It may be old, but it’s far from outdated. Here’s why consumers are spending increasingly more time on email, and what that means for marketers.
With so much focus placed on social media savviness, it’s easy to forget that email remains an extremely popular channel for digital communication. In fact, the amount of time consumers spend on email is growing faster year-over-year than ever before, according to a new Adobe Digital Insights (ADI) survey. At the same time, email use itself is evolving, and marketing teams need to take note, reports Giselle Abramovich, Senior & Strategic Editor at CMO.com.
Mobile Devices and Email Use
The “Adobe Email Survey 2016” polled over 1,000 American office workers, revealing a 17% year-over-year increase in the time spent using email. The dramatic rise in email consumption is largely attributable to millennials and their digital habits — this generation of digital natives spends more time than any other age group on the channel, and 90% report relying on their smartphones to check their inboxes.
In fact, the survey found that consumers now use mobile devices more than computers for checking email, with the number of people indicating smartphones as their primary means for work correspondence growing 21% year-over-year.
This shift is the product of an “always-on consumer,” says Ryan Dietzen, Senior Market Analyst at ADI, which means “marketers can consistently reach us via email” because consumers are “checking constantly.” To demonstrate that point, consider the fact that almost 50% of millennials say they peruse their inboxes while still in bed in the morning, and that 69% of respondents said they’ve checked email while watching TV or a movie.
“There’s not going to be a time when they’re not reachable by email,” Dietzen says.
Outperforming Every Channel
The fact that consumers are spending so much time with one of the oldest digital communication tools also makes it one of the internet’s most effective channels. According to a MailMunch survey, 60% of internet marketers believe email marketing outperforms their efforts on social media.
Its efficacy is not exclusively tied to increased usage, however. Across a number of key performance indicators including reach, click-through rates, and conversion rates, email outperforms social media by a significant margin. The average open rate of emails for all industries is 21.73%, compared to 2% and 6% rates of engagement for Twitter and Facebook, respectively. Email campaigns can generate 50-100 times the click-through rate of social channels. 66% of survey respondents said they made a purchase as a result of an email marketing message.
Tailored for Success
What makes email marketing so effective is that companies can personalize messages to deliver highly targeted content to their consumers. But tailoring those messages is no simple task, thanks to the amount of time and effort required to track, manage, and process so much consumer information.
Fortunately, innovative artificial intelligence tools like Albert™ can do these monotonous administrative tasks with minimal need for supervision. Not only does this lead to a more accurate snapshot of a customer profile, but it also means marketers can dedicate more time to crafting the perfect message. With so many people spending more hours sifting through their inboxes, such freedom has never been more valuable to advertisers than it is right now.
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