Vollrath Associates


Vollrath Associates

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Long Live Email

June 20, 2013

In January 2013, Adobe released its “2013 Digital Publishing Report”. A survey sample of 1,000 smartphone users and tablet owners participated in the study, which focused specifically on the effect retail apps had on consumer purchases. Before zeroing in on buying habits, the study looked at which activities were most popular among smartphone and tablet users. Shopping, the survey’s focus, received votes from 20 percent of smartphone users and 44 percent of tablet owners. What was the number one activity for smartphone and tablet owners? Email. An overwhelming 79 percent of smartphone users and 72 percent of tablet owners said they used their technology for email. With this in mind, email’s immobile presence in mobile technologies can no longer be questioned.


Furthermore, direct emails from businesses are second only to recommendations from friends when it comes to influencing purchasing decisions. Adobe found that 69 percent of smartphone users and 71 percent of tablet owners are influenced by emails from businesses. For business-to-business and business-to-consumer marketers, this brings email back into the game as a prime method of connecting with audiences. The high percentage of persons influenced by email also raises the stakes for creating effective email communication and the key to effective marketing is relevance.


Think about how many emails you receive a day. Which ones cut through the clutter and don’t automatically end up in your spam box? Sending out a generic email blast to an entire mailing list may be moderately effective, but if marketers tap into the massive amount of information they know about their target audience via purchase history, wish lists, etc. they can tailor their messages. Tailoring messages is Marketing 101.


Part two of an effective email comes from the “what next?” aspect. You have the consumer’s attention, now what do you want them to do? When crafting a “what next?”, it’s important to keep in mind the relevance concept from part one. Make sure that whatever you are asking your audience to do is clear and timely. Emailing about a sale that’s happening two months from now isn’t going to award your message a continued place in the inbox. Instead, focus on events happening in the near future. Finally, make sure that you are asking your audience to do something specific. Not only does it make things clearer for your readers, but it helps you measure the success of your message.


With these tips in mind, marketers can continue to utilize this fast-paced communication tool and customers can look forward to emails about sales, new products and free shipping for years to come.