Validity is proud to sponsor the DMA’s acclaimed email research series, which includes the Consumer and Marketing Email Tracker reports and the Email Benchmark report. This relationship represents a natural fit because email subscribers appreciate relevant messaging that provides genuine value. To achieve this requires high quality data and consistently reliable delivery – exactly what Validity does! The COVID-19 global pandemic ripped up the subscriber engagement playbook almost overnight and the shift in engagement trends is clearly visible in the 2021 edition of the Consumer Email Tracker. The report provides fascinating insights into what email subscribers actually think about the marketing emails they receive.
- Content: Traditionally, the primary reason for signing up with email programs has been to receive offers, promotions, and discounts. However, the pandemic has completely changed this. A far greater emphasis is being placed on providing useful information concerning how to deal with this changed situation. This year, for the first time, “relevance” has overtaken “offers” as the main reason for wanting to receive emails, and the proportion of emails considered to be “useful” has also increased. This represents one of the clearest coronavirus-related trends in this year’s report, as consumers have prioritised helpful and useful information amid the pandemic, such as changes to opening hours, product availability, and how to stay safe.
- Devices: The pandemic has created an upheaval for working practices. Many consumers started working from home due to lockdown restrictions and changed their working hours to accommodate new challenges like home schooling. This has had a major impact on the devices consumers use to engage with their emails. For the past few years, mobile devices have led the way, especially as commuters used their journeys to and from work to catch up on emails. According to the report, this has changed completely. Desktop/laptop usage is now back on a par with mobile usage.
- Tone: Despite the many hardships experienced over the last year, there have also been some positives. One of the positives has been the greater awareness of mental fragility people are dealing with and the emergence of empathy-related themes like “Be kind” and “We’re all in this together.” Many email programs have adopted a softer tone of voice. This thread links the brands referenced in response to “Who does email particularly well?” The approach these senders took to Mother’s Day — demonstrating emotional intelligence by providing subscribers the option to opt out of these communications — provides a striking illustration of this trend:
Other questions email marketers can find answers to in this year’s Consumer Email Tracker report include:
- How many email addresses do consumers have and how do they use them?
- What are the most popular reasons for signing up with email programs?
- How many consumers occasionally wonder how brands got their email addresses?
- Is a great subject line the most important driver of email opens?
- What proportion of marketing emails are considered “genuinely useful” by recipients?
- Why do click-throughs significantly underreport email effectiveness?
- Who are the top 10 brands who “do email really well”? (Clue: Nine of them are Validity clients!)
The report also identifies startling variances in subscriber engagement depending on consumers’ age, where they live, what devices they use, and which mailbox providers they use. Want to learn more? Register now to join myself, Tim Bond, and DMA Awards gold winners Toyota for the official launch on March 29th! Don’t miss this opportunity to put yourself in your subscribers’ shoes and challenge yourself to consider (honestly!) what they really think about your email programs.