Why Do Consumers Read Retail Promo Emails? - eMarketer

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Why Do Consumers Read Retail Promo Emails?

Email readers most likely to look at recommendations of products on sale

February 23, 2015

Email still sits among the top digital marketing channels, and many retailers plan to funnel even more spending into the channel this year. Based on recent research, retailers should focus heavily on sales promotions in those communications.

Features/Incentives that Would Encourage US Email Users* to Read Website or Email Product Recommendations, by Demographic, Dec 2014 (% of respondents in each group)

Listrak found that 72% of US internet users opened and read promotional emails from retailers, and age and gender didn’t play huge roles in whether or not they did. Fully 71% of males said they looked at retail promo emails, as did 73% of females. Millennials were the most likely to open and read promotional emails, at 75% of respondents from this group, but all other age ranges weren’t too far behind: 73% of 35- to 44-year-olds were promo email readers, as were 71% of those 45 to 54 and 70% of the 55-to-64 and 65-and-older groups.

Personalized emails including recommendations are in demand, and across these gender and age groups, one thing was loud and clear: Sales were a key way to get users to check out tailored product recommendations. Fully 84% of females who opened and read promotional emails said they would be encouraged to read website or email recommendations of products if they were on sale, and 78% of their male counterparts said the same. Price was the second most popular response among women, cited by 41%, while men cared more about getting recommendations on new and highly rated products.

Among age groups, 83% of 35- to 44-year-olds said sales would encourage them to read website or email recommendations, as did 82% of email users in the 18-to-34 and 65-and-older groups, 81% of 55- to 64-year-olds and 77% of those ages 45 to 54. Price was the second-biggest factor among millennials (48%) and the 45-to-54 (34%) and 55-to-64 (39%) groups, while 35- to 44-year-olds ranked recommendations of new products second, at 50%. Among the 65-and-older bracket, getting recommendations about new and the highest-rated products tied for second (35% each).

Considering the short amount of time retailers have to catch email users’ attention, they should put the reason behind their product recommendations front and center.

Length of Time that Marketing Emails Are Read in the US, by Industry, Q3 2014 (% of total on Movable Ink's platform)

According to Movable Ink research in Q3 2014, 45% of emails sent by nonapparel retailers in the US were read for just 0 to 3 seconds, as were 42% of apparel retailer emails—the top two rates among industries studied. Meanwhile, 32% of nonapparel and 34% of apparel retailer emails were read for more than 15 seconds, the lowest rates for this frequency among sectors.

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