Psychological research indicates that we can make judgments about a first impression in 1/10th of a second. If humans are that capable of making a determination about something so complex as, well, another human being, then imagine how quickly we can make a judgment about something so simple as an email.
People immediately distinguish between emails they’ll open versus those they’ll send to trash. Why? People are inundated with emails, finding most of those messages that do reach their inbox irrelevant and even spammy. As an industry, we’re not doing much to change that perception. Our survey results prove how important it is to cater email messages to an individual person’s motivations and expectations — not our own.
Consumers want and demand data-driven, personalized email content — not bulk emails. Moreover, they want and expect a 1:1 feel. To achieve this, marketers must leverage site behavior and CRM data effectively.
Price drop and back-in-stock emails are effective triggers to get in front of prospective customers; 53% and 28%, respectively, of consumers names these emails as an effective means of grabbing attention. So too are emails that provide an additional offer for any items left abandoned in a cart.
Surveys and intuition, as well as personal experience, can tell us consumers want. But what do they actually get?
As it turns out, there’s a huge divide in what consumers want/expect and what we actually end up delivering to their inboxes.
Only 5% of consumers say that marketing emails are relevant, timely, and compelling. Even worse, 25% of consumers say that marketing emails are rarely relevant. 22% of consumers would go so far as to say that there aren’t any relevant marketing emails in their inbox.
As a result of this, only a small fraction of consumers are even opening marketing emails. What’s worse is that, no matter how well your marketing emails may be, you’re still being lumped in with the spammers. After all, we’re all in this together.
So, how can we bridge the divide?
Slowly but surely, marketers are adopting more effective email personalization tactics. However, overall adoption is still not great. Only 34% of retailers have been sending triggered emails for two or more years which indicates that, while some marketers are doing their best, there is still a large portion of marketers that are ruining it for the rest of us.
There’s not much we can do to change our fellow marketer’s behaviors, but we can change ours. As the industry moves towards increased adoption of best practices – such as mobile-optimized design, dynamic email content, and even optimizing frequency and/or send time for the individual consumer – we will continue to see email remain as an effective communication method. Email isn’t going anywhere, but it can certainly be improved.
Magnetic and Retail TouchPoints investigated the state of triggered emails and personalization in our new report, Inbox Love. And, for more on the problems facing retailer marketers and their consumers, check out our infographic “The Struggle is Real”. We’ve captured the most important points and laid them out in an easy-to-read and digestible format so that you can quickly implement changes and see hard results in your own business.