Selling Loyalty: Email Most Popular Channel, Social Second

Consumers cherish loyalty programs, and they like the personalized emails that promote them. But many receive too many irrelevant messages, judging by the 2024 Consumer Trends Index study from Marigold, which was conducted in conjunction with Econsultancy.  

Of the U.S. shoppers polled, 78% will pay more to buy from the brands they are loyal to, up from 72% in the prior year.

Email outperforms social media, but just barely.  Overall, 51% of consumers have made a purchase from an email in the past year, beating social media (50%), post (49%), SSM/MMS message (30%) and banner ads (21%). 

The study notes that “advancements in technology have elevated email’s ability to deliver hyper-relevant, masterfully segmented messages that resonate with consumers on an individual level. “

Email is most popular with Boomers — 59% have purchased via the channel in the last 12 months before the survey. In contrast, 53% of millennials have done so, along with 44% of Gen X and 42% of Gen Z. 



However, many consumers have been frustrated in their dealing  with brands. They say they have received:

  • Irrelevant content or offers — 48%
  • Messages that didn’t reflect my wants and needs — 48%
  • Messaging based on information about me that I hadn’t shared directly with the brand — 37%
  • Email sent at a time when I wasn’t likely to see it — 32%

Not to worry: shoppers are likely to engage with these types of brand messages:

  • Discounts and coupon codes — 89%
  • Loyalty program promotions — 88%
  • Sale promotions or holiday promotions — 88%
  • Exclusive VIP offers — 85%
  • Personalized emails that surprise you with offers tailored to your interests—84%
  • Product announcements — 82%
  • Brand purpose-related activities — 70%
  • Newsletters — 67%

Although they are less likely to buy via email, 89% of Gen X likes personalized emails that surprise them. So do 83% of Boomers, 87% of Millennials and 73% of Gen X. 

Want to inspire brand loyalty? Consumers say their favorite brand: 

  • Provides a consistent experience regardless of where I interact with it — 95%
  • Uses my data in a way that makes me feel comfortable — 92%
  • Rewards my loyalty — 91%
  • Treats me like an individual — 91%
  • Strives to develop a relationship — 89%
  • Makes me feel special, like a VIP — 88%
  • Surprises me with rewards I don’t expect — 84%
  • Influences my life beyond the products and services that it provides — 81%

In addition, consumers say these factors are important or critically so in keeping them loyal to a brand:

  • Customer service/support — 82%
  • Range of options/product choice — 82%
  • Availability offline/in-store — 81%
  • Data privacy policies — 80%
  • Quality of product or services — 79%
  • Loyalty programs — 73%
  • Mobile app/website — 71%
  • They work hard to build a relationship with me — 65%
  • Brand purpose — 62%

On a separate note, 50% of consumers overall are optimistic about the economy. 

Millennials are most positive about the rising cost of living (64%), their overall job security (67%), the economic outlook (65%) and their financial situation (69%). 

Gen Z runs second, and Boomers last—65% of Boomers are pessimistic about the rising cost of living and 56% about the economic outlook, exceeding all other generations. 

Marigold, in conjunction with Econsultancy, surveyed 1,012 U.S. consumers from September-November 2023. 


Next story loading loading..