It has never made sense to any of us Gen X consumers who live and breathe through email, and it's certainly the end-goal of all content marketers. I have been talking to several recently and they are focussed on moving from using generic assets to attracting interest which is converted by shifting the conversation to personalised emails.
That's the B2B world showing some love for good old email marketing, and today we have more proof that not only is email a trusted source for marketing by brands, but it is also liked by consumers.
The DMA has worked with Pure360 on a new report, Marketer Email Tracker 2020, and found that brands think of email mostly as a means to offer discounts and advice as well as feature tutorials and advice. Consumers certainly agree with the discounts side of email.
As you can probably imagine, it's a consumer's top type of email communication. After all, who doesn't like a deal?
The most interesting part of the research, for me, is the disparity in other areas where consumers are clearly expecting and wanting a particular type of email communication but marketers don't believe it is worth pursuing.
The huge issue here is e-receipts. These are liked by 59% of consumers, but only seen as worth pursuing by 31% of marketers. That makes the humble e-receipt nearly twice as popular with consumers as it is with brands.
If that is not a huge unmet demand, then I really don't know what is. Okay, so it's not a way for a brand to secure a sale right there and then, but it is a great way to get an email address from an in-store customer. It's also a means of being bookmarked in an important folder within someone's email app. And who's to say that email receipts can also be used for an offer on a related item?
The other type of email communication that consumers rate nearly twice as useful as marketers do is what the researchers have called "access to other benefits."
We're basically talking about email being used here as a kind of VIP club where recipients get tipped off about new products and services and may be told about extra opening hours or perhaps get an extra voucher code to use here and there. In fact, when advance notice of product launches is broken out into an individual question, it is prioritised as important by more consumers than marketers.
The moral of the story? Yes, email is great for discounts and offers and tutorials -- both consumers and marketers can agree on that. However, you're selling the channel short if you don't look at other opportunities.
It's here that consumers are very clear -- they want more e-receipts and access to other benefits.
These are the two massive opportunities that leap out from the research that marketers would do well to act on.