Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Consumers find brands’ email marketing increasingly relevant

The ‘Consumer Email Tracker 2023’ report has revealed a growing number of consumers stating they find email brand messages useful: in 2021 the figure was just 15%, but it has now doubled to 32%.

The research, conducted by the Data & Marketing Association (DMA UK) and supported by Deployteq, delves into consumers’ perceptions, preferences, and dislikes when it comes to email. The survey asked over 2,000 consumers their opinion about the emails they receive from brands and how they choose to interact with them.

Consumers continue to rank email first – ahead of all other marketing channels – for receiving brand messages about discounts, offers and sales (64% rank it first); new products/services (53%); and advice, information, and reviews (44%).

Click-through rates have also risen across all types of email communications (see chart below).

Ian Gibbs, Insight Director of the Data & Marketing Association (DMA UK) said: “Email remains a key part of a consumer’s omni-channel journey. Depending on how you view it, the cost-of-living crisis has either presented a crisis in marketing effectiveness, or it has created an environment of profound opportunity for marketers. While squeezed consumer wallets have made it harder to elicit a specific acquisition or sale in response to marketing comms, the need to nurture customers through difficult times becomes a role of fundamental importance for brands. The email channel arguably offers unrivalled effectiveness in fulfilling this role and its relevance to consumers continues to rise.”

Consumers selective about how they use email addresses

The rise of hybrid and remote working seems here to stay, and they appear to have accelerated the use of professional email accounts to receive brand communications. In 2021, 50% of consumers revealed they did not have a work email address – that figure now stands at just 23% in 2023.

37% of consumers now keep personal and marketing emails separate by using different inboxes, a significant jump from 23% in 2021 (+14%).

Interestingly, 79% of respondents use their mobile to receive email communications from brands, shops, and websites (up from 62% in 2021) – ahead of using desktop/ laptops, with their use down to just 37% this year (from 64% in 2021).

Pauline Bull, Marketing Director at Deployteq, added: “Mobile is more prominent than ever in this year’s statistics. We see trends even more in favour of mobile as internet data becomes more accessible and the need for immediate gratification rises; it’s easier to check emails on a phone than on a laptop! Therefore, having a user-friendly platform that spans across multiple channels such as WhatsApp, mobile app, SMS, and email help to tailor your communications directly to customer preferences in a few clicks is now more important than ever.”

Consumers are increasingly curious about how companies acquire their email addresses—over one-third (34%) of consumers often wonder about their email addresses’ source. It’s now more apparent that companies need to be entirely transparent in their communications.