Consumers may be more open to email marketing than we think


Getting the balance of email marketing right is a constant challenge for marketers who often err on the side of caution since the risk is losing customers by bombarding them too much.

Yet a new report claims to have discovered that consumers are more receptive to email marketing than many believe. The report, from global data solutions provider Return Path, says that highly active users will actually tolerate up to an average of 5 messages a week before the level of complaints offset increases in message read. Even those who are less active are more tolerant than thought, it seems.

The company analysed the engagement of subscribers to more than 199 million messages delivered to more than 600,000 inboxes over a three month period before December and February of this year to identify the optimal sending frequency that marketers can get away with before they begin to alienate their customers.

The research showed that primary accounts, the most actively checked, make up less than a quarter (24%) of all accounts yet represented much more than three quarters (83%) of messages read. The research showed that whilst such users are highly engaged they are also more vocal – accounting for half of total email complaints.

The conclusions were that marketers should cautiously optimise their programs for this primary user audience. More tolerant were secondary account holders who although they interact with their mailboxes less often and represent fewer reads are half as likely as primary account holders to complain. The research suggest that these people are a frequency test audience that marketers can approach less cautiously.

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Michelle - Flexmail
13 Jul 2015, 9:05 a.m.

So funny, I saw this article being posted in a "Marketing Communication" and "Digital Marketing" Linkedin group, and the comments couldn't be more different!

I'm a marketer for email marketing platform Flexmail, so of course I very much believe email has earned its place in the marketing mix. It's still one of the most performant channels to use, IF used correctly.

Of course we see a lot of emails come in every day. From that, we have distilled some tips that greatly improve conversions. I recently gave a speech about this, and we've grouped all insights of that presentation into whitepaper. If you’re interested, you can find it here: