Despite sometimes being overshadowed by other channels like social media, many marketers still consider email to be one of the most important channels available. And with good reason: as a recent report [download page] from Cheetah Digital and Econsultancy illustrates, email is a strong sales driver.
In a survey that spanned 6 countries and nearly 5,000 respondents, almost three-quarters (73%) of those from the US report having purchased a product or service from email. Similarly, a majority of respondents from the UK (74%), France (74%), Australia (74%) and Spain (61%) said they had purchased from email.
A survey by Ascend2 found that many marketers were focusing on improving email engagement, although this emerged as one of their biggest challenges. In this latest study, only a little more than one-third (36%) of US respondents said they are likely to engage with a message that is related to a recent purchase, and only 30% said they were more likely to engage with offers or content in messages that were personalized. Furthermore, only 40% of US respondents choose email as their preferred channel.
All that said, the report also found that more than three-quarters (77%) of US respondents said they have made a purchase because of an email they received. This aligns with MarketingCharts’ own primary research, in which opt-in emails emerged as the second-largest stated influencer of consumer purchases from a list of 20 influencers, behind only word-of-mouth.
With email such a potent force, it’s important to optimize its potential, with one factor being send times. According to the survey, about one-third (32%) of US consumers are most likely to engage with messaging in the evening (between 5 PM and 10 PM). Fewer claim to be most apt to engage during typical work hours (17%), before work (15%) and early mornings (11%). More specifically, other research shows that Tuesdays are particularly good for email engagement for retailers.
What About Social?
Although global advertising spend on social media has grown to become the third-largest advertising channel last year, behind TV and paid search, far fewer (31%) US respondents report have purchased from a social media ad than from an email. Interestingly, a similar proportion (29%) say they have purchased from an organic social post. This corresponds with previous research that shows that while marketers are hopeful for the future of social commerce, currently shoppers are less comfortable shopping directly through social media.
The full report can be downloaded here.
About the Data: Results are based on a surrey of 4,921 consumers across 6 countries.