Email Marketing Is Most Preferred Communication Method for US Consumers

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

The internet has given marketers a lot of great tools to use when trying to reach and engage with current customers. Depending on the demographic, marketers can try to connect with consumers through social media, mobile and SMS marketing, display ads and more. However, a recent study from MarketingSherpa suggests that email marketing is the sharpest knife in the set when it comes to reaching current customers. Email marketing is the most preferred method for communicating with current customers.

The MarketingSherpa study found that people overwhelming liked receiving emails from companies they already do business with. Nine out of 10 (91%) of U.S. adults said they like to receive promotional emails from companies they already do business with. It’s hard to get 90 percent of Americans to agree on anything. The fact that email is so universally accepted is proof that it should remain a tactic that marketers and business owners rely on.

The love of email among consumers goes beyond just liking it. The study also found that email was the most preferred communication method for current customers. The researchers found that the large majority of U.S. adults (72%) prefer communication with companies to happen through email.

“Email was unique among digital channels,” wrote Daniel Burstein, MarketingSherpa’s Director of Content in an article about the research. “In fact, it was the only digital channel to outperform old media standbys — postal mail (preferred by 48%), television ads (preferred by 34%) and print media, such as magazines and newspapers, (preferred by 31%).”


This makes intuitive sense when you think about it. Social media may be flashy and fun, but most people don’t consider a message sent to their social media profile to be as official as a message sent by email. That’s not to say that social media can’t be used to correspond with customers. However, social media was only prefered by less than 20 percent of the respondents.

Social media has a long way to go before it becomes accepted as an “official” means of communicating with a company in the minds of the majority of the public. But business owners can’t ignore the one in five customers who do want to communicate via social media.

The study also had some interesting notes on how the trend varies by demographic. The only demographic were email wasn’t the most preferred method was with women over the age of 65. They preferred postal mail more than email by a tiny margin (65 percent for mail and 64 percent for email).

On the other hand, email is most popular with men age 35-44. According to the research, 87 percent of those in this demographic prefer email as their favorite channel. Besides being interesting for regular retailers, this information is important to B2B marketers who are often trying to reach business owners in this demographic.

This study provides a lot of evidence to show that email marketing is essential for retailers who need to communicate with customers after the sale. This research fits in with a recent study that focused on the value of automatically triggered emails for marketers that was covered in a previous article.

Despite the warnings of critics who predicted that spam mail, social media, text messaging and other things would make email obsolete, the research shows that email is extremely popular and trusted by American consumers as a way to communicate with customers. For more information on the value of email marketing, read this article with more statistics on email marketing.

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