Email Dominates Conversational Marketing: Report

A new study from Drift and Survey Monkey, 2019 State Of Conversation Marketing, states that “older communication channels, like telephone and email, still have a role to play.”

We’ll say. Especially email. 

Of the consumers surveyed, 65% have communicated with firms via email in the past year. And email is the only channel to see an increase year-over year — 60% used it during 2018. 

Telephone is second in usage over the last 12 months. But that’s down from 60% in 2018. Another 42% have communicated via websites during that time, but that too is down — from 54 in the prior year.

First, a definition: The survey describes conversational marketing as “a revolutionary new methodology — one that replaces lead capture forms and follow-ups with real-time conversations.

Apart from email and phone, the channels being used in the past 12 months include online chat (33%), face to face (31%), social media (28%) and chatbots (13%). 

Why is email thriving when channels like chatbots are way down the list? That’s not clear, although the report speculates that some people may not even know they’re using chatbots. Not to worry if you’re a chatbot advocate. 

“Our data reveals that, while consumers are still wary of chatbots, acceptance is growing year-over-year,” states Morgan Molnar, senior product marketing manager at SurveyMonkey. 

Molnar adds that “in 2019, both Boomers and Millennials expect chatbots to provide answers to simple questions (54% and 46%) and to resolve their complaints quickly (40% and 34%), two of the top problems faced by customers.”

As for email, the report says it “isn’t going anywhere.” 

A third of the respondents said they have used email more frequently over the past year, again making email the leader.

That beats — slightly — smartphone apps, which were used more by 32%. And 31% increased their telephone usage and online live chat.  In addition, 27% relied more on social media and 24% via chatbots.

Drift and SurveyMonkey surveyed over 1,000 consumers.


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