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Email Addiction Increasing - Takeaways for Marketers

Email Addiction Increasing - Takeaways for Marketers Willie Pena
A few weeks ago, Adobe released the results from a survey of 400 U.S. smartphone-owning, white collar workers about their email habits. This was combined with data from Adobe’s Digital Index (ADI), which analyzed 17 billion visits to over 3,000 websites coming from email to present a snapshot of current email use and its effectiveness.

What surprised me most about the results is that, rather than seeing a decrease in email use among Millenials due to the increase of other communication channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Facetime, Skype, and so many others -- this group is increasing its email use, and expect to use it even more over the next few years.

This represents a clear opportunity for marketers if we can get email right. In a phone call with Patrick Tripp, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, he said, "Email is ripe for disruption. There are really different ways to think about email, whether it is more dynamic content, the time of day, maybe video -- or other ways to bring email to the forefront."

The main takeaway of the survey for marketers is that they should be stepping up their email marketing efforts because Americans are practically addicted to email, checking it at all times of the day and night and even in the most awkward settings (bathroom reading, anyone?)

Here are some of the main usage stats from Adobe's survey results:

  • 70% of Americans check their email while watching TV

  • 52% check it while in bed

  • 50% while on vacation

  • 43% while on the phone

  • 42% while in the bathroom (57% for Millenials)

  • 32% while eating meals with other people

  • 18% while driving a car (27% for Millenials)

  • Emails drive traffic to websites most often in the morning


The above shows that marketers have a captive audience when using email as a marketing channel, especially among the 18-34 crowd. If you are not getting the results you seek, a few other stats might shed some light on what you need to tweak:

  • 58% of those surveyed said email is their preferred method of communicating with brands. Not social media. Not blogs. Not YouTube. It's Email! So if you have abandoned it in favor of other channels, its time to ramp up your email marketing efforts once again. It doesn't have to cost a fortune...start with something basic like Mailchimp or Constant Contact, then move onto Adobe Campaign when your list grows and the budget allows.

  • Millenials use their phones to check mail most often (88%), with desktops/laptops coming in 2nd (76%). 28% of all those surveyed said it was annoying to have to scroll excessively to read an email, while 24% are turned off when layouts are not optimized for mobile. The younger your target audience, the more they check email on their phones. This highlights the importance of optimizing your campaigns for mobile and ensuring each message is quick-loading, concise, and features a clear call-to-action which guides prospects to the next step without too much scrolling. Check out a few tips on designing emails for mobile from Hubspot and SitePoint.

  • Over a third say they want fewer repetitive emails and also want the content of email offers to be less annoying and intrusive. One of the best ways to improve this is through the use of contextual information, such as location or weather, to deliver hyper-relevant messaging at the exact right time based on what the user happens to be doing. Example contextual marketing offerings include Adobe Campaign, Kickdynamic, and hybris Marketing Suite.


With email returning $39 for every dollar spent according to the Direct Mail Association, it makes sense for any marketers who have abandoned the channel for greener pastures to take another look -- but keeping the new reality of the need for mobile optimization and contextual relevancy top of mind when planning their next campaign.

Willie Pena is a freelance writer, video producer, visual artist, and music producer. He prefers the Oxford comma. In addition to writing about marketing research for firms such as IBM, Colgate, Transunion, Webroot and a multitude of private clients...

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