Return Path has a new study out looking at consumer email behavior in Q4 2014. Its main finding is that instead of experiencing "email fatigue" during the holiday season, consumers welcomed more messages from retailers. This "contradicts common theories about email overload," a spokesperson for Return Path said.
The study found that the average consumer inbox received fewer than ten messages a day between October and mid-November, and then about two more on peak days (like Black Friday and Cyber Monday). It also found that consumers read 22.4 percent of the messages they received during the holiday shopping season, which is close to their quarterly average of 22.8 percent.
“While most marketing industry pundits praise the email channel for its exceptional ROI, few openly challenge the myth that consumers don’t like it or merely tolerate it. The data consistently refutes that view. When brands craft responsible, consumer-friendly email programs that comply with established best marketing practices, people read it, engage with it, and most importantly, actually like it,” said Return Path President George Bilbrey. “The data used here to track behavioral trends can also be used by individual brands to monitor their own subscribers’ levels of engagement, essentially to make sure that customers like the email they receive. That’s critical, and not just during holiday peaks; as this report shows, the battle for consumers’ attention in the inbox is an everyday challenge.”
The spokesperson said, "Consumers also weren't especially inclined to complain about shopping-related messages they received - email classified as 'shopping' received an average of 63 spam complaints per 10,000 messages, which is fewer than most commercial categories, such as travel, finance and news."
"While the average email account received 9-10 daily messages during Q4 2014, only 25 percent fell within that range, receiving 6 to 10," they said.
The study was based on a sample of anonymous, aggregated mailbox interactions of 2 million subscribers with 3.8 billion email messages received during the quarter. You can find the full report here.
Images via Return Path