LONDON: Email remains the trusted workhorse of digital marketing, but new research shows a majority of consumers don’t think such communications are done well and many have a separate address just for marketing messages.

The DMA’s Consumer Email Tracker 2017 report was based on 1,063 responses from a YouSay consumer panel. 

This indicated that 44% of people have set up dedicated email accounts to receive marketing messages. And when people check marketing emails, almost half (49%) said they need to recognise the brand before opening any communication.

These obstacles are offset to a degree by the fact that people tend not to change their email address – 83% of respondents were still using their first one – and most check their email every day.

Perhaps the most worrying finding for marketers was that 60% of those asked don’t think any brands do email well.

Brands need to focus on crafting each email carefully, without resorting to gimmicks, according to Rachel Aldighieri, MD at the DMA.

“We know, for instance, consumers are engaging well with simple emails composed of well-written text and images,” she said. “The power of the craft of copywriting should not be underestimated.”

Order confirmations (83%), delivery updates (82%) and receipts (78%) are what consumers felt email does best.

In terms of content, they unsurprisingly have a strong preference for saving money and giveaways.

The research also showed an increase across the board when it came to data privacy issues.

When asked how businesses should handle personal data, tailoring method of communication came out on top (37%), highlighting the importance of having an accessible preference centre for marketing communications.

Trust in the organisation (37%) and clear privacy policies (37%) both rated higher since last years’ report.

There are still a large number of consumers wondering how a brand got their email address, according to Jenna Tiffany a member of the Email Research Hub.

“With GDPR looming, data privacy should be top of every marketers’ to-do list,” she said. “It’s vital to ensure the consent of your subscribers, and to include details of where they subscribed in your email content.”

Sourced from DMA; additional content by WARC staff