Why is email marketing becoming more effective in 2023? | Data & Marketing Association | Open Mic
Ian Gibbs, Insight Director of the Data & Marketing Association (DMA UK), discusses the metrics that show email marketing has become more effective in recent years.
Depending on how you look at it, the cost of living crisis has either created a crisis in marketing effectiveness or created an environment of profound opportunity for marketers.
While consumers’ tight budgets have made it more difficult to secure a specific acquisition or sale in response to marketing communications, the need to nurture customers during difficult times is becoming a fundamental concern for brands.
The email channel arguably offers unmatched effectiveness in fulfilling this role, and its relevance to consumers continues to grow. The important metrics don’t lie, email remains an important part of a consumer’s omnichannel journey.
The Data and Marketing Association (DMA UK)‘s latest research that ‘Consumer Email Tracker 2023‘ Report supported by deployteqexamines consumers’ perceptions, likes and dislikes of email. The survey asked over 2,000 consumers what they think of the emails they receive from brands and the way they interact with them.
Email metrics show it’s become more efficient
The report shows that a growing number of consumers say they find branded email messages useful, up from 15% in 2021 and now doubling to 32%.
It’s a win for marketers that a growing proportion of consumers feel that a majority of the emails they receive are useful. Inboxes remain crowded, so complementing the utility with good design, good content, offers, and other value-added features can help achieve breakthrough.
Another key part of this improvement is improved post-GDPR list segmentation processes, with many more marketers making sure they are targeting consumers with the right opportunities and at the right time — while using data insights to better understand their customers.
For consumers, email continues to be the number one choice – ahead of all other marketing channels – when it comes to receiving brand messages about discounts, offers and sales (64% rank first); new products/services (53%); and advice, information and reviews (44%).
Email is the consumer’s preferred channel at every point in the buying process, serving their needs in multiple contexts. But email shouldn’t remain in a silo: it’s most effective when used in conjunction with complementary channels that also perform well in pre- and post-sales communication and customer service – from face-to-face to apps to social networks media.
Click-through rates have also increased for all types of email communication (see table below). The fact that a change in Apple’s MPP has caused the focus to shift away from optimizing open rates to a focus on click-through rates is an important consideration for email marketers. Click-through opportunities should be clear, visible, easy to use, and have real value for consumers.
Consumers are selective about the use of email addresses
The use of separate inboxes for personal emails and marketing emails is increasing. 37% of consumers now separate personal emails and marketing emails by using separate inboxes, a significant increase from 23% in 2021 (+14%).
Half of all 18-24 year olds share their email addresses this way; What’s more, this is the case for 39% of women – compared to 34% of men. A quarter of consumers go even further. They use a specific email address to receive marketing emails from “best friend” brands – the ones they trust the most. Consumers aged 25 to 34 are the most likely to do so (37%).
In the age of ad saturation, avoidance of brand messages across channels is becoming more common due to consumer behaviors such as ad blocking and time-shift viewing. Email is not immune: advertising exposure can be controlled by the consumer, turned on or off at their discretion and occupying a discreet part of their lives.
It’s important to realize that while consumers say they have multiple email addresses and each one serves a different purpose, new services from email providers are changing the picture.
Some, including Apple, allow unlimited addresses to be used. Consumers might even take advantage of effectively having one per brand, so the email marketing landscape might be more complex than it seems!
Consumers are also increasingly curious about how companies get their email addresses – over a third (34%) of consumers frequently question the source of their email addresses. It is now becoming clearer that companies need to be completely transparent in their communications.
Marketer and consumer behavior improves email performance
A big part of an email’s value lies in its measurability, and performance metrics tell you exactly how email subscribers are behaving, but not necessarily why.
Our Consumer Email Tracker helps us understand that there are a variety of reasons why many metrics have improved over the past two years – influenced by marketer and consumer behavior.
Whether it’s marketers improving their targeting, content and communication efforts at all stages of the customer journey, or consumers tend to segment their personal and marketing emails and adopt a more receptive mindset when reading of branded emails – it’s clear that email effectiveness is increasing at an encouraging pace.