February 10, 2015

Email Research Chart: How often customers want to receive promotional emails

SUMMARY: We asked speakers, sponsors and attendees of the upcoming Email Summit what is the most important information they would like to know about potential customers.

We then posed those questions to 2,057 people to see what U.S. adults thought about the email marketing you send them.

In this week’s chart, we share what customers think about promotional email frequency.
by Daniel Burstein, Director of Editorial Content

From Jan. 21 to 23, 2015, we asked 2,057 adults:

Q: How often, if ever, would you like to receive promotional emails (e.g., coupons, sales notifications) from companies that you do business with?

View Chart Online

Click here to see a printable version of this chart

Note: The data has been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

A vast majority of customers want to receive promo emails

The conventional wisdom is that people do not want to receive email, and they especially do not want to receive promotional email. There are a slew of venture-capital backed startups with “new messaging innovations” that are certainly beating that drum.

According to our latest research, however, conventional wisdom is wrong. A vast majority of Americans (91%) do in fact want to receive promo emails.

While you may assume that customers lower on the economic spectrum would be more interested in coupons and sale notifications, we discovered that affluent Americans were actually the customers more likely than the average American to want to receive promotional emails:
  • 96% of people earning $75,000 - $99,900 would like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with

  • 92% of people earning $100,000 or more would like to receive promo emails

Customers’ preferred email cadence

While 86% would like to receive promo emails at least monthly, 15% would like to receive promotional emails every day.

To me, this points to the importance of segmentation. If you’re sending daily emails to people who only want monthly emails, they are likely to unsubscribe or mark your email as spam.

Likewise, if you’re sending monthly emails to the 15% who want daily emails, they will feel underserved, and there will be a void that might be filled by your competition.

There are many ways to get a sense of how frequently your customers want to receive email from you:
  • Have several newsletter or email sign-up options available when customers opt-in to receive email. The more options they select, the more frequently they receive email.

  • Clearly list the cadence of your different newsletters and email lists on the opt-in form so customers can self-select how often they want to receive email.

  • Have a single email sign-up and send less frequently, giving customers an option in those emails to sign-up for more frequent emails (perhaps even just during your high season, e.g. from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day).

  • For customers who click on the unsubscribe link, give them the opportunity to opt down (receive email less frequently), not only to opt out.

  • Test different frequencies, and see how they affect total revenue and unsubscribes.

You might also like

MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2015 — February 23-26 at the ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas

Email Templates: How the No. 1 maker of mobile accessories tweaked promo emails to produce a 152% increase in revenue per email

Email Relevance: 8 tactics for leveraging timing, segmentation and content

Email Personalization: 750% higher CTR and more revenue for ecommerce site

Marketing Research Chart: How do customers want to communicate?

Optimize your Email in Three Steps: How one marketer tripled revenue from their house list

MECLABS Email Messaging Online Course

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