Despite the rise of Web 2.0 and other emerging communications methods, email remains stronger than ever, according to an April survey conducted by market researcher Ipsos for online reputation management firm Habeas.
In the study of consumer attitudes toward email and online interaction with businesses released in late May, nearly three-quarters of adult email users in North America said they use email every day, and two-thirds said they prefer email for communicating with businesses.
The report also found that consumers not only prefer email for communicating with businesses now, but they also expect to prefer it five years from now, despite the rise of online threats and the emergence of other communications channels and Web 2.0 applications.
“Far from being eclipsed by Web 2.0 and other emerging communications methods, consumer expectations suggest that email will be the workhorse channel around which future online communications will revolve, said Habeas CEO Des Cahill in Habeas’ announcement.
I agree. This is something I have believed in and talked about for a while now. People love email for its ability to be highly personalized, relevant and timely. Marketers also love its immediacy and low cost in relation to other channels. And, as email marketing tools continue to evolve and become increasingly central to marketing execution, email truly will become the workhorse channel for marketers. It’s exciting to see this future unfolding.
But it’s important to remember that just because people like email doesn’t mean they will tolerate anything you want to send. More than 88 percent of survey respondents said they would like to be given more choices over the content and frequency of the emails they receive. And, a rising percentage expressed concern about being a victim of email fraud, and worry over spam and virus threats reaching them through their mobile devices.
Although email appears set to remain a favorite of consumers, email marketing as a percentage of overall online advertising spend will actually drop over the next five years from 2 percent to 1.5 percent, according to new figures from eMarketer. The research firm cites email’s low cost relative to other channels as reason for the drop, even though its figures predict that money spent on email marketing will hit $492 million this year and increase by 55 percent to $765 million in 2012.