Return Path attends DMA Launch of Consumer Email Tracking Study 2016

As Chairman of the DMA Email Council, I was looking forward to attending their launch of the Consumer Email Tracking Study for 2016 held in London last week.

The event was well attended with an audience who demonstrated a strong interest in the role of email in marketing. Presentations were followed by a lively panel discussion with questions from the floor.

Some of the key takeaways from the event and study were good news for email marketers, reinforcing the importance and value of the email channel.

  • Only a small minority of consumers say that a variety of brand activity is not ‘best served’ by email, with 65 percent saying they would click through to buy from an email, up from 58 percent last year.
  • Total email opens from smartphones has increased from 25 percent to 40 percent. Almost one third (31 percent) of respondents are now using smartphones as the main device to click-through and buy. For younger people, including ‘millennials’, the smartphone is now the primary device for accessing emails, overtaking desktop use which is the norm for older consumers.

However, it is clear that email program owners also have a number of challenges to deal with:

  • Almost half (45 percent) of consumers have ‘ghost’ accounts that are active but no longer used, which translates to at least 19.5 million ghost accounts in the UK alone.
  • 62 percent have abandoned an email address or would consider doing so because of receiving too many mails. Younger people are more likely to have abandoned email addresses due to too many emails (58 percent) compared to older consumers (27 percent).
  • The top reasons for consumers to share their details with brands are money off discounts (for 45 percent of the total), percent discounts (for 41 percent), or free samples and free delivery (both for 35 percent). However, these preferences are not necessarily reflected in what they actually receive, leading to a disconnect in terms of relevance.
  • Two-thirds (68 percent) of consumers ‘agreed’ or ‘strongly agreed’ with the statement ‘Most of the emails from brands/shops/sites I receive include no information of offers that are of interest to me’.
  • Almost three quarters (74 percent) of emails are deleted after one day in any inbox.

Lastly, It was great to see that most of the brands who consumers said ‘do email well’ (key reasons included “interesting” and “relevant”) are Return Paths customers, who clearly benefit from the deliverability, insight, and strategy that enable them to be best-in-class performers.

To read the full report, DMA Insight: Consumer Email Tracking Study 2016 click here.

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