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How do consumers prefer to be contacted by brands? Email of course

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In an age of omni-channel marketing, most consumers (59%) still prefer brands to communicate via email. The ‘Consumer email tracker 2019’ research infographic, created by the DMA and supported by dotdigital, delves into consumers’ preferences when it comes to how brands engage with them.

Regardless of the context and purpose, email is the preferred form of contact – most consumers highlighted their preference for email when it comes to ‘Pre-purchase’ (57%), ‘Post-purchase’ (57%) and ‘Customer service’ (48%) messages.

However, the differences of opinion appear when it comes to the second-most preferred option people selected. For ‘Pre-purchase’ brand contact, 15% of consumers’ highlighted online ads as the next best option. For ‘Post-purchase’ and ‘Customer service’, 27% and 25% respectively, people said their second preference was to have these via text messages.

In addition, consumers estimate they’re signed-up to receive email messages from around nine different brands, which has declined from 12 in 2017. The figures are a potential by-product of the GDPR and consumers’ belief that they now have more control over the marketing emails they receive.

Just over half of consumers (57%) read more than half of the emails they receive. There are a number of factors that influence a consumer’s decision to open and read an email, but nearly half (46%) say recognising the brand is key when deciding.

What brands are the most successful at email marketing?

Nearly a quarter of consumers (24%) mentioned that Amazon sends them the ‘best’ emails. While Ebay and M&S occupy second and third place, both with 9%. However, 49% of consumers couldn’t or wouldn’t name a brand that they think is doing email well.

Rachel Aldighieri, MD at the DMA, explains: “This year’s report highlights the power of email to be at the heart of brands’ communication with customers, being the central channel that others can then be built around. It is essential that brands use it to contact consumers with the right opportunities at the right times to maximise their engagement.”

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