Consumers are open to marketing emails. But there are limits, and brands ignore them at their own peril, judging by Global Study: Consumer Engagement Best Practices for 2020, a report released on Thursday by Twilio.
The study shows that 83% of consumers prefers to receive messages from businesses by email. But 94% are annoyed by communications.
Specifically, they are irritated when:
- Content is not relevant — 56%
- Don’t remember opting in — 41%
- Being contacted in the wrong communication channel — 33%
Businesses pay a price for committing these offenses. Consumers retaliate by unsubscribing (41%), no longer shopping with a company (19%), purchasing less (19%) and posting negative reviews online (8%).
At the same time, 75% of consumers have rewarded firms that observe their channel preferences.
For instance, 42% have visited the brand’s website, 34% have made a purchase, 31% had a higher opinion of the company, 17% have recommended the firm an 15% have posted a positive review.
While email leads, text messages are welcomed by 39%, and are 2.5 times more preferred than email for urgent communications.
Other types of outreach rank lower down the scale: phone calls (31%), messaging apps (23%), social apps (20%), companies’ mobile apps (12%) and video calls (8%).
Frequency is another key factor. Consumers prefer to receive messages about promotion, sales or discounts from individual businesses:
- About once a week — 29%
- About once a day — 17%
- Several times a week — 17%
- Once a month — 10%
- Several times a day — 8%
- Several times a month — 8%
- Never or rarely — 8%
- Less than once a month — 5%
Millennials want to receive promotions more often than baby boomers. But they are less likely to tolerate bad marketing outreach.
In general, people value these conveniences:
- Easy to opt out of receiving messages — 54%
- Can choose the way I receive communications — 52%
- Only receive messages when I’ve opted in — 49%
- Can specify the types of communications I receive — 44%
- Can easily reply to the message — 32%
- Can specify the frequency I want to receive messages — 29%
- Communications are personalized — 21%
Predictably, promotional emails rank near the bottom in urgency. These are the situations that demand immediate communication:
- Change of plans — 63%
- Delivery or arrival communication — 56%
- Appointment reminders or communications — 53%
- Order notifications — 48%
- Weather warnings — 45%
- Bill due notifications — 44%
- Work or school safety notices — 32%
- Receipts — 31%
- Flash sales or promotions — 25%
- None of the above — 3%
Add it all up, and there is “a lot to be done to improve the current state of how companies engage with their customers and it starts with knowing which channels consumers prefer and how to personalize the medium to align with the context of the interaction,” states Sara Varni, chief marketing officer at Twilio.