Email is still a top touch point for all B2B marketing strategies — especially among channel players. Yet even the most subtle nuances can impact whether an email gets opened, or whether it is simply “dead on arrival.”
According to new research from Kentico, a web content and customer experience management solution provider, consumers’ engagement with email marketing is somewhat lagging. More than three fourths (77%) of people said they were unlikely to read unsolicited email messages, even if they aligned with personal interests. Moreover, respondents said that of the email programs they subscribe to, they only read a quarter (36%) or half (26%) of the messages.
More than 300 U.S. residents 18 years and older participated in the Kentico Email Marketing Survey, which was conducted during August 2013. The report is the third installment of the Kentico Digital Experience Research series, which launched earlier this year.
Poor response to email marketing may be due to the overall quality of the campaigns, according to the Kentico survey. Only 32% of people say email marketing has improved over the last five years. Meaning the products, services and content, overall, appeal to their interests. Nearly the same percentage of respondents (31%), however, said email efforts have actually gotten worse over time.
But email relevancy and frequency also have an impact on email engagement and click-through rates: 38% of respondents said they mark email as spam if companies email them too much, while 26% said they do so when the messages don’t contain anything of interest.
As marketers struggle to send the right message to the right customer at the right time, email campaigns are having less of an impact on accelerating the buying cycle. Nearly half (45%) of respondents said they perform an “action,” such as learning more about a product or redeeming a coupon, only once or twice a month. Others said they participate in email marketing calls-to-action three or four times per month (21%), and five or six times per month (8%). However, 18% of respondents said they will never respond to a call-to-action.
“Our research shows even as marketers become better at catering to the interests of email recipients, they still face an uphill battle in reaching customers in ways that resonate,” said Petr Palas, Founder and CEO of Kentico. “This means while generating leads via email is still important, new customers must be discovered via other channels, such as social media, search, and more. It also underscores the need to keep customers engaged on a variety of fronts, as even willful subscribers of marketing email tend to ignore much of these messages in their inbox.”
Alicia Fiorletta is Senior Editor for Channel Marketer Report. Working closely with industry analysts and experts, Alicia reports on the latest news, technologies, case studies and trends coming to forefront in the channel marketing world. With a focus on emerging marketing strategies, including social, mobile and content for demand, Alicia hones in on new ways for organizations to market to and through their partner networks. Through her work with G3 Communications, Alicia also acts as Associate Editor for Retail TouchPoints, a digital publishing network focused on the customer-facing area of the retail industry.