Are You Making These Email Marketing Mistakes?

Respect your subscribers' inboxes by focusing on tailored content that promotes engagement.

Because smartphone and tablet usage has quickly become the norm, not the exception, email has seen an unexpected renaissance of sorts, as consumers increasingly check their messages via mobile device. Yet, while companies are aware of these evolving behaviors and preferences, most continue to make the very email marketing mistakes that ultimately tarnish sender reputation and diminish customer loyalty.

TechnologyAdvice's recent "Do Your Subscribers Read Your Emails?" report examines what readers truly want from email marketing. Conducted in partnership with Google Consumer Insights, this survey polled 1,358 U.S. adults about their general email consumption habits. Researchers then followed up with the 472 respondents who indicated they regularly or sometimes read emails from businesses to determine their reasons for doing so, as well as their individual preferences, to gauge how these consumers respond to subsequent marketing communications.

The following statistics explore consumers' motivations for reading such messages and ways companies can improve their strategies to deliver relevancy in moderation:

  • While 60 percent of those polled read emails from businesses, only 16 percent do so regularly. Overall, 57 percent read no more than 25 percent of these incoming messages.
  • Receiving promotions and discounts (38 percent) and getting news and updates (26 percent) are the primary reasons respondents choose to read marketing emails.

  • Forty-nine percent of those surveyed report receiving irrelevant content on a daily basis, while 28 percent claim to receive these extraneous messages on a weekly basis.
  • Consumers typically mark business emails as spam if they're sent too frequently (46 percent), if they haven't purposefully subscribed (36 percent), or if the content is irrelevant (31 percent).
  • To enhance email deliverability and customer engagement, readers cite less frequent sending times (43 percent), more informative content (24 percent), and more personalized content (23 percent) as the best opportunities for improvement.

Key takeaway: Beyond all else, marketers must master email campaign frequency and relevancy, as these two components are essential for success. Consumers expect businesses to provide value in exchange for their attention. Thus, targeted content, when paired with intentionally timed campaigns, remains the strongest marketing strategy, as this approach enables brands to pique consumer interests and stand out from their competitors. Curated, relevant information has become crucial for building rapport, as opt-ins are seen as invitations to communicate. Therefore, marketers must refrain from using these relationships as an excuse to bombard subscribers with untargeted messaging and, instead, look to email as an ideal opportunity to start conversations and demonstrate value within consumers' lives. Email may still be the prime place for brand interactions, but it's up to marketers to preserve reputation and integrity.