Have you ever wondered what happens to your email campaigns once you hit “send?” Is email marketing still an effective strategy? Do people even read your emails at all?

Due to the rise of social media, many marketers say that email marketing is no longer as effective as it used to be, but that’s not the case.

When the Helplama Team surveyed a large number of consumers across different age groups throughout the US, we found that email is a part of the consumer’s everyday life. 

In our study, a significant proportion – 72% of consumers said they use email for everyday life, and 60% of consumers said they use email because they buy things online. 

So email marketing doesn’t seem to be dead and can be a significant part of a company’s marketing mix. But as a marketer, you should know what types of emails consumers prefer to receive or subscribe to!

This survey will help you know how consumers interact with and think about the emails they receive.

Key Findings

  • Teens use email. 50% of teenagers (aged 16-17) reported that they use email because they need it for their everyday life.
  • Email is the most preferred business communication channel. 68% of the millennials and 75% of teens have a clear preference for email as a communication channel, even if businesses add other channels to the mix. 
  • Smartphones are for personal use. 8 out of 10 consumers said they use smartphones for personal telephone calls. 73% of consumers also reported that they use smartphones for personal mail.
  • Ugly emails get deleted on mobile. 60% of consumers said they delete the email right away if it looks ugly on their smartphone. Even worse, 39% of consumers unsubscribe from receiving email if it looks ugly on their smartphone.
  • They like discounts and updates. 70% of consumers opt-in to receive emails to receive discounts, and 55% of consumers also opt-in to get product/service updates.

Finding 1 – Email is about everyday life.

Our study indicates that email is not just used for official purposes, rather it’s used for everyday life as social media.

why-people-use-email

For everyday life

A large proportion – 72% of consumers reported that they use email because they need it in their everyday life.

Even teens (aged 16-17), who supposedly have spurned it for texting and snap chatting – more than half (50%) recognize that they need an email address for their everyday life. And a small proportion – just 25% of teenagers said they use it because their parents got them one.

Another significant proportion – 45% of younger ones (aged 18-24) also said they use email for their everyday life.

To buy things Online

This can be a great takeaway for online marketers that a huge proportion – 60% of consumers use email to buy things online

When we analyzed data based on age groups, we didn’t find a notable difference among various age groups. While the largest majority – 69% of older consumers (aged 35-54) said they use email for online purchases, a little smaller but significant proportion – 50% of teens (aged 16-17) also said the same.

To communicate with friends and family

When we asked if they use it for communication purposes, surprisingly, more than half (54%) of consumers said, “yes.”

But here, we found a significant disparity among old and younger age groups. As expected, only 25% of teens (aged 16-17) reported that they use email to communicate with their friends and family. On the other hand, a good majority – 60% of older ones (aged 35-54) said they use email for social communication.

Marketers Takeaway

  1. Add teens to the mix. As a significant proportion of teens are using email for various purposes, consider their interests and preferences while creating an email marketing campaign or you can also design a separate email marketing campaign for your younger audience if they’re a big part of your target audience.
  1. Email to sell things online. As 6 out of 10 consumers use email to buy things online, marketing products or services via email can be a vital strategy to reach such a large audience.

Finding 2 – Call and email are top uses on smartphones.

To know the top uses of a smartphone by consumers, we asked them the question below.

Personal use! Our survey revealed that smartphones are mainly used for making personal phone calls and using personal mail. The largest proportion – 80% of respondents said they use their smartphone for making personal telephone calls. On the other hand, a smaller proportion – 57% of respondents said they use it for business telephone calls.

Email beats Social Media! While a larger proportion – 73% of respondents said they use their smartphone for personal mail, a smaller proportion – 66% of consumers said they use smartphones to access social media.

Our study also indicates that email is not dead among teenagers and even they beat all age groups when it comes to using smartphones to check personal emails. 3/4th of teenagers (aged 16-17) reported that they use their smartphones for personal mail, while a little smaller percentage – 61% of old agers (aged 54+) reported the same.

Marketing Takeaway

Email can outperform social. As personal mail is one of the top reasons for smartphone usage, email marketing can be as vital as social media marketing. So, the marketing perception that email marketing is dead or no more effective seems to be wrong, and marketers shouldn’t turn their back on running email marketing campaigns.

Finding 3 – Consumers check email randomly throughout the day.

When we asked consumers, “when do you use your smartphone to check emails?”, 72% of consumers said, “randomly throughout the day.”

Consumers check email at random all day long. In other words, they check emails whenever they need a break, feel bored, when they’re waiting for food to come during lunch, commuting to or from home.

So, checking email seems to be part of people’s routine and they spend a good amount of their time checking the emails they receive.

Marketing Takeaway

Consider timing but don’t pay too much attention to send-time optimization (STO). As checking email is not an activity that consumers do at a specific time, marketers shouldn’t spend too many resources while deciding the send time. Still, you can analyze the results of your past email marketing campaigns for STO.

Finding 4 – Ugly emails get deleted on mobile.

If your emails don’t look good on smartphones, people are probably deleting them on their smartphones right away.

ugly-mails-get-deleted-on-mobile

A significant proportion of consumers – over 60% delete the e-mail that doesn’t look good to them on their smartphones.

Even worse, 39% of consumers unsubscribe to receive emails from the sender if they receive an email that looks ugly to them on their smartphones. A little smaller proportion – 21% of consumers even said that they file it.

Looking at the positive side, 1/3rd of consumers still read the email that doesn’t look good on their smartphones.

Here also, we found a notable difference between younger and older consumers. Older consumers seem more aggressive than younger ones.

When it comes to deleting emails, 61% of older consumers (aged 35-54) said they delete the email right away that doesn’t look to them good on their smartphones. On the other hand, a smaller percentage – 49% of younger ones (16-24) said they do the same.

In case of unsubscribing also, while 1/3rd of younger consumers unsubscribe on receive an email that looks ugly to them on their smartphones, a larger proportion – 44% reportedly unsubscribed to receive further emails from the sender.

Marketers Takeaway

Optimize email for smartphones. As 73% of consumers use their smartphones for personal mail, it becomes crucial to make your email messages mobile-friendly. Use responsive email templates that look good on both mobile and desktop screens.

Finding 5 – Discounts drive maximum opt-ins.

Admit it or not – everyone likes discounts. That’s why a large proportion – almost 70% of consumers said they sign up to receive discounts via email from companies seeking their business.

Product or service updates also make 55% of consumers sign up to receive emails from a company. Another 44% of consumers simply sign up to receive emails from a brand just because they love that brand.

Furthermore, 1/3rd of consumers also opt-in for emails to access information like – annual reports, whitepapers, etc.

Even here, teens form the largest majority (75%) of consumers who are driven to opt-in to receive emails for discounts. But they’re not into subscribing to receive emails regarding product or service information.

Marketers Takeaway

Focus copy on discounts, incentives, or other offers. Rather than just pitching the product information and asking them to buy, you can grab their attention with a discount or incentive along with the relevant information. Discounts and offers can also drive them to take profitable action.

Finding 6 – Most Preferred Communication Channel: Email!

If you’re only providing phone as a customer support channel to your customers, you should consider email also.

A good majority – 68% of the millennials have a clear preference for email as a communication channel, even if businesses add other channels to the mix. An equal proportion of boomers also said they chose email to contact a company or brand.

Only 1/4th of teens indeed prefer email to communicate with friends, but when it comes to business communication, teens outnumber the millennials. In our survey, we found that 75% of teens choose email to communicate with a business or company.

Furthermore, only SMS as a business communication channel seems to be the least preferred channel.

Marketers Takeaway

Email as a customer communication channel. As a large majority of consumers prefer email as a business communication channel, it seems crucial to add email to your company’s customer communication mix.

And if you’re unable to set up an in-house customer service team, you should consider delegating your company’s customer support to Helplama, starting at just $399/month.

Bottom Line

The study debunked the marketing notion that email isn’t effective and shown that email is a part of consumers’ everyday lives (including the younger generation).

Marketers who tend to underrate email over social media should consider the fact that checking personal email beats accessing social media when it comes to smartphone usage. This means email marketing can be as important as social media marketing if not more, and marketers should definitely include email in their marketing mix.

At the same time, email marketers should also consider the priorities and preferences of the consumers like optimizing email for smartphones and pitching the type of content they want to receive, it can drive consumers to subscribe to receive emails.

So, email can be a vital strategy for modern marketers too, and can help them achieve their marketing goals.