Consumers: Emails With Discounts Heavily Influence Purchase Decisions

BlueHornet-Email-Influence-Purchase-Decisions-Sept2014Emails with discounts have a greater influence on purchase decisions than a variety of other forms of marketing communication, including direct mail, opt-in text messages and Facebook posts from companies, say consumers responding to a new study [download page] from BlueHornet. Indeed, a significant proportion of respondents say that they wait for discounts via email before making a purchase.

As the report’s authors note, “consumers are trained to wait for discounts,” with 1 in 10 purposely abandoning carts to trigger discounts by email. Retail brands are increasingly advertising discounts in their emails, according to recent research from L2, which finds home brands to be “worst offender.”

Of course, brands may have fewer email subscribers if they weren’t advertising discounts: for the third consecutive year, respondents to the BlueHornet survey indicated that the most important reason for signing up to receive emails from companies seeking their business is to receive discounts. Far fewer do so to receive tailored or exclusive offers or to get product/service updates.

So which types of discounts or offers do consumers find most attractive? Of the 4 options listed, a plurality 42% of respondents find money off the price to be the most attractive. Percentage discount is the second-most attractive type to respondents in the 18-24, 25-34 and 35-45 age brackets, while free shipping is the next-most appealing to respondents in older age groups.

In examining the influence of mobile emails, the report notes that almost 4 in 10 respondents have made at least a single purchase as a result of a mobile email during the past 12 months, and a similar proportion have used their mobile phone to redeem a discount or coupon in the last 12 months.

Overall, survey respondents indicate that email is by far their preferred communication channel from businesses: 7 in 10 named it their channel of choice (of 4 options), compared to fewer than 1 in 5 opting for direct mail and just 2% SMS. 8 in 10 respondents first check email, text messages, social media and voice mail before work, averaging 4 log-ins to their personal email accounts per day. Some 6 in 10 respondents in the 18-24 and 25-34 groups use their smartphone first to check email and social each day.

About the Data: The questionnaire for the survey was developed by BlueHornet with assistance from Flagship Research. The survey was administered by Flagship to a national panel of 1,308 consumers between the ages of 18 and 75 distributed evenly between women and men across East, Midwest and Western regions of the United States; 64.5% of whom are employed and 72.3% with a household income over $35,000.