People still love email, but inbox engagement is changing – and so should brands
“Drop me an email” – a phrase you’ll hear a lot professionally and personally. What we wanted to find out is whether the way we use our inbox is changing, especially in the era of smartphones and tablets. Now in its third year, our annual survey of 3000 European professionals has revealed some fascinating cultural differences between email use by device, time and location across the continent. So, what exactly did it say?
Email is shifting away from the desktop
More than ever before, people are checking their personal emails on their smartphones – the figure is at its highest in the UK at 55%, compared to 44% in Germany and 45% in France. When it comes to work emails, though, people are increasingly finding more balance and waiting until they get to their desks to check their work emails (up to 31% in 2017). This is of course for those emails that are actually opened, with fewer checking their work and personal email than last year (down 17% and 25% per week respectively) and 35% going unopened (which rises to 40% in France).
So, what does this mean for brands trying to cut through inbox noise? Promisingly, 63% of European respondents of all ages prefer to be contacted by email, up from 58% last year. And content is still king. Over half (51%) across Europe are interested in receiving special offers and promotions through email. More than this, respondents also wanted information that was personalised to them. Clearly, people want their emails to be tailored for them; simply sending off a standard template isn’t going to cut it in a landscape that’s noisier than ever before..
And don’t forget about going that extra mile. Only 20% of European millennials feel excitement when checking their emails. Brands need to encourage the same feeling someone might get receiving a like on a Facebook status or photo when seeing a new message pop up in their inbox, meaning emails should be on-trend, attractive to look at, and come with an attention-grabbing headline. In other words, when crafting an email, think like a journalist or a storyteller.
Harness the power of AI to deliver tailored messages
With attention spans stretched and overall time spent checking email across Europe down 17% for work and 25% for personal, using tools like Adobe Campaign in Adobe Marketing Cloud to reach consumers will go a significant way to ensuring that emails are targeted, timely and really hit the nail on the head.
With this in mind, we are announcing the launch of some exciting predictive capabilities powered by Adobe Sensei’s sophisticated artificial intelligence and machine learning toolkit, that will enable marketers to send truly personalised (at a true segment-of-one level) and engaging emails based on deep customer knowledge and dynamic data from their interactions.
These will include predictive image selection (allowing users to pick the image most likely to increase engagement and conversion rates in an email) and the ability to drive integrated analysis of email campaign effectiveness –by presenting actionable data in real-time and visualising email campaign insights in a manner that doesn’t require a doctorate in data analysis. Using these tools, any brand can craft the perfect email message for their target audience.
Getting the appearance right
Aesthetics haven’t been forgotten and we’re adding a host of templates and mobile-optimised layouts that can easily be customised with beautiful brand content, to make designing emails for campaigns from scratch that much easier.
From our survey, it’s clear what consumers want and it’s now up to brands to build the infrastructure and dedicate the creative resources that can hold up our end of this email relationship.
If you’re interested in seeing the full European consumer survey report, click here.