Business planning, Local, Sales and marketing, Website Strategy

Three top email marketing trends revealed

Michelle Hammond /

A new report reveals the daily online behaviours of Australian consumers, with email still the top priority, highlighting ways in which start-ups can build effective online marketing campaigns.

The Digital Down Under report, produced by email marketing provider ExactTarget, is based on a survey of more than 1,400 online Australian consumers aged 18 and over.

The survey shows almost three quarters (71%) of Australian consumers still check their emails as their first “digital priority” in the morning, dwarfing Facebook (17%) and news sites (6%).

“Email is simply the first priority as consumers start their digital day… Despite the ‘social revolution’, email is still strong,” ExactTarget managing director Lee Hawksley says.

“This trend should influence the way in which marketing messages are disseminated to Australian consumers.”

Here’s three top tips for building effective online marketing campaigns:

1. Get in early

“Mornings can be a great time to send relevant content that’s actionable,” Hawksley says.

The report said despite the hype around social and mobile, email still plays a powerful role in getting a company’s message across, particularly in the morning.

“Email is active and about getting things done, which is why it is checked so frequently in the morning,” it said.

While mornings can therefore be an ideal time to send emails, Hawksley says start-ups shouldn’t assume it will work for them.

“Your strategy should be guided by your subscribers’ needs and interests,” he says.

2. Make it age-appropriate

While the majority of Australian consumers still check their email first thing in the morning, this isn’t true of young people, according to the report.

The only group to start their day with social media is 18 to 24-year-olds, suggesting start-ups targeting this age group should concentrate on social media activities at the start of the day.

“It’s not surprising that Facebook is this age group’s go-to morning channel,” Hawksley says.

However, 18-24-year-olds employed fulltime are still more likely to start their day like the rest of the adult population, using email more readily than Facebook (42% compared to 38%).

“This behaviour reflects the more formal nature of email as a communication tool,” Hawksley says.

3. Tone it down in the evening

When evening rolls around, consumer priorities tend to shift from business to leisure, the report said, which means more people spend time on social channels such as Facebook and Twitter.

However, the report shows email is still a priority for Australian consumers.

“Email usage decreases in the evening, but it remains the most popular channel for Australian consumers,” it said.

“47% say that email is the last thing they check online in a typical day, compared to 71% in the morning.”

Hawksley says while there is an increase in online social activity in the evening, start-ups should not discount email altogether.

“Consider reaching your consumers through social sites in the evening, but remember that a significant number of consumers are still closing out their evening with the inbox,” he says.

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