Which is the top communication channel preferred by consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic? How are Gmail’s new upcoming features about to affect users? Will they be the bridge Google needs to smooth relations with the EU and U.S. regulators regarding its privacy settings? 

“Every study that’s been done on email marketing has shown that increased frequency brings better results. If you’re only emailing somebody once a month, they’ll forget you.  ” – Ian Brodie

In this article, we’ll cover the following email industry news:

  1. Email reigns supreme during the COVID-19 pandemic
  2. Gmail: new setting for smart features and personalisation

Let’s dive in.

The Channel Most Favoured By Consumers During COVID-19 Is… Email

Consumers of different ages and across different locations have moved to digital channels as a means to engage with brands while they cope with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

According to recent research conducted by the CMO Council, email dominates as 91% of consumers rate is as the top communication channel followed by websites (61%), telephone (59%), in-person (49%) and SMS (43%). The report also states that when it comes down to consumer’s critical needs, 55% view email as the “could not live without” communication channel.

The stats point out the most valued traits of email communication, according to consumers, are that it is convenient (29%), trackable (22%), reliable (18%), fast (11%), trusted (8%) and personal (7%). Furthermore, according to the Content Marketing Insitute, nearly 9 out of every 10 marketers distributes content (organically) via email. Yet, consumers’ inboxes are flooded with irrelevant marketing emails which is quite frustrating for the recipients and, consequently, leading to low open rates. The only way this can be resolved is by cutting through the clutter with highly-personalised emails tailored to the consumers’ specific needs and interests.

As for privacy, 25% of consumers are willing to share their personal data to gain a better-personalised experience and offers; with 22% willing to share data to receive better service and 15% to receive faster service.

The CMO Council survey covers six countries – the U.S., the UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Gmail: New Settings Will Put Users In More Control Of Their Data

To give you more control over your information and help support compliance requirements, Google is launching new settings for Smart features and personalisation in Gmail.

Before January 11, 2021, users will have the option to “set and confirm the setting’s default values to determine how their data is used and shared.”

Starting January 11, 2021, if users have not yet set a default state, they will be asked to make a selection on their Smart Features and Personalisation settings and choose how their data is used and shared for themselves. Although you can change your settings in the Google Admin console anytime, according to Google, “you won’t be able to override your user settings once a selection is made.”

If users decide to opt-out from Smart features in Gmail, Chat, and Meets using their data, they will not be able to get the automatic categorisation (Promotions, Social, Primary tags) or use the Smart Compose feature. You can learn more about turning on/off smart features and personalisation here.

These new features are unlikely to smooth the relationship between Google, the EU and U.S. regulators who have long scrutinised the company’s privacy settings. However, they are a step in the right direction.

Final Thoughts

Do you have any suggestions or ideas about which email industry news topics you’d like us to look out for in the future? Write your requests below. We’ll keep an eye out (or two) so you don’t have to – and all for FREE, of course.

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Adi Angelova

Author Adi Angelova

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