky — double-digit percentages check emails in the bathroom or while driving their cars. Maybe the latter are the ones feeling dread.

Here is one more takeaway. The best way to quit a job? Most would choose face-to-face conversations. But 14% of the millennials would do it by email, and so would 12% of those ages 35 and up.


1 comment about "A Deeper Dive: What The Adobe Survey Says About Consumers And Email".
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  1. David Baker from David Baker, August 22, 2018 at 6:08 p.m.

    these are good stats but its totally a mixed message and confusing when comparing workplace communications and consumer orientation to marketing and service oriented communications.. IMHO...   

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