Adobe Email Survey 2016: Europeans are still addicted to email, but are easily disengaged with email campaigns

Campaign Marketing

Today we released our annu­al sur­vey of email usage in Europe, exam­in­ing con­sumers’ rela­tion­ship with email and how email fits in the grow­ing mix of dig­i­tal and social chan­nels becom­ing avail­able to mar­keters.

And the study shows that our rela­tion­ship with email remains healthy indeed: Despite all the pre­dic­tions of email’s demise in the face of social media, it con­tin­ues to be one of the main chan­nels we use to com­mu­ni­cate. There is no appar­ent let-down in email use in Europe: Office work­ers in the region spend over a third of their wak­ing day read­ing, writ­ing and reply­ing to work and per­son­al emails. A stag­ger­ing nine in ten (88%) check their per­son­al email accounts while at work, and 79% engage with work-email out­side of office hours. 61% of those sur­veyed read emails while on hol­i­day, while 59% admit to read­ing their emails when watch­ing TV.

Unsur­pris­ing­ly, the use of smart­phones as a means of con­sum­ing email con­tin­ues to grow: Three quar­ters (74%) of Euro­peans now reg­u­lar­ly check emails using a smart­phone. In the UK in par­tic­u­lar, smart­phones have over­tak­en desk­tops as the pre­ferred method of check­ing emails, with 79% of users pre­fer­ring it. 77% of work­ers in France reg­u­lar­ly check their email on smart­phones, and 69% of work­ers do so in Ger­many.

Linked to this is anoth­er inter­est­ing trend: The for­mat and style of emails seems to be evolv­ing in con­junc­tion with grow­ing smart­phone use. Over one-third (36%) of Euro­pean office work­ers observe a trend toward less for­mal emails, and 30% think that emails are get­ting short­er. We need to look at the longer-term vari­a­tions in the data to come to any firmer con­clu­sions, but these are trends that are very like­ly influ­enced by mobile.

The increase in mobile use puts an obvi­ous spot­light on how mar­keters are opti­miz­ing their email mar­ket­ing cam­paigns. 22% of respon­dents say that their biggest annoy­ance when it comes to email mar­ket­ing is with mes­sage lay­outs that are not prop­er­ly opti­mized for mobile. Hav­ing to scroll beyond one page of infor­ma­tion is also con­sid­ered an annoy­ance by one in five users. Near­ly half (46%) of respon­dents cite high fre­quen­cy of emails from brands as the biggest turn-off, fol­lowed by poor­ly-writ­ten mes­sages (29%) and offers based on erro­neous pro­file data (22%).

And anoth­er inter­est­ing, rather quirki­er find­ing of the study: As part of mak­ing emails more infor­mal, peo­ple are using emo­jis in their com­mu­ni­ca­tions more than ever – near­ly three quar­ters (73%) use them in per­son­al emails, and one-third (33%) in the work­place. But brands should exer­cise cau­tion here, as 72% of office work­ers find emo­jis to be inef­fec­tive or only slight­ly effec­tive in get­ting them to read an email offer by a brand.

So plen­ty for mar­keters to keep in mind as they seek to bet­ter engage their cus­tomers and prospects through email cam­paigns. Along­side emails, chan­nels like brand­ed apps and SMS are still on the rise in amongst the many social plat­forms that keep com­ing onto the scene. Clear­ly, mar­keters need to be oper­at­ing across more chan­nels than ever to reach their cus­tomers – a mas­sive oppor­tu­ni­ty but also a sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenge. And mobile remains absolute­ly fun­da­men­tal: Even with famil­iar for­mats like email, mar­keters need to be think­ing care­ful­ly about mobile opti­miza­tion and using data-dri­ven insights to dri­ve the right con­tent to the right con­sumer.

Campaign Marketing
John Watton

Posted on 03-10-2016

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