“Contextual relevance and usefulness are critically important because you need both to deliver value to your customer and without them, you also risk being ignored,” Kennedy emphasized.
Email Offers: Survey Says, ‘Room For Improvement’
According to the survey, work emails are opened more frequently than personal emails—80% and 57%, respectively. Respondents also said they most prefer to receive offers this way (56% for work, 60% for personal), which is significantly more than direct mail, social, and other marketing channels.
Yet only one-quarter of email offers from brands are interesting or compelling enough to open, consumers said. Why don’t people open emails? Frequency of brand email communications is the leading annoyance for both work and personal emails, according to respondents. Other issues cited include incorrect marketing data about the recipient, offers to buy an already-purchased product, and poorly written or wordy messages.
Consumers said personalization in email marketing is important to them—especially in personal correspondence. Broken down by generations, almost half of Millennials (46% ) said they want personalized email communications from brands, followed by 43% of Gen X and 30% of Baby Boomers. For work emails, 37% of Millennials want them personalized, as do 26% of Gen X and 23% of Boomers.
Consumers said they are most frustrated by email recommendations that don’t match up to their interests—33% for work emails and 31% for personal emails.
“It's no secret that customers now expect personalized experiences both online and off,” Kennedy said. "Accurate and useful personalization in email marketing is a must. Get their names right. Provide offers for products and promotions they’ve already expressed interest in. Forget about mass emails to your entire subscriber list. Understand the implication of their gender, location, age, and whatever else you already know about them.”
Work-Life Balance—Or Not
According to the study, respondents across all groups frequently check their work emails outside of the office. Interestingly, they’re checking personal email less during work hours; although that’s more true for Boomers than for Millennials and Gen Z, 31% and 26%, respectively, who still check personal email multiple times per hour.