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E-mail potency spreads beyond the inbox

E-mail potency spreads beyond the inbox

Independent research from e-Dialog, a company within the GSI Commerce Marketing Services division, has revealed that e-mail is a strong driver of offline purchases and a powerful tool for promoting brand advocacy across social networks.

The e-Dialog Global E-mail Attitudes Survey of 13,000 consumers in 13 countries in Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific reveals that e-mail is a primary driver for multichannel purchasing decisions.

In the U.K., almost half (43%) of the consumers questioned had made an offline purchase, in the high street or over the phone, as a result of receiving a marketing e-mail. E-mail’s offline influence demonstrates need for connected marketing.

The survey suggests that co-ordinating marketing communications across digital and offline channels can provide a substantial sales opportunity for U.K. marketers.

On top of the 43 per cent of U.K. consumers that have already made offline purchases following an e-mail, 47 per cent said that they would be more likely to make e-mail-prompted offline purchases in the future.

Simone Barratt, managing director, e-Dialog International said, “Brands that are simply using e-mail as a direct-sales tool are missing an opportunity. Yes, it is a great means of driving online sales, but as the data shows, its influence reaches so much further than the inbox. Marketers need to reassess their ROI from the e-mail channel.”

E-mail drives brand loyalty and social interactivity While e-mail’s primary role has always been to prompt purchases, the trend amongst U.K. consumers indicates that e-mail is also a trigger for brand discovery, advocacy and sharing activities.

Twenty six per cent of U.K. consumers said they were led to sign into social networking sites as a result of receiving a marketing e-mail; this is almost identical to those who would sign into a social networking site of their own volition (27%).

The research also showed that 60 per cent of U.K. consumers would undertake further brand or product research after receiving an e-mail. This is on a par with the global average of 63 per cent, and higher than the European average of just 50 per cent.

Furthermore, 42 per cent of U.K. consumers said that just receiving a marketing e-mail would prompt them to click-through and look at a product, even if they didn’t ultimately choose to buy it. These U.K. trends are broadly reflected in other northern European markets.

Whilst consumers in Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany and France all showed a slightly lower than average propensity to make offline purchases after receiving a marketing e-mail, they were similarly likely to undertake further brand research.

“We know that e-mail drives a high proportion of online revenue for our clients but judging an e-mail campaign on online sales figures alone does not provide an accurate reflection of its wider impact,” continued Barratt.

“A brand that has the mechanisms in place to draw people to a social network has the added advantage of being able to prompt viral conversation and foster advocates who can spread the campaign message much further than an individual inbox.”

“E-mail can be considered as a consumer’s online fingerprint – an e-mail address is required for everything from social networking membership to an online banking account – and marketers need to be aware that a marketing e-mail is not an end in itself. Each time you launch an e-mail campaign, its effects will ripple across your recipients’ online networks.

“Product reviews, blogs and social networks are a fixed part of the digital landscape and, used effectively, e-mail can be the key to increasing sales and energising potential brand advocates.”

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