Emails beat social media in the battle for consumer engagement

marketing compass

It's easy to believe that marketing to younger generations would be best conducted via social media, but a new survey shows that email is still a more effective tool.

The study from email marketing brand Campaigner looks at the preferences of online shoppers and revealed insights into how to most effectively market to different consumer generations.

Despite social media's large and growing presence in many consumers’ lives, the survey reveals that it isn’t the ideal platform for brand interaction. In fact, less than a quarter (24 percent) of online shoppers in general name social media as one of their preferred channels for brand interaction.

Facebook is the most effective platform with 54 percent of those surveyed saying they use the social network to follow brands. Pinterest and Instagram tie on 18 percent for keeping in touch with brands. Snapchat on five percent and Twitter on three percent bring up the rear.

Email on the other hand is ranked as one of the most preferred digital marketing platforms for brand interaction by 44 percent of respondents. In addition, 75 percent of online shoppers are either somewhat or very likely to open email messages from brands.

Shoppers' most common complaint (49 percent) about marketing messages is that they simply receive too many of them. Most recipients (29 percent) prefer to hear from a brand less often than once a month, while only 11 percent like to get brand messages more than once a week.

"The findings signal that in this day and age, consumers both expect and appreciate email messages from their favorite brands," says EJ McGowan, general manager of Campaigner. "However, savvy marketers must do their due diligence to research and determine what cadence of email is most effective for their audience. Acting on these insights will ensure that campaigns are successful from the perspective of both sender and recipient."

Perhaps the most interesting finding is that millennials are the most likely generation to engage with marketing emails. Nearly a quarter (22 percent) say they are very likely to open an email from a brand, compared to just 15 percent of respondents overall. With Generation X, the data suggests more receptiveness to a higher frequency of email than the rest, 27 percent think that receiving emails from brands once a week is ideal.

You can read more about marketing to different generations on the Campaigner blog and there's an infographic summary of the findings below.

Campaigner marketing infographic

Image Credit: donskarpo / Shutterstock

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