Let’s face it – we all receive way too many emails. According to the Radicati Group, the total number of emails sent and received each day is expected to grow from 215 billion per day (2016), to 258 billion by the end of 2020. Inbox inundation is real and we’re all affected.
What’s more, email providers are getting smarter at recognizing the messages that a user wants to see and pushing aside the messages that are unimportant. We’ve evolved from a simple spam folder to the far more complex algorithms employed by the likes of Google’s Gmail and more-recent versions of Microsoft’s Outlook. By recognizing a user’s habits and the characteristics of the sender and email, these email providers automatically place incoming emails into predefined tabs such as “Promotions”. Great news for consumers, not so great for us marketers.
Couple these advancements in email provider interfaces with the alarming results of a study performed by Magnetic and Retail TouchPoints, and the plot thickens. 44% of consumers only check personal email inboxes one to three times a day. 50% of these consumers receive nine or more emails from retailers each week. Even worse, 37% of these same consumers don’t open any of those emails1.
It’s a tough landscape out there for email marketers. So, how do you combat this unprecedented level of inbox inundation?
Numbers vary greatly on the average number of email lists that a consumer is subscribed to, so I decided to look at my own personal email address as an example. Shockingly, I’m subscribed to over 700 (!) mailing lists. It’s no wonder that I can never hit the famed Inbox-Zero status. With all of these subscriptions, you can imagine what my inbox looks like.
So, which emails end up getting opened? The ones that speak directly to me. Emails from brands that I have a real interest in, that are personalized to my shopping habits, with subject lines that speak quickly and convey value — these are the emails that I open. These are also the emails that my Gmail will start to recognize as important and no longer put in that dreaded Promotions tab.
The emails that I don’t open? The batch-and-blast emails from retailers that I may have purchased a gift from for my significant other some time ago — these emails are just clutter in my inbox, but I don’t unsubscribe, in hopes of getting a great offer that I will need at that very moment.
I bet you’re reading this and thinking, “But I am sending great emails!” Well….
The bad news is that all of this spam is getting lumped in with the truly personal and relevant messages that are being sent to me in that dreaded Promotions tab in Gmail. The genuine emails sent by best-in-class retailers are being drowned out by the practices of the spammers. The more I get irrelevant emails from retailers that I do not care about, the less likely I am to see the triggered and personalized emails that come my way from some of my favorite online shops.
The rotten emails are spoiling the bunch.
For starters, gain some insight from Magnetic’s new report, Inbox Love: Investigating the State of Triggered Emails and Personalization for Retailers and Consumers. Also, a piece of advice to the best-in-class email marketers out there: continue to make personalized emails the norm and the rest of the industry will follow suit. And if emails, as a whole, get better? We all win.
1. Survey Insights from Magne?c and Ipsos Connect, December 28-30, 2016