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People Prefer Email Marketing over Social

Bluecore, an industry leading customer experience platform empowering marketers to take immediate action on behavioral and product data, today released a new report, “How Millennials Actually Want Brands to Engage with them” (link). Despite the assumption that most consumers – and particularly younger generations – favor brief interactions across social channels, the research found that more than two-thirds of consumers prefer brands to communicate with them via email, rather than through social media channels.

The overwhelming preference for email communications from brands was echoed across the Baby Boomer (73 percent), Generation X (71 percent), Millennial (62 percent), and Generation Z (65 percent) markets, according to the research. Furthermore, more than half of all the shoppers said smartphones are their primary devices for reading email.

In addition to looking at consumers’ preferred modes of communication from brands and the devices they use to read those communications, the study also explored the use of Gmail’s “Promotions” Tab, which was once thought to be the death knell of email marketing. The research found that more than 60 percent of Gmail users access the “Promotions” tab to find brand deals and offers when they’re ready to shop – and 47 percent of them check the tab daily.

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“Email is not only alive and well, but it’s the preferred mode of communications between brands and their consumers,” said Jared Blank, Bluecore’s senior vice president of data analysis and insights. “This research shows that while there are many options for digital engagement today, retailers must focus on developing a meaningful and personal relationship with their very loyal opt-in email customers. There’s a wealth of data to be gathered and marketing information to be leveraged if email marketing is done right – and it’s more important than ever as email is “always on” across a range of connected devices, being used both for online and in-store shopping.”

Highlights of the report include:

  • Sixty-eight percent of survey respondents, in all four demographics, said they prefer to receive brand communications via email.
  • More than half (53 percent) of all survey respondents say their smartphone is the primary device on which they check email. This stat increases with younger audiences: 67 percent of Generation Z and 59 percent of Millennials.
  • On average, 63.75 percent of Gmail users still use the Promotions tab today, with Millennials (70 percent) and Generation Z (73 percent) being the most active users.

SourceBluecore press release

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Ina Steiner

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. Send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.


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