Adobe’s Email Survey: Get your Customers Engaged the Right Way

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.

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