Dealing with the In(box) Crowd

As a researcher and marketer, I like reading about studies related to marketing and consumer behavior. In addition to expanding my knowledge in these areas, sometimes I learn that I am normal, that my beliefs and behavior are in line with others. The latter feeling is what I experienced when I read about a study done by Blue Kangaroo on marketing emails.

Findings from a study of more than 1,000 adults on their opinions of marketing emails and how they respond to them reflected what I observe in my own inbox:

  • Clutter – More than half of the emails received in a typical week come from marketers
  • Enjoyment – Despite the clutter, people like getting marketing emails to keep up with offers and other news from marketers (43% agreed that they like getting these emails)
  • Work, but Worthwhile – 48% said it sometimes feels like a chore to open and read marketing emails but that it is worth the effort
  • Valuable – Most recipients are taking advantage of deals or coupons communicated via email; 35% had done it within the week prior to the survey and another 33% had taken advantage of an email marketing offer within the prior month.

Some marketing experts believe that increased social media usage will make email marketing less relevant in the future. In addition to people spending more time on social network sites, many people use the messaging functionality offered by networks like Facebook and Twitter as their email service. However, email still possesses the strengths of being able to deliver targeted, timely messages to people who have granted permission for the marketers to communicate with them.

The inbox is a crowded space. We need to be part of the in(box) crowd yet stand out at the same time. As is the case with many aspects of marketing, relevance is the key to fitting in and standing out simultaneously. Consumers want to receive and open email from marketers that is interesting and contains value for them- nothing complicated about that concept. The challenge is hitting on the right mix of interesting content, value-added offers or rewards, and the optimal frequency of message delivery.

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Author: Don Roy

Marketing educator, blogger, & consultant- Having fun with all of the above!

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