Specialists in customer insight, GI Insight recently researched consumer email marketing and found that more than half of UK consumers receive irrelevant emails that are not targeted to them.
The UK wide survey found that 53% of participants felt that nearly all digital marketing emails received were not relevant or targeted to them. The survey of 2,000 members of the public showed that there is plenty of room for improvement however 73% clarified that they had given companies permission to send them email marketing campaigns IF they had bought from them before.
In comparison, only 51% of consumers said that they had opted in to receive email campaigns from companies they had not purchased from before
Managing Director of GI Insight, Andy Wood discussed the findings: ‘the results of this survey show that while some firms are devoting more and more effort to personalising and targeting communications, there is still some way to go before the majority of the British public is satisfied with the direct email efforts of the brands they connect with.’
‘For email to work as an effective medium for both the consumer and organisation, drilling down into customer data and using that obtained insight to more accurately target and personalise the email should become the norm. When a consumer receives an email from a brand they have entrusted with their email address, they clearly expect something more than a carpet-bomb approach. They don’t expect messages that are totally irrelevant to them – or redundant.’
Gi Insight’s research also reported several trends in email marketing that reflects gender, age, income level and location:
- Women are more likely to see the majority of emails they are sent as relevant than men, with only 50% of female consumers saying nearly all messages are off-target compared to 55% of male respondents
- Consumers 35 years of age and older are more likely to see the vast majority of their email as irrelevant than younger age groups, but the oldest (age 45-plus) are more likely to give a firm they buy from permission to email them
- The research also showed that the higher the household income, the better the targeting – with only 22% of the highest earners surveyed saying that most of the email they receive from companies is irrelevant
- Consumers from households in the highest income bracket are far more likely to give firms they buy from permission to contact them by email
- Respondents from London and the South East are more likely see the marketing emails they receive as relevant than in regions with fewer affluent households.
The trends detailed suggest that marketers have focused their targeting on more affluent consumers. This is understandable as this demographic has more spending power but it is important for email marketing specialists to recognise the need to target towards all demographics, in order to get the best ROI.
In light of the findings, Wood explained that ‘what this research does highlight is that the consumer is well aware that the days of easy, quick and cheap email communications that are blasted out to all and sundry should really be well in the past. This research should ring warning bells for any organisation where customer insight is not applied intelligently and effectively to this crucial channel.