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DMA reveals how UK consumers use email

Not only do most of our remain faithful to our original email address, 99% of us check our email on a daily basis, according to research from the Direct Marketing Association (DMA).
Their annual snapshot of consumer email habits, the Consumer Email Tracker 2017 report, has revealed that:

Britons are savvy in dealing with marketing emails: 44% of people surveyed said they had created a dedicated email account specifically to receive marketing messages. In this way they keep them separate from their personal emails.

Views on marketing emails

According to the DMA, 60% of those asked said that they did not think any brands use email well in communicating with them.
They are certainly choosy about which emails to open: 49% said that they needed to recognise the brand before even opening the email.


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Best channel

That said, consumers agree that email is still the best channel for serving some of their needs:

Who does email well?

Consumers mentioned those with a large online presence and those in the retail sector. Amazon was cited as one brand that, despite its volume of email messages, used the tool well.

Which content works best?

Consumers rated tactical content, such as discounts and competitions, as their favourites:

Long or short emails?

Short emails are more popular with consumers. (This is not, however, always borne out by fundraisers and fundraising agencies who, through testing, find that longer emails tend to drive more donations).
In terms of conciseness, Rachel Aldighieri, MD at the DMA, says brands need to focus on crafting each email carefully, without resorting to gimmicks: “Engagement is driven by relevant, short and actionable emails. Our hero principle at the DMA is to put the customer first and we can do this by applying these research findings in a practical way. We know, for instance, consumers are engaging well with simple emails composed of well-written text and images. The power of the craft of copywriting should not be underestimated.”
Marcus Gearey, Chair of the Email Research Hub and Analytics Manager at Zeta Global, agrees about concise messaging. He said: “Offer short copy. Write interesting subject lines. Don’t pack the email with content. Have a concise message, with clear calls to action. It’s more important than ever to listen to what a consumer wants. Personalisation and content relevance remain an absolute must for consumers.”

Data privacy issues

Consumers’ concerns about privacy of their personal data had increased since last year’s DMA report.
When asked how businesses should handle personal data, tailoring method of communication came out on top (37%), highlighting the importance of having an accessible preference centre for marketing communications. Trust in the organisation (37%) and clear privacy policies (37%) both rated higher since last year’s report.
Founder and Strategy Director of Let’sTalk Stategy, Jenna Tiffany, commented that there are still a large number of consumers who wonder how a brand got their email address. She said: “With GDPR looming, data privacy should be top of every marketers’ to-do list. It’s vital to ensure the consent of your subscribers, and to include details of where they subscribed in your email content.”
Skip Fidura, Client Services Director at dotmailer and Chair of the DMA’s Responsible Marketing Committee, said of the research results: “Clearly defining what data you’re collecting, how you plan to use it, how you will store it and how long you are going to keep it is no longer best practice, it is the law.”
Image: Google email icon by charnsitr on Shutterstock.com