Email's Delicate Balance: It's Popular For Buying, But Watch Out For The Creep Factor

Want to drive online sales? Email remains the best channel for doing that, judging by the U.S. Consumer Trends Index 2023, a study from Marigold, working with Econsultancy.

Of the U.S. consumers polled, 55% have made a purchase directly from an email in the last year, versus only 23% who have bought from a digital banner ad. And they will share zero-party data to get personalized messages. 

Gen Z lags behind all other generations in email buying, averaging 49%+. But at least 61% apiece of Boomers, Gen X and Millennials have purchased by email.  

In general, email outperforms other digital channels by 139%, according to the study.

Mobile is growing in usage, with 51% buying from an email viewed on a mobile phone. Moreover, 62% have purchased via a mobile app, and 30% directly from a text — a 20% increase YoY. And 68% have used a mobile phone to research a product in-store, while 51% have browsed in the store and bought the selected products online.  



For instance, 69% of U.S. consumers think an email reminder or ad about an abandoned shopping cart is not cool. And 61% feel the same about ads based on location data from brands they don’t  know.

Also suffering from the creep factor are retargeting ads derived from third-party cookie tracking (57%) and those  related to something the person talked about near a smart device (61%).  

Yet 86% of individuals like brands that send personalized messages, and 75% will share zero-party data to facilitate them. That percentage rises for 84% for millennials. 

All that aside, the biggest driver of consumer sales is price, although that seems to be going down: 42% of shoppers are motivated by it, but that is down by 5% from 2022. 

Price leads across generations, although to varying degrees. Fifty-one percent of boomers surveyed cite price, versus millennials at 32% and Gen Z at 44%.

Meanwhile, 52% of U.S. consumers are more likely to engage in a loyalty program this year, and that includes 57% of Gen X and 67% of Millennials. Overall, 48% will use loyalty program benefits when considering a purchase this year.  

Not to end on a sour note, but 49% of consumers are concerned about the rising cost of living and 48%, and 50% will make fewer impulse purchases. 

Marigold, in conjunction with Econsultancy, surveyed 1,561 U.S. consumers during October-November 2022. 



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