The Fastest Way to Get Your Email Trashed

The surefire route to failure in email marketing—and how to do it right

Written by Jim McElgunn

Mobile users have lost patience with email messages that aren’t optimized for their devices. Fully 80% of them will delete unread an email that doesn’t look good in their phone’s inbox, according to a new U.S. study. This figure was up sharply from 69% last year.

A survey of U.S. consumers by EmailOutbound, an email service provider, shows that more than 30% of them will unsubscribe if a message displays poorly in their mobile device. Any email marketer that doesn’t ensure its messages look good on a phone is missing out on a huge chunk of the market: 43% of respondents say they read their emails mainly on their mobile, up from 35% in 2012.

The study, which covered Americans 25 to 40 living in urban or suburban areas, also showed that discounts are a wildly popular motivator for people to sign up to receive emails. About 84% of respondents cited this as the most important reason for signing up, and a hefty majority of 74% said they will redeem a discount by showing their mobile device to a cashier.

Read: No Discount? No Sale, Say Canadian Consumers

EmailOutbound’s study also spotlighted another key to connecting with consumers through email marketing: almost 70% of respondents say they open emails from familiar brands whose products they already consume.

A different study released recently by Aimia, a loyalty management agency, offers another couple of key insights into successful email marketing. One is that 46% of consumers surveyed in Canada, the U.S. and U.K. said they receive too many marketing emails, and most would prefer to receive one message per week from a given company. The Aimia study pointed to one key to overcoming consumer resistance to email marketing: 70% of respondents said they would like to receive offers on products they buy regularly.

Read: 7 Keys to Killer Emails

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