Email Marketing

Email is still the number one way to communicate with customers: Report

Dominic Powell /

For many SMEs, emails are more than just a way to coordinate with clients or set up meetings, they’re also a way of driving further customer engagement and boosting sales.

According to a recent survey of 1200 Australian consumers by marketing software provider Adestra, email remains the primary method by which consumers interact with brands, “by a long shot”.

Seventy-seven percent of respondents to the survey said they prefer to use email to receive communications from businesses, and checking emails is part of a daily routine for many.

Of the respondents, 37% said they checked their email in the morning before anything else, and another 38% said they would check their emails before work.

However, when it comes to receiving unwanted emails, 79% of respondents said they would unsubscribe from receiving emails from a brand altogether, while 13% of respondents said they would mark unwanted email as spam.

While this may sound worrying for some business owners, Adestra co-founder Carl Chambers told B&T unsubscribing is actually preferable to customers using the ‘spam’ button and businesses should endeavour to place an ‘unsubscribe’ button prominently on their emails.

“The ‘mark as spam’ button is not a good thing for marketers. It tells … [email providers] like Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, or AOL that an individual is essentially saying that ‘I didn’t ask to receive this’,” Chambers told B&T.

“The problem is consumers use that button as an unsubscribe mechanism because it’s clearly prominent, so if you’re not making the unsubscribe button clear, people will hit ‘mark as spam’ instead.”

Chambers also believes businesses should provide consumers with a choice when it comes to receiving emails, allowing them to customise the frequency and the type of emails received. He believes this goes a long way to preserving subscribers.

“One part of the solution is to give recipients the option to indicate their interests by providing them with a preference centre that has straightforward categories and is easy to use,” Chambers told B&T.

“The second part is frequency — it’s about giving the individual the option to take a break. For example, if they’re going on holiday and don’t want to come back to an inbox jammed full of emails.”

Finally, Chambers said businesses should make sure their emails look good on mobile, with 66% of respondents to the Adestra survey reporting they would delete emails that look poor on mobile, while 22% said they would unsubscribe.

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Dominic Powell

Dominic is the former features and profiles editor at SmartCompany.

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