Recently, BlueHornet released its annual study on email marketing. The study asked more than 1,800 consumers in a variety of age groups about their email habits. Contrary to the belief that email marketing is dead, BlueHornet found that the purchasing habits of respondents are still influenced by what they find in their email inboxes.

While there is some concern over people using a separate email address to weed out their marketing communications, overall, only 29% of respondents actually engaged in this practice. That number rises to 44% when drilling down to the 18-34 age brackets, suggesting stiffer competition among email marketers targeting this demographic.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that there’s no way to reach the consumers who separate marketing into a separate email account. Of those who use this approach, about 33% still check the account multiple times per day. When you add in the people who report checking that account more than seven times a day, you’re reaching well over 40%.

When looking at the breakdown of how respondents check their marketing email messages, those in the 18-24 bracket were likely to use the following devices to check messages:

  • Laptop or desktop – 90%
  • Smartphone – 87%.

On the other hand, the overall study results showed that consumers were likely to use the following devices to check messages:

  • Laptop or desktop – 93%
  • Smartphone – 67%.

BlueHornet also asked about unsubscribing behavior. Nearly half of respondents said they only wanted to receive communications from businesses weekly. While receiving email marketing too often is the top reason consumers report unsubscribing from a mailing list, 40% of this study’s respondents said they would consider staying on the mailing list if given the option to receive less frequent emails.

As far as marketing influence goes, respondents reported making purchases based on the marketing emails they received:

  • Monthly – 50.7%
  • Multiple times per month – 23.8%
  • Yearly – 20.6%
  • At least weekly – 3%
  • Never – 1.9%.

Since more than 75% of respondents report making regular purchasing decisions based on the marketing emails they receive, this shows that a well-crafted marketing message can give consumers a little push. More specifically, respondents reported these types of emails reminded them to shop for the products or services (45%), got them to buy more than they’d intended (44%) and encouraged them to stop by a brick-and-mortar store to take advantage of the offer (35%).

While free shipping and product discounts are extremely popular among all age groups of respondents, nearly two-thirds of respondents reported they would still consider signing up for a mailing list as part of a loyalty program.

BlueHornet’s report revealed no clear majority preference for making purchases via mobile devices versus computers. Of the respondents who were hesitant to make purchases on mobile devices, the reasons stated included:

  • Comfort level – 50%
  • Security – 41%
  • Difficult mobile navigation – 40%.

Since many of the respondents still prefer purchasing from mobile websites rather than mobile apps, it’s more critical than ever to ensure your site and your marketing emails are mobile friendly. When asked what actions they take when they receive an email that doesn’t display on their mobile device, 42% delete it and another 4% outright unsubscribe from the mailing list.


MarketingCharts. B2C Email Marketing Very Much “Alive and Kicking”. August 11, 2015.