People Want Emails to Sell With Information

September 11, 2017

If there’s one thing that people would like to change about the emails they get from brands, it’s to make them less about promotion and more about providing information. That’s according to a new study from Adobe, which surveyed 1,007 US white-collar adults who own a smartphone.

When asked what they’d change about brand emails, a leading 40% pointed to making them more about information. That brings to mind data demonstrating that informational videos are the video ad type with the biggest influence on purchase decisions.

Looking at the various age groups, respondents ages 35 and older were the most likely to say they’d like more informational than promotional emails.

Those ages 25-34, meanwhile, had another change that was just as important to them: content that’s better personalized to their interests. In fact, this age group seems to place the most weight on personalization: roughly half (49%) consider it important that brands customize their communications with them as an individual, versus 42% of the entire sample.

The most frustrating way that brands lack personalization is in recommending items that do not match their interests, per the report.

For the youngest group (18-24), however, the inclusion of offers that have already expired is equally as annoying. This younger age bracket is also the most likely to get annoyed by an offer that makes it clear that the marketer’s data about them is wrong.

Offers Are Still Important

While on the one hand people say they want more information and fewer promotions, on the other hand they also clearly say that they’re most interested in receiving special offers and promotions from brands, as opposed to account alerts and other content. After all, research indicates that special offers and discounts are the leading reasons for subscribing to emails from brands in the first place.

Worth noting is that interest in promotions and offers is highest among the 35+ demographic. Younger respondents still show more interest in promotions than other content, but also express a comparatively high level of desire for informational content. Such content includes tips and tricks to get the most out of products and services, as well as information about how actual users are using the products and services.

When receiving offers via email from marketers, the most annoying thing for people of all ages is getting emailed too often by a brand. (That’s the leading reason why people unsubscribe from emails.)

Indeed, few adults say that they’d like to receive daily emails from brands, whether that be their bank (17%), favorite retail brand (11%), favorite restaurant (10%) or telecom provider (8%).

Interestingly, the demographic most receptive to daily emails? 18-24-year-olds. Email, it appears, isn’t dead with youth at all.

For brands targeting Millennials, it’s important to make sure that emails are mobile optimized. Indeed, for both the 18-24 and 25-34 brackets, improved mobile viewing has been the biggest improvement in their email experience over the past few years.

About the Data: The survey was fielded among 1,007 white collar respondents, the majority (57%) of whom are ages 35-64. Respondents were fairly evenly split by gender, and 22% work in the technology industry.


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