Bombarding consumers with marketing results in brand resentment

By Neil Hamilton

New research has shown that poor email marketing correspondence would make consumers online resent a company or brand. A massive 75 per cent would resent a brand after being bombarded by emails and 71 per cent cite being sent unsolicited messages as a reason to become resentful, according to an online YouGov survey, commissioned by Emailvision.

Listing their name incorrectly (50 per cent) and getting gender wrong (40 per cent) in correspondence are also key factors that would make consumers online resentful towards their once favoured brands. Incredibly, the same survey revealed an unexpected 40 per cent would not share any of the personal details listed with a brand in exchange for better targeted offers; emphasising the need for brands to provide value through personalised communications. In the 55 and overs, this figure rose to 49 per cent.

Emailvision’s survey questioned what personal information consumers online would be willing to share in exchange for better targeted offers. A mere 28 per cent of adults online indicated they would be willing to share their name. 37 per cent of consumers online indicated they would be willing to share their age and 38 per cent would be willing to share their gender with a brand. This lack of sharing demonstrates that consumers online don’t yet see the value of exposing their personal information to brands.

When a customer purchases from your in-store business, they give you money in exchange for a product or service. When a visitor interacts with your online business, they are giving you their data in exchange for a relevant experience with your brand. If a business doesn’t choose to make use of this data correctly, they are missing out on important knowledge that could positively or negatively impact business for years to come. It’s imperative that a customer never becomes ‘just a number’ even in a database of millions. Technology enables all businesses to treat their customers to a personalised experience across multiple sales channels.

There is, however, a small percentage of online consumers who seem willing to overshare, as eight per cent of consumers online will go as far as to share their underwear size in exchange for better targeted offers from a brand.

Top tips for creating a smart email marketing campaign

In order to ensure consumers don’t end up resenting a brand due to poor email marketing, Emailvision has compiled a list of tips on creating an effective email marketing campaign:

    Use technology to bridge the gap between a brand and their customers: Every interaction a customer has with an online business, from a browse on the website, to the open and click on an email, to the tweet, or the in-store purchase can be captured to generate valuable data. Today there is a new generation of software that’s dedicated to helping businesses understand this data called Customer Intelligence. CI technology enables marketers to build targeted and personalised marketing that’s based on typical consumer profiles and/or a subscriber’s past interactions with the brand.

    Get to know your customer: Customers are individuals and online marketers need to build one-to-one relationships with them. By developing targeted messages, online brands have the opportunity to impress customers with their knowledge. Through this personal touch, companies can communicate in a relevant and more engaging way.

    Incentivise your customer: Customers need to be persuaded to give their data. Using competitions and money-off offers to attract their attention will help them feel the benefit of sharing their data.

    Headline and email subject matter: Every call to action should reinforce the value in taking that action, so be engaging, create excitement and bring to life the experience your brand encapsulates. This call to action should be delivered in the subject line and reinforced in the content within the email. It serves as a first impression and the relevance of the subject line will determine whether the email will be opened or will remain lost in the inbox.

    • Customise your offers: Don’t let customer intelligence go to waste. Previous purchase behaviour and information that customers provide you with over time can be used to create targeted campaigns. Personalising your offers could mean the difference between a click and a sale.


All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2001 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken from 2-5 November, 2012. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

About the author

Neil Hamilton, Personalisation Director at Emailvision and co-founder of PredictiveIntent.

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