More than half of consumers treat email marketing and spam the same, ignoring both
Marketers are drowning British consumers in a flood of untargeted, unwanted, irrelevant email marketing, with little or no difference seen between legitimate marketing emails and spam, according to a survey by business intelligence and data warehousing vendor Kognitio .More than half (52%) of all respondents stated that they treat marketing emails exactly the same as spam, and simply ignore them all. By alienating consumers in this way UK marketers, who spend almost £5 billion a year on email marketing, are simply wasting a huge amount of their investment: over £2.5 billion a year is spent on consumers who will not even glance at an email.
“The timing couldn’t be worse: we are nearing the period when retailers especially will need to put on a big marketing push to support their Christmas efforts. Yet consumers simply don’t trust email marketing, and don’t believe it is relevant to them,” said Roger Llewellyn, CEO and President of Kognitio. “Almost three-quarters of consumers (73%) believe that marketers will send them anything, regardless of its relevance. With this number so high, it is no wonder that consumers begin to identify one of marketing’s strongest potential tools with the bugbears of spam, junk mail and cold-calling. Indeed, nearly two-thirds (63%) of consumers stated that they would rather clean the kitchen floor, visit the dentist, or go on a date with Anne Robinson or Simon Cowell than deal with marketing emails.”
A large part of the problem is that consumers are confused by or ignore a lot of the Terms and Conditions involved with signing up to marketing emails. As a result, they find themselves bombarded with, to them, irrelevant information. This has got to the stage where 59% of consumers want tougher legislation that regulates Terms and Conditions, preventing such confusion and making the whole process more transparent.
“Marketers spend far too much on email marketing to allow it to devolve into this state,” continued Llewellyn. “Yet the situation is not unrecoverable. The ICO’s recent code of conduct for using personal information online sets out clear guidelines for marketers to follow with online information. And most consumers are not lost causes: nearly two-thirds (64%) of consumers said they would be perfectly open to email marketing if it was correctly targeted and relevant. Analysing customer data to target emails in this way is not difficult, or expensive: indeed, compared to the losses caused by alienating customers, it’s a drop in the ocean. As a result, marketers have a clear choice. They can continue down the road they’re on, and keep throwing money away on alienating customers with emails. Or they can take action and pay close attention to how they use customer data to make sure that every penny of their near-£5 billion investment is money well spent.”
The study, conducted by TNS Omnibus on behalf of Kognitio, consisted of 2,031 GB adults aged between 16 and 64
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