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2016 Adestra Consumer

Adoption & Usage Study
A comprehensive survey of consumers across
the U.S. on their digital usage













2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study




Section One: It’s About Everyday Life
Finding 1: Email is the universal channel.
Finding 2: Age rules device choice and use.
Finding 3: Calls and email are top uses on
Finding 4: Mobile can make or break your
Finding 5: Google rules among email
Section Two: Digital Behavior
Finding 6: More than half lie or leave when
websites ask for email addresses.
Finding 7: Message checking is part of the
morning routine.
Finding 8: Consumers check email at random
all day long.
Finding 9: Checking personal email at work:
everybody does it.
Finding 10: Recipients don't open emails they
want to save for later reading.
Finding 11: Ugly emails get deleted on
Finding 12: Recipients really do unsubscribe
from unwanted email.
Finding 13: Teens check social media all day
long, even at work.
Finding 14: "Share to social?" Users say "meh."
Section Three: Message Preferences By
Content Type
Finding 15: Discounts drive opt-ins and
purchasing decisions.
Finding 16: Percentage discounts, free
shipping lead customer discount requests.

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2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study




Section Four: Privacy
Finding 17: Boomers more cautious than
teens about privacy and online shopping.
Finding 18: Gender beats email address as
shareable personal information.
Finding 19: Social media use raises privacy
Section Five: What They Want
Finding 20: Too much, not enough, or just
enough email?
Finding 21: Millennials, not teens or Boomers,
want text messages.
Finding 22: Boomers call and email each
other; teens and Millennials text.
Finding 23: What's on their mind? Fewer
Finding 24: One channel to rule them all:





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2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study

What happens to your email campaigns as soon as you hit "send?" Do you know
who's reading? What devices are they using? Do they even read your messages
at all?
Email marketers are like big-game hunters. We're always trying to track where
our customers are going and what they're doing. We scroll through spreadsheets
of statistics but we're usually mystified by a lot of them.
What we really want to know is how consumers interact with, and think about,
the email messages they receive. So, we asked 1,200 of them, from teens to Baby
Boomers, living all over the United States.
Their answers – and our analysis and advice – are here in this report for you.

What Did Consumers Say?
Below are two highlights from our extensive survey.
1. Teens use email.
A few years ago, it was widely speculated that email would die out because
teens didn't use it that's not happening. Teens are active email users for specific
kinds of messages … and not just because their parents set up their accounts for
2. Email is the preferred communication channel for communicating with
brands and companies.
All age groups see email as a part of everyday life. And these consumers are in
their inboxes all day long, especially when they're bored.

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2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study

What else will you learn?
We've seen a resurgence in email's popularity as a communication channel over
the last two years or so, tied to its use in identifying the customer so we can
extend the conversation beyond just email.
This report will help you understand what your customers are doing with your
email messages and how you can tailor your messaging to certain
demographics, based on what you've learned about their preferences.

About our study participants.
Most studies break down trends and events by generations, such as: teens,
Millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers.
With this study, we examined the generations at opposite ends of the
demographic scale: teens moving into adulthood (ages 14-18 and 19-34, the
most native of the Digital Natives) and older users who are first-generation email
users (ages 56-67). The full breakdown of the audience survey is in the appendix
of this report.

“Email's premature death has been hyped ad nauseum. This study puts it to
rest once and for all, or at least until the Zombie Apocalypse. Right now, that's
about the only thing that can kill it.”
Ryan Phelan

VP of Marketing Insights, Adestra

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A slightly larger proportion of teens said their parents set up their email accounts for them. I rarely use it 5% 5% 3% Here's confirmation that email use spans generations. even teens. We combined Millennials with Boomers in order to focus on teens for this question. (Check all that apply) All Respondents Age of Respondent 14 to 18 19 to 24 Everyday life 74% 73% 77% Buy things online 51% 49% 59% Communicative with friends/ family 45% 44% 47% Work 41% 39% 48% My parents got me one 11% 13% 5% I don’t share this eGuide 3 .2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study Section One: IT'S ABOUT EVERYDAY LIFE Finding 1: Email is the universal channel.. who supposedly have spurned it for texting and Snapchatting: 74% recognize they need email in their everyday lives. but 50% set up and run their own email accounts. although their attitudes meshed for the most part. I have an email address because. moreinfo@adestra. making email more than just something their parents make them do.

That doesn't mean translating your content into. like. If teens constitute any part of your target audience. Teens do read email on their mobiles and will delete odd-looking or non-functional messages instead of trying to figure them out. keep their interests and preferences in line when you create your email strategies and messages.) moreinfo@adestra.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study  Marketer takeaway Add teens to the mix. take the time to make your email more mobile-friendly. (See next finding. total teen-speak: "OMG. that would be bonkers!!!" share this eGuide 4 .

Although smartphones and laptops have the highest use among all recipients. moreinfo@adestra.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study Finding 2: Age rules device choice and share this eGuide 5 . laptops and smartphones dominate among younger users. the picture changes in the age breakdown. Tablets. landline telephones and desktop computers. Which of the following devices do you own and use? 14 to 18 19 to 34 56 to 67 92% % 83 67% 62 % 51% 65% 64% 46% 87% % 22% % 15% 16 Mobile Phone other than Smartphone 47 30% 84 56% 43% 30% % LandLine Telephone Tablet (such as iPad) Desktop Computer Laptop Computer Smartphone This graphic shows how various digital devices have penetrated the three different age groups we studied. while older users are more likely to use feature phones.

etc. thermostats.). Internet of Things (IoT) on the rise. which includes wearables like smartwatches and fitness trackers as well as Internet. teens (20%) are the most active IoT users. Their older brothers and sisters (ages 19-34) are the most likely (19%). our study did identify the small but growing market for the Internet of Things. home security systems. we also detected a distinct age-related split between device share this eGuide 6 . while Android devices rule among Boomers (63%). probably because their Generation X parents bought them for family use. light switches.or WiFi-connected appliances (refrigerators. moreinfo@adestra. teens are least likely to own wearables. Although not represented in the graphic. Teens were the most likely to own iPhones (61%). However.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study What type of smart phone do you have? 14 to 18 19 to 34 56 to 67 63% 61% 57% 47% 43% 36% 4% iPhone Android Operated Device 6% 3% Other Although smartphone use is nearly universal among younger users and taken up by a strong majority of Boomers. At 9% of users.

and tablet adoption hovering around 50% across all age groups. Kindle Fire 0% 4% Other Kindle bubble.  Marketer takeaways 1. The Marketer's Takeaways in each of the next findings will give you more reasons why you need to do this today. landing pages. Apple and Android devices also dominate among tablet owners. One caution: These devices generally don't render HTML email messages.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study Which type of tablet(s) do you own? 14 to 18 19 to 34 56 to 67 63% 53% 49% 37% 44% 45% 8% Apple Device Android Device 12% 6% Microsoft Tablet 9% 4% 5% 1% Kindle. So. Be sure you have a text version of your HTML email that delivers the punch without the pretty pictures. you're far behind the curve if you haven't made your digital presence – email. note the higher uptake of Kindles among teens. moreinfo@adestra. So do plain text versions for IoT. your entire website – mobile-responsive. share this eGuide 7 . Although the IoT is still relatively small. but among the also-rans. With smartphones dominating mobile phone use among all age groups. it's a "Back to the Future" moment for text email. it's definitely a growth area. Mobile rules.

Twiiter. Personal use. retail. browsing. and 91% for older Millennials. interesting and. it's personal. etc. Which of the following activities do you use your smartphone for? (Check all that apply) Age of Respondent All Respondents 14 to 18 19 to 34 56 to 67 Personal telephone calls 95% 92% 95% 98% Business telephone calls 41% 30% 52% 39% Personal email 86% 90% 91% 75% Business email 34% 32% 44% 24% Social media (Facebook. email and social media – over business calls and share this eGuide 8 .2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study Finding 3: Calls and email are top uses on smartphones. Pinterest) 79% 91% 87% 54% Send & receive texts 92% 94% 90% 91% Social media (Facebook. Twiiter. that is. attractive and easy to act on in any environment. moreinfo@adestra. Want more proof that email isn't dying among younger users? Look at the personal email use broken out by age groups: 90% for teens. travel. texting. Pinterest) 88% 96% 90% 75% Linking to business services (finance. Our findings show people use their smartphones for personal communications – calls.  Marketer takeaway Strong email performance among all age groups – even desktop-loving Boomers – points to the need to keep your email messages relevant. most importantly.) 26% 21% 32% 24% Daily deal sites 25% 18% 35% 19% Chatting with friends 60% 81% 62% 32% Apps 76% 88% 81% 55% This time.

read share this eGuide 9 . it's primarily a tactic for teens (73%) and Millennials (81%) to manage their inboxes moreinfo@adestra." where users scan their inboxes quickly. That has spurred the phenomenon we call "inbox triaging.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study Finding 4: Mobile can make or break your email. Although 44% of Boomers use this system. deciding what they'll read now. more than 50% of email messages are read on mobile devices. delete and ignore. Do you use your mobile device to sort though your emails before you read them on your desktop? 14 to 18 47% 40 19 to 34 56 to 67 55% 52% % 35% 29 % 27% 18% 8% Always Sometimes Never Today.

moreinfo@adestra. Maybe he didn't like how your email looked like on his phone. not on opens.) Or. Although the subject line is important. that doesn't mean the recipient didn't see your email. Most marketers who test aspects of their email program focus on finding the subject lines that will get the most opens. After all. it's not the only metric you should be looking at. The click-to-open rate. is another reliable indicator. Test something other than the subject line because you need more than a good subject line to drive results. which measures how many openers also clicked on your links. Conversions are the gold share this eGuide 10 . (See Finding 12. Just because you can't tie an open to a specific email address. you get paid on purchases. she blocks image downloads so the open doesn't get recorded.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study  Marketer takeaway Expand testing subjects.

don't assume that your older customers are all on AOL. Unlike teen and Millennials. However.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study Finding 5: Google rules among email providers. moreinfo@adestra. Boomers present a more varied picture. Don't ignore deliverability issues. Yahoo and Microsoft change their filtering practices or introduce new products. Teens who sign up for their own email accounts choose it over competing clients. Check your domains.  Marketer takeaways 1. Run a domain report to find the most popular domains in your email database. Hotmail or AOL. A majority still clings to its decades-old legacy accounts on Yahoo. Study your deliverability statistics. To see how well you deliver to those domains. This will help you assess the impact when ISPs like Google. especially with Gmail. the largest individual segment has migrated over to Gmail. at 28%. Also. The assumption that Boomers are all on AOL is wrong. What email provider do you primarily use? All Respondents Age of Respondent 14 to 18 19 to 34 56 to 67 Google (Gmail) 53% 74% 61% 28% Yahoo 18% 12% 19% 23% Outlook (Hotmail) 14% 7% 14% 20% AOL 8% 2% 3% 17% Other 4% 2% 1% 9% iCloud 2% 3% 0% 1% Comcast 1% 1% 1% 2% There's no other way to say it: Gmail is far and away the top email client among users share this eGuide 11 . 2.

But.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study Section Two: DIGITAL BEHAVIOR Finding 6: More than half lie or leave when websites ask for email addresses When you come to a website that asks for an email address before you can access the website. Only your older customers (51%) are more likely to tell you the truth. they're also your most skittish bunch. what do you do? All Respondents Age of Respondent 14 to 18 19 to 34 56 to 67 Give a real email address 43% 38% 40% 51% Leave the site 39% 35% 40% 43% Give an old email addresss 12% 22% 14% 3% Give an incorrect email address 5% 6% 7% 2% Almost six of every 10 potential customers give you outdated or phony email addresses or leave your site rather than share a legit address with you. with 43% leaving instead of sharing their email addresses. share this eGuide 12 .

is it a valid. But. such as these: • • • • • Profitability Time to first sale Deliverability Buying on first purchase Incentive versus non-incentive acquisition moreinfo@adestra. Many marketers use these web forms – also called pop-overs – to collect addresses from browsers who don't buy but still want to hear from the brand. What's the cost. Despite these concerns. what's the quality of those email addresses you get by using this tactic? Sure. but you need a plan and a different set of KPIs from those you use for your regular email program. You're wasting brand equity if you use an interstitial that drives people away or collects fake addresses.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study  Marketer takeaway Rethink that interstitial. it's a large number. hard look at using interstitials for acquisition. These findings should prompt you to take a share this eGuide 13 . too. though? Knowing 60% of your visitors might lie to you on the email form. deliverable and profitable number? That 39% abandonment rate is pretty alarming. interstitials can be a useful tactic.

Older users generally prefer to clear the cobwebs with a shot of caffeine before firing up their desktop or laptop computers and seeing what happened overnight. before anything else 39% 48% 44% 26% After coffee. (See Section One for details on device ownership and usage. before leaving for work 20% 20% 20% 19% On the way to work 4% 7% 5% 1% At work 8% 7% 10% 7% It varies. before breakfast 22% 12% 19% 34% After share this eGuide 14 . How early do you check email. this information is also a helpful reminder that email isn't the only thing on your customers' minds in the morning. text messages. moreinfo@adestra.) Besides knowing when your users are more likely to start checking messages.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study Finding 7: Message checking is part of the morning routine. randomly 3% 3% 1% 5% Later in the day 3% 3% 1% 6% Other 1% 1% 1% 2% Generally. social media. and voice mail after you wake up in the morning? Age of Respondent All Respondents 14 to 18 19 to 34 56 to 67 First thing. the younger you are. the more likely you are to be among the 48% of teens and 44% of Millennials who reach for their smartphones to check messages right after turning off the alarm clock (also on the smartphone).

) moreinfo@adestra. Think about the kind of messages you're sending as you're looking for the best times to send them. Are you promoting a product your customers might be willing to research while they're still in bed? Or. Even if you don't drive a sale first thing in the morning. (Review Findings 9 and 11 to learn more. but your prospects might not be in the mindset to think about it. Resending the email to non-openers. might be worth testing. you can try several tactics to maximize the opportunity for an action while they're on their lunch hour or when they knock off work later in the day.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study  Marketer takeaway Tie messages to time of day. does your email attempt to drive a direct action they might not be awake enough to consider? A credit-card offer is one example. or those who opened but didn't click. it will be buried under all of the other email they'll get during the day. If they do flag your email for later share this eGuide 15 . Sending it first thing in the morning might get you to the top of the inbox.

in other words. In other words. waiting for the food to come at a restaurant…whenever the mood strikes them. makes email reading less consistent and STO less reliable. note the second most popular response: "When I'm bored" (50%).2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study Finding 8: Consumers check email at random all day share this eGuide 16 . which ratchets up random viewing. Whenever they need a break. Now. Even the 40% who read email at their desks are probably multi-tasking throughout their day. Throwing mobile into the mix. people check email at random throughout the day. All of this is problematic if you're trying to do send-time optimization (STO). moreinfo@adestra. which relies on recipients' consistency. across the board. when nothing more important has grabbed their attention. During what events during your day do you read email? (Check all that apply) All Respondents Age of Respondent 14 to 18 19 to 34 56 to 67 Randomly throughout the day 84% 85% 82% 86% When I am bored 50% 67% 56% 29% At my desk 40% 34% 53% 34% In bed 36% 51% 46% 15% When I am at lunch 29% 32% 37% 17% When I am in the bathroom 22% 29% 32% 6% To and from home 20% 26% 26% 9% When I am waiting for a meeting 19% 19% 28% 11% When I am trying to avoid someone 11% 18% 14% 1% Yes. This means they aren't settling in for a nice. long session of email reading. when they're standing in line at the checkout.

2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study What these stats imply for your email marketing program is a little ominous. deleting what doesn’t interest them and flagging what they want to read later. Your customers aren't always looking for your particular messages. Consider time of day. Use a clear and consistent "from" name that includes your brand or another clear identifier. Instead. That means they aren't necessarily in the mindset to act. your email might be history. Add zing to your inbox presence. you can still shoot for optimal times to send by thinking about the results you want and how your customers will react when they see your email. and if it doesn't stop them scrolling. Work harder to capture attention. If they're bored when they see your email. share this eGuide 17 . Your industry vertical and type of customer should inform your decisions about the best time to send. Retail tries to get into the inbox early in the day but that doesn't mean everybody should. Although random email reading throws a wrench into STO. Tell recipients what's in the email and what they should do about it in the subject line. sorting through messages. Add preheader text that gives them even more information to open or save your email. or even for anybody's emails. they're triaging their inboxes. 2. Test sending your broadcast campaigns at different times throughout the day and compare the results.  Marketer takeaways 1.

In fact. Send at different times and compare results. you can no longer predict that someone will open your emails at the same time every day. anywhere. any time. Or. Make sure your message is relevant enough to be read later and not deleted. (See Finding 10. Say goodbye to the "right message. at the right time.) moreinfo@adestra. with 61% reporting that they check email at least a couple times a day.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study Finding 9: Checking personal email at work: everybody does it. All Respondents Age of Respondent 14 to 18 19 to 34 56 to 67 Never 39% 31% 25% 59% 1 to 3 35% 43% 38% 26% 3 to 5 14% 15% 20% 8% 5 to 9 6% 6% 7% 5% 10 or more 6% 5% 10% 3% Email users blur the lines between work and home. test resending the same message in a different day part. Once again. Checking personal email at work: everyboday does it. Boomers are more likely to stay on task. they might be opening your emails at a time when they are least able to act on it. If you can't predict when your recipients will open your message. although it's driven by age. this messes with send-time optimization. to the right person" mantra. with 59% claiming they never check personal email on the job.  Marketer takeaway Any message. When people aren't tied to home or work desktop computers. don't share this eGuide 18 .

Boomers let unread email pile up in their inboxes over the day. What's the ratio of unique to total. and how does that track by discount percentage.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study Finding 10: Recipients don't open emails they want to save for later reading. Which of the following devices do you own and use? 56 to 67 19 to 34 14 to 18 71% 53% 53% 40% 30% % 20 25% 24% 13% 7% 18% 15% 2% Leave it unread Star it Gmail Mark it as unread Flag it 2% Other 1% 2% 2% 1% Move to a folder It seems logical that people leave emails unopened if they want to save them for reading later.? moreinfo@adestra. But the picture is more complex than that. type of offer. This suggests you should look at your total open rate for specific messages. while Millennials are more likely to flag it or read it but mark it as share this eGuide 19 . not just unique opens. day of send. Teens use Gmail's star function to ID messages they want to save. etc.

Resending your email later in the day to recipients who didn't open or click on it can put your message back on top in the inbox. Watch your results carefully to see if you're getting the ones you desire. The email that somebody saved for later can get lost in the crowd even if it survives multiple inbox purges during the day. Hold out a specific segment of customers to see how they behaved without the resend. moreinfo@adestra. Look at the lift to see whether it justifies this strategy. too. Track the numbers. Don't use this strategy on every campaign. for example).2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study  Marketer takeaway Try share this eGuide 20 . to see if you can predict results based on resending certain kinds of campaigns once or twice during the month and how results vary for different verticals and different times of the year (Christmas versus midsummer.

they trash it. If you get a mobile email that doesn’t look god.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study Finding 11: Ugly emails get deleted on share this eGuide 21 . They might not be your demographic today. Beyond that. moreinfo@adestra. but if you lose them now. what do you do? (Check all that apply ) 56 to 67 19 to 34 14 to 18 79% 68% 68% 25% 29% 18% 16% 15% % 12 10% 8% % 2 I delete it I unsubcribe Read it anyway. or not at all. even though it doesn’t look good I look at it on my computer 13% 5% 6% None of these 5% % 0 2% I file it Mobile email viewers are an unforgiving bunch. If your message renders funny. 25% to 29% of younger mobile users will opt out of your email if it doesn't look good on their phones. you won't be on their radars when they move into your market.

mobile-optimized or mobile-first. If that's not in the cards. you probably need a complete redesign. We know a lot more today about what works and what doesn't. reducing clutter and adding white space around links to avoid fat-finger tapping mistakes.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study  Marketer takeaway Optimize for mobile now. If you haven't made any changes in the last three to four years. moreinfo@adestra. such as moving to a one-column format. begin with some easy share this eGuide 22 . increasing point size. Don't reduce your ability to reach them as they grow up because you don't make your emails look and work well on mobile devices. whether it's responsive email and web design. Teens are your growth market.

All Respondents Age of Respondent 14 to 18 19 to 34 56 to 67 Unsubscribe 67% 58% 70% 71% Delete the email each time 14% 14% 15% 13% Hit the spam button 7% 6% 6% 9% Ignore it 6% 14% 3% 3% Keep deleting the email until I have a need for it 4% 6% 3% 4% Set up a rule to sweep the email into a folder 2% 1% 3% 1% Good news! Email users seem to have gotten over their fear of the unsubscribe share this eGuide 23 . either deleting it or ignoring it.. Although 7% of users still rely on the spam button. 67% of users will use it..) moreinfo@adestra. most of them treat it passively. (Although this makes us wonder if those ignored emails just keep piling up in the inbox. do you. assuming it will stop unwanted email.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study Finding 12: Recipients really do unsubscribe from unwanted email. If you’re getting emails from companies that you’re no longer interested in. Instead of worrying that clicking the link will validate their email addresses to sketchy senders.

Make it obvious. puts the unsubscribe link at the top of each email. which sends daily emails. too. as long as you make the unsubscribe stand out with a contrasting color and eye-catching point size. The daily-deal email website Woot!. For the 67% of users who think they get too much email (see Finding 20). Also. Don't hide it at the bottom of the page or camouflage it with a link color that blends in with the background.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study  Marketer takeaways 1. Offer opt-down. People unsubscribe for many reasons. Consider using a button instead of a link for added visibility. include an address change form on your unsubscribe or opt-down page. give them the option to receive fewer emails or to refine their email preferences. 2. moreinfo@adestra. Make unsubscribing easy. This will retain customers who are just changing email addresses. You might not need to be that share this eGuide 24 .

etc. 88% say they either avoid social media altogether or limit themselves to three or fewer visits a share this eGuide 25 .2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study Finding 13: Teens check social media all day long. with 20% saying they check out social media 10 or more times a day. Instagram. Teens are into social media nearly all day long. on the other hand. How often each day do you check social sites for personal reasons while at work (e. visiting social sites for personal reasons is something younger users are more likely to do while at work.g. claim to discipline themselves while at work. moreinfo@adestra. Twitter. even at work. Boomers. Facebook.)? All Respondents Age of Respondent 14 to 18 19 to 34 56 to 67 Never 35% 22% 21% 59% 1-3 33% 32% 39% 29% 3-5 12% 15% 16% 6% 5-9 7% 10% 11% 2% 10+ 12% 20% 14% 4% Although checking email is a random all-day activity for all users.

Your customers might be checking in all day share this eGuide 26 . or at least once an hour.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study  Marketer takeaway Visits and shopping mindset. etc. Twitter streams. they're probably looking for updates and information rather than direct appeals to buy. Instead. Snapchat message lists. If they're checking it from work. Keep that in mind when crafting social media updates during the workday. consider how popular your various posts are and how long it might be before your messages pop up in their news feeds. but does that mean they're in the mood to shop. It doesn't mean you shouldn't post promotional messages. moreinfo@adestra.

17% of email users expressed some intention to share. with a higher propensity (25%) among Millennials. But even though there isn't a groundswell of share this eGuide 27 . and another 18% had no opinion. moreinfo@adestra." How likely are you to share messages from marketing/ advertising emails on your social networks? Age of Respondent All Respondents 14 to 18 19 to 34 56 to 67 Very likely 5% 4% 10% 2% Somewhat likely 12% 10% 15% 11% Neutral/ No option 18% 17% 20% 15% Less likely 14% 15% 18% 9% Not likely 52% 54% 37% 62% Is it any surprise that "share to social" doesn't get much uptake? Two-thirds of recipients say they are either less likely or unlikely to share your email content to their social networks.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study Finding 14: "Share to social?" Users say "meh.

2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study  Marketer takeaway ID your influencers. you likely do have some active users who love your email and want to share the wealth with your friends. That was the big challenge for marketers back in email's early days – not recognizing what made email different from print ads and direct mail. We're getting past that but sometimes are guilty of repeating that behavior when we treat texting or social like email. Tag people who click your "share to social" links as influencers and put them into a separate category for special share this eGuide 28 . moreinfo@adestra. Your email-and-social strategy should focus on building up the strengths of each channel rather than trying to duplicate messaging across channels. Play to channel strengths. Even though "share to social" isn't a hot activity.

10 3.53 1.04 2.73 2.66 moreinfo@adestra. Please tell us how much each of the following media influences your purchasing decisions.43 2.93 2.14 2.56 Facebook posts from friends about products 3.01 3.39 2.62 3.26 2.90 4.69 2.80 4.08 3.51 2.34 2.48 2.74 2.27 Brand names and subject line of emails I don’t open 2.18 2.61 4.15 3.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study Section Three: MESSAGE PREFERENCES BY CONTENT TYPE Finding 15: Discounts drive opt-ins and purchasing share this eGuide 29 .14 2.26 Getting an email from a company but not opening it 2.53 3.89 Coupon websites 3.07 Tweets 2.16 Banner ads/ Online ads 2.25 2.80 Text messages from companies that I have opted into 2.14 Review websites 4.23 4.24 4.90 3.80 3. Age of Respondent All Respondents 14 to 18 19 to 34 56 to 67 Emails that have discounts 4.01 Emails that have content (information) about a product or service that I am interested in 4.46 2.83 4.24 3.74 Facebook posts from companies 2.66 2.

because that also influences their decision to buy. etc. "Emails that have content about a product" came in at 4. whitepapers. But note that the next largest segment (41%) wants information and update about your products. In other words. at share this eGuide 30 . But that's not all they want. So. it's no surprise that 85% of your customers are signing up to get discounts. customers across the board rated discounts in email highest for driving purchase decisions.15 on a scale of 1 (meaning minimal influence) to 7 (a driving force). content.1 on the scale. Your customers are telling you that they want more from your emails.g. Are you delivering on their expectations? moreinfo@adestra.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study Which of the following are your most important reasons for signing up to receive emails from companies seeking your business? What else? (Check all that apply) Age of Respondent All Respondents 14 to 18 19 to 34 56 to 67 To receive discounts 85% 84% 87% 92% To get product/ services updates 41% 41% 38% 44% If I love the brand 38% 47% 38% 30% To participate in product research 27% 25% 23% 36% To access information (e. such as information about a product.) 13% 13% 13% 14% Other 2% 1% 2% 2% Why are these results so unsurprising? Because email marketers have taught consumers that email messages have to have discounts. reports. So.

customer reviews. Focusing copy on a discount. photos and other images where appropriate. registration or download. share this eGuide 31 . moreinfo@adestra. incentive or other offer means you aren't giving your readers enough information to propel them to buy. These messages are designed to inform or entertain as much as drive an action like a purchase. add content-forward messages to your messaging program. Add supporting content such as product information.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study  Marketer takeaway Add more content.

com share this eGuide 32 . What type of offers do you most prefer from companies in marketing emails? Age of Respondent All Respondents 14 to 18 19 to 34 56 to 67 Percentage off 35% 42% 87% 22% Free Shipping 20% 19% 38% 26% Free Trial 14% 15% 38% 16% Dollar off 14% 8% 23% 13% Buy One Get One (BOGO) 13% 13% 13% 13% None 2% 0% 2% 5% All of these 2% 13% 1% 3% Other 1% 1% 1% 1% About those discounts we've been discussing … your customers really like percentage discounts. like free shipping more than anything. and that's what they want to see in your emails. too. although percentage discounts and free trials are attractive too. free shipping and free trials. who presumably have more disposable income. free shipping lead customer discount requests. free trials and BOGO. on the other hand. while Millennials.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study Finding 16: Percentage discounts. want cash discounts and free shipping. moreinfo@adestra. But age drives preferences within these areas. who are probably balancing school loans and entry-level wages. Boomers. Cash-strapped teens gravitate toward free shipping.

signing up for a loyalty program or checking out videos or other information. As long as customers expect discounts and other special offers. answering surveys. Even content-focused messages should give your customers a reason to click to your website. browse around and either buy something or otherwise engage with your brand. make sure you include them in your emails.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study  Marketer takeaway Mix it up. such as filling out preferences. share this eGuide 33 .

however. We can't determine whether this relatively blasé attitude happens because teens don't expect privacy or haven't been schooled in privacy protection by their parents. While 63% of Boomers and 54% of Millennials have concerns. How much do you worry about your privacy because of online shopping? Age of Respondent All Respondents 14 to 18 19 to 34 56 to 67 Very worried 15% 12% 13% 19% Somewhat worried 41% 35% 41% 47% Neutral/ No opinion 25% 28% 26% 22% Less worried 11% 13% 12% 8% Not worreid 8% 12% 8% 4% These numbers bear out other studies that show teens don't have the same privacy concerns that make their elders more cautious about shopping share this eGuide 34 . responsible companies not just talk about privacy policies and updates but also explain to all consumers why they are important.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study Section Four: PRIVACY Finding 17: Boomers more cautious than teens about privacy and online shopping. 53% of teens are neutral to not worried. Although teens and Millennials might not understand or be concerned about privacy implications. moreinfo@adestra. That's not a license to take advantage of the teen market.

whether they're consumers. Also. understand your customers' concerns about privacy and address them openly. trade associations or consumer activists. Beyond the laws and best practices. Conduct internal and external training in privacy protection. Bone up on privacy laws and guidelines. such as email and postal addresses. Privacy and data regulation also are hot topics within the United States.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study  Marketer takeaways 1. but make your legal staff happy by linking to the full version elsewhere on your website. Privacy policies can be a welter of legal jargon. Translate them into plain language and post them wherever you ask for personally identifying information. but everybody else does. moreinfo@adestra. governments. Understand how privacy affects your business. Know the privacy guidelines in your industry. check on procedures for dealing with a data breach and have an emergency plan ready to go if it happens to share this eGuide 35 . Teens might not worry about their privacy. 2. Strict new laws from the European Union will affect how marketers around the world protect and transfer data.

23 3.19 Age 4.85 2. Gender ( share this eGuide 36 .47 4.07 3.19 2.73 4. How comfortable would you be in providing each of these elements of personal information to a company that has products or services that you are considering purchasing? Age of Respondent All Respondents 14 to 18 19 to 34 56 to 67 Gender 5.17 on a scale of 1 to 7) and age (4.19 4.63 4. moreinfo@adestra.63).35 Birthday 4.47 Email address 4.89 2.50 3.09 3.72 Although we didn't ask specifically about disclosing information to opt in to email.62 3.10 3. the findings above show you how comfortable people are disclosing personal information to a third party.50 4.66 4.38 4.27 5.17 5.97 4.30 4.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study Finding 18: Gender beats email address as shareable personal information.80 Phone number 3.51 Name 4. probably because they don't involve the possibility of personal contact.08 Income 2.64) rank higher than email address (4.16 4.64 4.48 3.00 Physical address 2.31 4.

com share this eGuide 37 .2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study  Marketer takeaway Data now. Think about how you would use the information and what your customers would think about giving it up. Many marketers just stop at collecting an email address but you should see how much additional information (gender. name. data later. Note: whatever you ask for should be relevant to your brand and your products and services. Testing will show you how much information your particular customer niche is willing to give up at opt-in. age (age ranges rather than specific year). moreinfo@adestra. birthday (month/date) you can secure to use for segmentation.

Although this issue is outside of email marketing. it should be a wakeup call to parents and schools to teach younger people more about privacy and social share this eGuide 38 . with Millennials being the most open at 23%. Check all that apply as it relates to your social media use: Age of Respondent All Respondents 14 to 18 19 to 34 56 to 67 I am friends with other people that I have not met in person 47% 56% 44% 41% I post pictures of myself at least twice a month 32% 44% 41% 12% I post my relationship status 26% 25% 35% 18% I post my contact information 14% 14% 15% 14% I post the address of where I live 5% 3% 8% 2% None of these 23% 14% 19% 33% We were. moreinfo@adestra. Older users are more circumspect about adding people they haven't met in person to their social circles. posting selfies and touting their relationships. astounded at the lack of concern over privacy in social media use. But 19% of all respondents post personally identifying information – contact information and home address – on their profiles.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study Finding 19: Social media use raises privacy concerns. frankly.

consider adding content that addresses these privacy practices and shows parents what to do to help their children (and themselves) be safer online.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study  Marketer takeaway Privacy share this eGuide 39 . Our study doesn't attempt to determine whether this relative lack of concern about digital privacy among younger users is related to the low privacy expectations other studies have uncovered. If you integrate social media into your digital marketing program. moreinfo@adestra. but it points in that direction.

Are opt-ins.3% 58.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study Section Five: WHAT THEY WANT Finding 20: Too much. look beyond it to behavior to get a more accurate and usable picture. clicks and conversions going up or down? Take note of what people are saying but use it more as guidance than an absolute in assessing your own email program's performance.0% 63.4% 57. unsubscribes.2% share this eGuide 40 . the media or other users conditioned them to think they are?  Marketer takeaway Check your stats.1% 33. opens.4% 6. too much or about right for you? All Respondents Age of Respondent 14 to 18 19 to 34 56 to 67 Gender Male Female Too little promtional email 4.3% 37. not enough. or just enough email? Is the amount of promotional email communications too little. That sounds depressing but remember that this statistic and all of the data reported in this study is self-reported.3% About the right amount of promotional email 35.2% 65. How overwhelmed are our email users and how much have we.5% 19% 33% Total N = 1250 N = 386 N = 419 N = 445 Six of every 10 users say they get too much email.5% 2. Because this data is self-reported.2% 36.5% 5.4% 37. moreinfo@adestra.8% 3. especially older people. Check your engagement statistics.2% 57.5% 4.1% Too much promotional email 60.

moreinfo@adestra. texting is what you do with your friends. want text messages.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study Finding 21: Millennials. Amazon. preferring messages from national retailers and restaurants (33% each) and local retailers (32%). For teens. However. Sixty percent of Millennials sign up for text messages from brands. and for Boomers it's barely on their radar. Zappos) 27% 26% 33% 23% Local retailers 25% 22% 32% 21% Restaurants 24% 19% 33% 20% Contests 16% 16% 22% 11% Airline/ travel 11% 4% 15% 13% Financial institutions 11% 3% 15% 13% Other 3% 3% 3% 3% Text messaging from brands is an outlier behavior for teen and Boomers.e. LL Bean. What type of businesses do you sign up for text messages from (Check all that apply) All Respondents Age of Respondent 14 to 18 19 to 34 56 to 67 I don’t sign up for text messages 50% 52% 40% 59% National retailers (i. not teens or Boomers. the opportunity is still there with share this eGuide 41 .

retail is a major interest (27% for national brands. Signing up in one channel no longer implies that they'll always use only that channel to communicate with you. you still have 50% who do. you need to find where your customer hangs out the most. Across the board. Having a text messaging strategy can help you get your message across when you need to send bulletins – flash sales. These numbers indicate a channel preference rather than a messaging preference. moreinfo@adestra. travel or credit-card alerts – instead of full emails. 25% for local retailers) as are restaurants (24%).com share this eGuide 42 . Along with social media. Even though 50% of respondents don't sign up for brand texts.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study  Marketer takeaway Develop a text strategy.

to single digits for Millennials and teens). are far more likely to call their friends instead of pinging them on Facebook Messenger or texting them (39%.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study Finding 22: Boomers call and email each other. Boomers.) Facebook 7% 3% 5% Personal visits 8% 4% Phone calls 6% 3% 0% Email 0% 2% Other Although smartphones dominate among mobile devices. However. What is your primary method for communicating with friends? (Check all that apply ) 56 to 67 54% 19 to 34 14 to 18 57% 39% 20% 18% 6% 0 Text 22% % 14 20% 10% % Chat Apps (Snapchat. Teens and Millennials rely on SMS and chat apps like Snapchat and WhatsApp to talk to their share this eGuide 43 . Only 20% of Boomers use texting more than any other communication method. who grew up sharing the family phone. moreinfo@adestra. teens and Millennials text. etic. WhatsApp. which part of the phone gets used most often to communicate depends largely on the user's age. Burn Noter. and they're barely a blip on the app radar.

Instead. When you think about how to message Baby Boomers. who would rather click a keyboard than make conversation with non-friends. remember that they have spent half their lives on the phone. moreinfo@adestra. Test whether changing your message style and content to emphasize relationship-style selling rather than promotional selling. and not on impersonal media like texting apps. whether at home or at work. A study by data company Acxiom once showed that in the fashion vertical. offering discounts did not influence purchase in the top defiles. This approach focused on expressed preference or interest and derived preference or share this eGuide 44 . This tends to make them more relationship-focused than younger users. branding and content exerted more influence.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study  Marketer takeaway Relationship selling. Knowing this distinction of your data and subscribers can fundamentally change your message archetype. Use different messaging to appeal to different customer groups.

moreinfo@adestra. coupons. The next largest group – 32%– either said they received too many emails or wanted marketers to stop sending emails (another reminder to optimize your unsubscribe). share this eGuide 45 . So. discounts.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study Finding 23: What's on their mind? Fewer emails. what did they say? The biggest segment – 37%– had no opinion. What would you like to tell retailers about the email that you receive? All Respondents Age of Respondent 14 to 18 19 to 34 56 to 67 No answer 37% 31% 45% 34% Dont’ send as many emails 23% 22% 21% 27% Stop sending emails 9% 11% 6% 9% Send more sales. 8% 10% 8% 7% I’m not interested in them 8% 9% 7% 8% Only send emails relevant to us 4% 5% 4% 4% Don’t send them unless we request them 4% 2% 3% 6% Other 4% 4% 3% 4% They are annoying 3% 6% 2% 1% Don’t send spam/ junk emails 3% 4% 3% 1% They are helpful 3% 3% 3% 2% Make them shorter 2% 2% 2% 2% Improve their overall appearance 2% 3% 2% 1% Make it easy to unsubscribe 2% 1% 2% 3% Don’t share my information 1% 1% 0% 1% Be honest 1% 1% 0% 1% Improve the subject line 1% 1% 1% 1% Thanks for sending them 1% 2% - - Send only for important events 0% 1% - - The study gave respondents a chance to share their opinions about the emails they receive.

com share this eGuide 46 . Use the information you have on your customers already. that your customers might be getting bored with the same old email content every time. too. moreinfo@adestra. Consider. With so many comments revolving around sending fewer or more relevant emails. that should be your signal to start segmenting your database. Change up your messaging and your focus. Look for new and fun things you can do with your email – anything that is within your brand image.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study  Marketer takeaway Start segmenting. and solicit more information using progressive profiling.

2% 67.3% . they prefer email more than four to one to their next most popular choice.1% 4. On the contrary.5% 1.8% 9.6% None .5% . But.7% 3.5% 4.5% . prefer email to everything else.3% 9. Why? Because all ages in our study want to use it in order to communicate with brands. Email is neither dead nor dying.9% Direct mail 9.3% .6% 73. Millennials prefer email in even bigger numbers.1% 75.5% . too.3% 9.2% 6. There's your growth market.5% 5. It's true that teens don't use email chat with their friends.5% 11.3% . Boomers. Social media didn't kill it.0% 3.5% 7. an email-SMS hybrid.6% 71. When they want to get messages from brands.4% Total N = 1251 N = 386 N = 420 N = 445 N = 583 N = 668 Let's be clear on this once and for all.5% - - 1. They're also the last generation to look kindly on direct mail.8% 3.9% SMS 4.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study Finding 24: One channel to rule them all: Email! If you could select a communication preference from a business which would you choose? Age of Respondent All Respondents Gender 14 to 18 19 to 34 56 to 67 Male Female Email 72.1% 9.7% 17.5% share this eGuide 47 . that's okay.5% .9% Email and SMS (both) 9.9% 5. email is the "killer app" that marketers have been searching for.0% App (push messages) 3.3% Other .9% 3.3% 72. moreinfo@adestra.6% 4. Texting and Snapchat didn't kill it.4% .

Take this encouraging news to heart and start thinking about what you can do to take your email program to a higher level and to make your customers and subscribers fall even more deeply in love with the messages you send. They really do want your share this eGuide 48 .2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study  Marketer takeaway Be bold. moreinfo@adestra. Don't just send more email. These numbers validate email as the primary channel for communicating with your customers. find new ways to make email more useful in your company and to prove its value to your executives. save and act on. Send better email – messages that your readers want to anticipate. as long as you're smart about what you do with your email program. Beyond your subscribers. read.

2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study Conclusion This study presents convincing evidence that email is enjoying renewed popularity as marketers incorporate big data concepts and the linkage that email has to the addressable consumer. They fought back against spammers and fraudsters and seek out ways to connect better with customers and add value to the relationship. On top of that. Email marketers who are on a constant quest to do email better can take credit for much of this newfound good feeling toward email. content and frequency – but marketers are busy finding share this eGuide 49 . moreinfo@adestra. finding the right balance of commerce. Challenges remain – making the mobile email experience reliable and fruitful. marketers are working harder to show everyone from co-workers to executives how email contributes to their companies' prosperity and growth.

1% 5.8% .1% Not employed at this time 9.6% 7.1% 15.1% Gull time homemaker 3.4% 28.2% .6% - 20.8% 11.9% 9.2% 4.6% 3.7% 37.0% 14.7% .9% - .5% 64.8% 15.0% 10.8% Retired from work 12.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study Appendix Employment Status Age of Respondent All Respondents Gender 14 to 18 19 to 34 56 to 67 Male Female Work full time as employee or self-employed 32.7% 3.6% Other 3.9% 11.6% share this eGuide 50 .8% 13.7% 6.0% 10.4% 2.9% Part time Employee 13.9% 3.6% Unemployed student 24.1% 39.8% 16.1% 55.8% Total N = 1251 N = 386 N = 420 N = 445 N = 583 N = 668 moreinfo@adestra.3% 6.6% 8.2% 36.1% 8.

0% 6.0% 14.000 17.4% $15.3% 14.1% 13.2% 15.9% 10.3% 8.8% 7.7% 11.2% 14.999 11.2% $75.0% 8.6% 22.000 to $74.8% 21.2% 13.999 14.2% 14.4% $50.8% 15.3% share this eGuide 51 .9% 19.0% 6.2% 20.999 7.000 to $49.9% 17.5% 7.4% 19.9% 24.5% 7.000 to $74.3% 11.000 to $34.4% 8.999 11.3% 17.6% 22.8% 15.6% 31.4% 24.7% 15.9% 12.000 to $19.8% 16.2% 14.6% $50.2% 15.4% 10.4% 17.999 7.9% 17.7% $100.3% 8.4% $20.1% 10.8% 12.4% 12.000 or greater 12.6% 18.1% 13.6% 6.5% 14.000 to $49.999 20.4% 23.9% 20.3% 16.7% 8.0% 8.6% N = 1250 N = 386 N = 420 N = 444 N = 583 N = 667 Total All Respondents Environment Region Urban Suburban East Midwest West/ Pacific South Under $15.1% 16.4% $35.3% 20.9% 15.0% 18.000 17.1% 15.9% 14.999 15.000 to $34.000 to $99.999 14.3% $20.7% 17.2% $35.000 or greater 12.9% 14.1% N = 1250 N = 565 N = 685 N = 370 N = 298 N = 284 N = 298 Total moreinfo@adestra.1% 15.7% 6.8% 15.000 to $19.3% 10.1% 6.0% 6.6% 15.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study Income Age of Respondent All Respondents Gender 14 to 18 19 to 34 56 to 67 Male Female Under $15.7% 9.1% 18.999 15.9% $15.5% $75.000 to $99.1% 12.7% 11.6% 14.6% 14.2% 14.8% 11.3% 13.999 20.1% $100.

You need award winning proactive customer support.Email Takes More Than Technology In today's hectic (email) . For more than a decade we have been providing marketers with powerful email technology that connects with their wider technology ecosystem. behaviors and current needs. We help our digital partners deliver personalized messages based on their customers’ unique traits. we’re Software AND a Service! Contact us: 1-855-835-0471 (toll free) moreinfo@adestra. helping them engage with their customers and deliver fantastic return on marketing investment. you need more than just technology to achieve your goals. We’re not just a Software as a Service.

Adestra was founded on the principle that marketing success takes more than technology.adestra. which is why customer service is at the heart of our business. we’re Software AND a Service! Adestra is a leading global provider of one-to-one email and lifecycle marketing solutions for global and growing brands alike. Established in 1-855-835-0471 (toll free) moreinfo@adestra. with offices worldwide. www. which reduces implementations. Adestra was a winner of the 2014 Customer Focus Award from the Customer Service Institute. Adestra's US operations are based in Dallas. and we continue to maintain one of the highest customer retention rates in the industry. Along with a superior platform to execute marketing share this eGuide .com (email) moreinfo@adestra.2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study We’re not just a Software as a Service. The company's industry leading digital marketing platform provides marketers with a powerful infrastructure that helps them communicate more effectively with their customers and subscribers by providing hyper-relevant context. This proprietary technology also allows for automated messaging and incorporates enterprise-class native functionality.