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Brand spam is driving Brits barmy

Brand spam is driving Brits barmy
Wednesday September 10 2014

More than 11 billion emails are sitting unopened in British inboxes – and more than half are from brands

New research has revealed that the average Brit has 260 unopened emails in his or her inbox, totalling more than 11 billion across the country – and the majority of them are from brands.

The Webtrends research, which canvassed 2,000 Britons aged 18 and over, found that 56 per cent of those unopened emails are from brands that the respondents signed up to receive communications from, while 36 per cent are genuine spam and 7 per cent are from friends and family.

John Fleming, Webtrends Marketing Director EMEA & APAC, says: “One of the key reasons Brits are ignoring these emails is irrelevancy. While they’ve signed up to receive updates from brands, they’re self-selecting which ones they actually read and only opening the emails they find relevant.

“This ‘brand spam’ is also driving Brits barmy – in fact, survey respondents said it’s the most annoying thing a brand can do when it comes to communications, even worse than sending texts in the middle of the night. 84 per cent of Brits say irrelevant brand spam drives them mad,” he continues.

So how can brands ensure their costly marketing campaigns don’t go to waste? Get personal.

Fleming says: “Of the 20 per cent of Brits who never open brand emails, 60 per cent say they would be more likely to open them if the subject line contained information that was personalised to them. Likewise, of the 65 per cent of people who sometimes or often open brand emails, 82 per cent would be more likely to open them if the subject line contained personalised information.”

“It’s not just email,” Fleming adds. “New technologies offer businesses the opportunity to truly personalise the customer experience across a wide range of channels, such as website optimisation and the use of data to enhance in-store experiences.

“Based on a user’s behaviour, and the cumulative behaviour of others, marketers can change what people see on a website, even on-the-fly and even if they don’t know who the user is. They can also use data to improve the in-store shopping experience through contextual personalisation – combining known online data with real-time information and location-based beacons technology to deliver in-the-moment special offers and enhanced services to customers.

“We’ll start to see many more businesses starting to do this and the potential is huge, but brands will need to take care. While marketers are excited by what the new frontier of contextual personalisation and location marketing offers, to many consumers, the idea sounds intimidating and invasive.

“As always, it’s all about the implementation. Our research reveals that just 19 per cent of Britons say they don’t respond more positively when they receive personalised content from brands. It will be important that businesses communicate with people in a way that doesn’t simply bombard them with annoying or unwanted messages, but instead proposes recommendations, offers and experiences tailored to their wants and likes.”