Consumers’ inboxes are inundated by spam, trash and malware disguised as marketing messages. How can marketers differentiate their content and connect with consumers?
E-mail is a marketer’s greatest tool and greatest conundrum. E-mail gives marketers access to the potential attention of nearly 4 billion consumers across the world, but it also fills consumers’ inboxes with an avalanche of spam, malware and mistargeted ads.
And the avalanche of e-mail is growing. In 2017, people sent or received 269 e-mails each day on average, up from 110 per day in 2010, according to reports from research firm The Radicati Group. In three years, consumers will have to work harder to keep up with their inboxes, as Radicati predicts consumers will send or receive nearly 320 e-mails each day.
As consumers fight to keep up with their inboxes—“zero inbox” has become more an aspiration than a realistic goal—marketers have used design, targeting and personalization to cut through the clutter. But as access to e-mail marketing tools has become common beyond the agency marketer, e-mail has become democratized. Anyone, from a backroom spammer to a Fortune 500 CMO, can send an alluring e-mail.
In turn, consumers have become chary of the messages they open—and for good reason. In 2017, cybersecurity software company Symantec reported that spam composed 54.3% of all e-mail messages. No longer the unpolished shlock it once was, spam can now look just as good as the finest e-mail marketing campaign. In the same year, IBM researchers found that the volume of spam with malicious intent—phishing, malware or account takeovers—was swelling. One wrong click could mean disaster; trust has become imperative.
How can marketers build trust and stand out in cluttered inboxes? Here are nine tips.