Email With A Caveat: Consumers Prefer It, But Heartily Dislike Spam

Consumers love their email, judging by Email And The Customer Experience, a recent study by Sinch Mailgun. 

Among the individuals polled, 75.4% say email is their preferred channel for promotional messages, while 74% favor it for transactional messages. 

The study also found that 84.9% check their email at least twice a day, and most are aware of the problem of messages landing in their spam folder. 

Of this sample, 71% say they check their spam folder if they fail to receive a transactional email such as a password reset or order confirmation, while another 13% say they would not bother to do so and 16% say they would check only if the message was important. 

But brands need to be on top of their game: 52.7% of consumers would feel frustrated, lose trust or even unsubscribe if emails from a brand regularly ended up in their spam folder. 



And few would open an unsolicited email — or spam — from a company. They choose to:

- Delete it — 40.8%

- Ignore it — 23.1%

- Mark it as spam — 19.9%

- Open it — 7.9%

- Unsubscribe — 7.2%

- File a complaint with a data-protection agency — 1%

But brands face a looming problem: Gmail and Yahoo are putting new rules in place, starting in February. 

Among other things, Gmail and Yahoo Mail will now require that bulk emailers provide a way for recipients to unsubscribe from all marketing messages with one click in the body of the message, the study says. 

Even legitimate email senders can land in the spam folder if they lack authentication.

Senders can’t afford to ignore the new guidelines because the overwhelming majority of consumers use Gmail and many have Yahoo Mail accounts. 

Gmail — 72.1%

Outlook (Hotmail, MSN) — 33.7%

Yahoo Mail — 20.3%

Apple Mail — 7.4%

Other — 6.7%

GMX — 5.6% — 5.3%

AOL — 4.8%

Orange — 4.6%

Samsung Email — 2.2%

SFR — 2.2%

On the positive side, 50% of the respondents subscribe to brand emails mostly to receive special offers or discount codes. And 62.8% report getting the most value from emails containing exclusive deals and offers — many will make a purchase once they have opted in.

However, 94.5% of consumers say recognizing the brand or sender name is an important factor when choosing to open an email.

Only 28% have separate accounts for promotional emails: the remainder do not. In general, 43.6% have two email accounts, 28.5% maintain one, and 17.6% are signed on for three and 4.6% and 5.7% five or more. 

“Email is the digital cornerstone of communications between brands and consumers,” says Kate Nowrouzi, vice president, deliverability and product strategy at Sinch. “Senders must comply with these requirements to ensure their email program is successful. While the new guidelines mean it may get harder to reach consumers, they also reflect the reality of what customers want. Businesses need to go beyond compliance and ensure their emails are relevant, personalized and valuable.”   

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