SAN FRANCISCO: Email remains a hugely effective tool to engage, at scale, with consumers in a personalized way, new research shows, with millennials, in particular, far more likely to take action on a relevant email than any other age group.

Campaign Monitor, an email marketing technology business, commissioned an online panel survey of 1,003 US consumers, all of whom owned a smartphone, subscribed to at least two business emails from at least two categories and who accessed personal email at least once a day.

The subsequent Consumer Email Habits Report found that more than half (53%) of those surveyed claimed to check their personal email account more than ten times a day – and this was by far their favorite way to receive communication from brands.

This was true across the five chosen industry verticals: retail (66% preferred email, with direct mail second on 26%); travel & hospitality (55%, with direct mail second on 27%); entertainment (55%, with mobile apps second on 27%); non-profits (53%, with direct mail second on 31%; and digital media & publishing brands (56%, with social media second on 30%).

Most consumers were on the look-out for deals – the top reason to open an email from a brand, cited by 72%. Personalized subject lines prompted 62% to open one.

Retail brands are proving the most successful at such personalization: 76% of respondents agreed these were sending relevant, accurate emails which reflected their shopping preferences, location or purchase history .

Preferences based on personalization and type of content received from brands did not vary widely among age groups.

However, when it comes to taking action based on an email, millennials were far more likely to do so across all verticals. In retail, for example, 47% of this age group took action ‘always’ or ‘most of the time’, compared to just 27% of 35-54 year olds and 11% of those over 55.

That pattern was repeated across the other categories – travel (50% of under-35s took action, 27% of 35-54s and 15% of the over-55s), entertainment (49%, 33%, 25%) and media/publishing (53%, 31%, 22%).

But it reached a peak in the non-profit sector (58%, 29%, 18%), demonstrating, the study said, the power of personalized email for a demographic that is quick to make an impulsive donation.

Data sourced from Campaign Monitor; additional content by WARC staff