Consumers don’t like brands getting their details wrong, but unwilling to share them – survey

16 Jan 2013

When it comes to email marketing, don’t bombard consumers with messages, don’t send unsolicited messages, be sure to spell consumers’ names correctly and identify them by the correct gender, lest you spark their resentment, a new survey suggests.

However, the same survey revealed that 40pc of consumers would not share any of the personal details listed with a brand in exchange for better targeted offers; emphasising the need to provide value through personalised communications.  

The online YouGov survey commissioned by marketing and customer intelligence player Emailvision revealed 75pc of consumers would resent a favoured brand that inundates them with messages, unsolicited messages would spark resentment in 71pc of consumers, having their names misspelled would irk 50pc of customers, and 40pc of consumers would resent a brand for getting their gender wrong.

The survey then questioned what personal information consumers online would be willing to share in exchange for better targeted offers.  

Just 28pc of adults online indicated they would be willing to share their name, 37pc would be willing to share their age, and 38pc would be willing to disclose their gender.  

This lack of sharing may demonstrate that consumers online don’t yet see the value of providing brands with some personal information.

“With an abundance of choice, consumers are more demanding and they expect brands to engage them correctly,” said Tim Watson, an email marketing consultant at Zettasphere.

“If someone is not providing them with the right offers, value and relationship … they will quickly switch to another brand.

“The key to success for marketers is not in the content; it’s in the intelligence and actionable information that comes from customer data. Think of it this way … when picking the perfect present for a close friend, it’s your knowledge (data) about the person that’s the starting point in the search for the ideal gift. After you consider the person and their preferences, then your search for the actual gift (content) begins within the range of ideal gifts already identified by data.”

Creating a smart email marketing campaign

So how should marketers get customers to share their information? Emailvision suggests using competitions and money-off offers to attract consumers’ attention will help them feel the benefit of sharing their data.

In addition, every call to action should reinforce the value in taking that action, so marketers should be engaging, create excitement and bring to life the experience their brands encapsulates.

“This call to action should be delivered in the subject line of an email 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,” Emailvision said.

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic