Friday, October 5, 2012
Email is the foundation of online communication—after all, 94% of online consumers are subscribers. When we look holistically at purchase behaviors as they relate to marketing channels, we see that 45% of German consumers have made a purchase as a direct result of a marketing message they received via email. This statistic alone may be enough to convince you of the importance of using email to drive engagement and conversion. When analyzing the success of this channel, however, there are a number of other factors to consider.
While it may not be surprising to learn that 18-24 year olds are the least likely (36%) to have made a purchase as a direct result of receiving an email, there’s a significant increase in the number of consumers aged 25-34 who have done so. In fact, 25-35 year olds are the most likely (53%) to have made a purchase as a direct result of an email message they received. So, why the jump in behavior between two seemingly similar age groups?
This variation in how consumers utilize email is largely life-stage based. As people enter the workforce and take on adult responsibilities, email becomes more ingrained as an essential part of life. We have seen similar patterns with research conducted in the US, UK, and Australia and conclude that email utilization increases significantly as consumers enter the workforce:
- 80% of online consumers check email at least once per day
- 18-24 year olds and 55-64 year olds are the least likely to check email daily (74%)
- Email checking peaks among 45-54 year olds, where 87% check email at least once per day
As smartphones become increasingly prevalent, it’s important to consider email design by regularly testing to ensure proper rendering across mobile devices. This is because:
- 55% of consumers report owning and using a smartphone
- 48% of smartphone owners (27% of all German online consumers) report checking email at least once per day from their smartphones
Learn more about the German Consumer and digital marketing.To download ExactTarget’s research report, click here.
Email is not simply a business communication tool. It’s used more frequently as a means of connecting with personal contacts (64%) and reconnecting with old friends (53%) than it is for work purposes (47%). That said, email is used more frequently for work purposes than Facebook or Twitter, indicating that consumers view email as multi-functional. Consumers regularly check email throughout the day, likely due to the fact that they access their inbox for both personal and professional reasons.
The top two reasons consumers provide brands with their email addresses are:
- To receive discounts or money-off promotions (45%)
- To keep up-to-date with a company’s products, services, or offerings (40%)
It’s clear that monetary incentives are prominent drivers of email subscriber opt-in, but this does not suggest that the only value of email is in delivering discounts. In fact, marketers that narrow their use of email, risk missing valuable opportunities for added brand engagement—so be cautious of aligning your email strategy around a single subscriber motivation. Forty percent of subscribers sign up for email to stay up-to-date on products and services and upon deeper examination, we see that 29% of consumers subscribe to commercial email to receive advanced notice of future releases, and another 28% want to gain access to exclusive content.
It’s important to recognize that consumers expect to receive valuable content in exchange for providing you with their email address. Consumers do not subscribe to emails in order to be affiliated with “trendy” companies, nor do they subscribe as a means of showing support for a company. This is a key distinction between email and social channels like Facebook and Twitter, where brand loyalty and affiliation is more prominent. This also puts a higher level of responsibility on the marketer to deliver communications that are worthwhile and that provide value that aligns with a consumer’s motivation to subscribe.
It’s important to remember that German consumers are cautious by nature, and 43% of online consumers report becoming more selective about providing companies with their email address over the past year. When opting in to email, they want to know exactly what they’ll get in exchange for providing you with their email address. By clearly stating this value up front, you can set expectations with subscribers for a mutually beneficial long-term relationship.
Learn more about the German Consumer and digital marketing. To download ExactTarget’s research report, click here.