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Email marketing effectiveness threatened by consumer inbox overload - report

6th Nov 2014
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Consumers are now spending upwards of two hours a day on their personal email, according to the annual Email Tracker Report from the Direct Marketing Association (DMA).

The study found a rise in email delivery through 2014, with consumers setting up an increasing number of email accounts across multiple devices in order to deal with their overflowing inboxes.

Despite the increasing time being spent using email accounts, however, many marketing campaigns are struggling to make an impact on their intended targets, with the DMA reporting the lowest clickthrough rates since 2011.

The report does deliver some good news for marketers, though; more people are now taking note of email subject lines than ever before (up 10% to 30% in 2014), and while emails are no longer being opened as regularly as before, more people now visit a brand website (35%) upon receiving an email, or head to a physical store (30%).

Tablets are becoming an increasingly popular device for gaining traction via email, with twice as many people reading subject lines on tablets in 2014 (12%) compared with 2013.

Matt Simons, chair of the DMA’s Email Research Hub, says that effective tracking and attribution are major challenge for email marketers:

“The multi-screen world creates more complexity for the marketer given consumers will switch channels if they read about something in an email which they want to purchase. This is why brands need to ensure they have effective systems and processes in place so they do not lose track when measuring the customer journey.

“The impact of having effective tracking would mean marketers can best optimise a consistent experience across multiple devices. Better understanding of consumer behaviour will influence the email programme. For example, tracking the multi-screen journey will show the need to optimise creative for multiple devices and by understanding how consumers interact it could lead to optimising when the email is sent”.

In a recent interview with MyCustomer, DotMailer’s, COO, Tink Taylor stated that too many marketers were currently focusing on quantity over quality through their email campaigns, despite personalisation and automation being proven as a better route to improved click-through.

In contrast, recent statistics from Forrester found that marketers in the US and UK “rely on email as a mainstay of marketing campaigns”, but that 41% of these are worried they might lose sales by not delivering more innovation through their campaigns.   

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