It’s probably no surprise to most that consumer confidence levels aren’t as high as they probably should be.
When the GfK Consumer Confidence report was recently released, it revealed that consumer confidence levels had plunged into negative territory, with wider economic sentiment having fallen by 18 points from where it was a year earlier.
Interest rates, prices in the shops and concerns about the economy could each be factors that are a concern for consumers, so marketers need to think differently when it comes to their marketing strategy to appease these worries.
It has, and always will make sense for marketers to adapt their campaigns and messaging to pursue the sentiment of their audiences.
Whether it is by simply emulating the ups and downs of the British weather, or marketing alongside the summer festival season, we are exposed to messages that are assembled to reflect or to sit comfortably alongside the emotional and social position the nation finds itself in.
Whilst marketing has to be demographically and culturally driven to reach the right audiences, research carried out by Mailjet throughout 2016 has revealed that common assumptions about how the British like to be approached could be a bit too prudent.
Whilst it’s always sensible to be polite, marketers can afford to have a little fun with ‘the line’, without necessarily overstepping it. According to the research, it could make all the difference.
Pardon my French?
It’s an obvious assumption that you should never swear at the consumers you want to engage with.
However, one of Mailjet’s studies has unveiled that British consumers are actually partial to a bit of colourful language. Whilst the words have to be marketing friendly, they can lead to clicks and ultimately better connections.
Old-fashioned exclamations such as ‘Gordon Bennet’ or ‘numpty’ can produce as much (Read more...) a 29% boost in open rates amongst Brits.
The British are known for their resilience and tongue-in-cheek humour, therefore it makes sense to play on this as marketing content.
In contrast, our friends across the pond might be more easily offended. Open rates fell by 30% compared to average open rates when family-friendly swear words were not used.
It now makes sense why one US recipient issued a formal complaint when they spotted the inclusion of ‘cock-up’ in the subject line, arguing that it caused offence and was inappropriate.
The undeniable rise of emoji language
Another common assumption is that emoji’s have no place in email, they should be kept to the realm of social media and text. And yet as emoji’s are now used by over 92% of the online population, they obviously resonate with the majority.
Using their database of over 15,000 respondents across European and US markets, Mailjet tested a number of different emojis against the open rates of marketing emails in each market. Low and behold Brits are in fact the most likely to open emails containing emoji’s, with an impressive 63% engaging via this approach.
Content also plays a decisive role here. For instance, by juxtaposing the tone of the subject line such as “Do your emails look this good?” with the tongue-in-cheek sarcasm of using a crying emoji, open rates surged by 95%.
It’s all fun and games until…
… Someone gets hacked. Almost 70% of us don’t see emails as a threat to cyber security, which highlights a real lack of education.
Astonishingly one in ten of us also admitted that they would open an email that implies it contains nudity, and two in 10 admitted they would open an email if it contained images of an attractive man or woman.
Email hacking can be one of the biggest threats to our cyber security, more advanced and specific attacks are more than likely going to be used to target IT infrastructure too. So when planning any email marketing campaign, marketers have to consider whether the use of certain quirks might desensitise audiences to other less formal, and ultimately malicious engagements.
Know your audience
Ultimately, marketers have a great opportunity to get creative and encourage open rates. Friendly swear words and sarcastic emoji’s allow marketers to reach wider audiences and enhance rapport with consumers through their email marketing efforts.
Although a certain amount of caution does need to be applied. Only use fruity language if you know your audience well enough, and it directly relates to the content in the email, the same can be said for emoji’s too. But if you’re not sure, avoid it. Nobody wants to end up in the spam folder.
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Jason John is Chief Marketing Officer, Digital for Publishers Clearing House, a role in which he is responsible for the development and execution of overall ... read more