Top email marketing brands: Amazon, Tesco and M&S lead the way


New research from the Internet Advertising Bureau – the trade association for digital marketing – suggests that email marketers should look to Amazon, Tesco and Marks and Spencer for inspiration when planning their email campaigns.

Around a quarter of consumers cited one or more of the three big brands as those they’d ‘most like to hear from’ via email, citing easy navigation and simplicity as the biggest draw in emails from marketers. The IAB – in partnership with its email council and iCD Research – asked a nationally representative sample of 1000 people their attitudes towards email marketing, levels of usage and preferred layout, to inform the email marketing strategies of UK brands.



The results revealed that whilst email marketing is arguably the oldest form of digital communication it still resonates with consumers, with a third of people having become interested in a brand or product they weren’t previously aware of as a result of an email.

General email usage

85% of consumers still see email as an important communications tool, with 88% of people using their personal account every day. 65% of people check their work email account every day for personal reasons, meaning that brands still have very real opportunities to engage with customers in this way.

The research results also highlighted the three key considerations for email marketers when planning their campaigns:

Driving sales and providing value for money

The research found that consumers were overwhelmingly drawn to emails offering promotions or money off, with 66% of respondents stating that they like to hear from brands because they have good offers.

When asked which subject lines would make them open an email, the majority were more likely to respond to an offer or incentive (70%) whilst 69% of consumers were likely to open an email if it offered money off a product or service.

Slightly lower down the scale of popularity were personalisation (42%) and topicality (19%).

Maintaining customer relationships and loyalty

The study also showed that many consumers see email as a way of keeping in touch with brands they already like and frequently buy from, with the discipline serving as an excellent retention tool.

60% of respondents used email to receive information from their favourite brands, and separately over half (52%) of consumers like to receive emails relating to products and services they regularly pay for.

Interestingly, some 87% of consumers admitted to deleting emails without opening them, largely because they believed they hadn’t opted-in to hearing from that brand, suggesting need for further transparency in the data collection process.

Simplicity of email formatting and design

Results also indicate that consumers prefer to receive simple, straightforward and useful emails that don’t take too much time out of their day - in fact 42% of respondents stated that they would delete an email if they thought they didn’t have time to read it.

When asked about their creative preferences in terms of email design.

The panel were provided with various examples of email layout, the most popular were those that were ‘easy to understand and navigate’, ‘get straight to the point’ and those that combined images, short text and click through.

Guy Phillipson, CEO of the Internet Advertising Bureau said: “Email is a key element of the marketer’s armoury, yet it remains essential that brands remember what resonates most with consumers when planning email campaigns. We know that email is still an important part of people’s daily lives, but this research shows that as online evolves into a more multi-tasking experience, a simple, strong promotion offering something of real value is what gets the best response.”

Beccy Stanley, Senior Account Director, TMW and chair of the IAB email council said: ‘It is not surprising that popular consumer brands are those that treat email as an integral part of their marketing mix - a crucial touch point in the customer journey. These brands work hard to maintain their positive customer rapport that they have worked so hard to obtain. Thorough understanding of their customers is crucial in order to deliver relevant and easily accessible email communications. These emails are then welcomed, relied upon and sometimes eagerly anticipated as they often help consumers make purchase decisions with greater ease.’


<< Back to today’s Digital Intelligence news

Copyright ©2000-2019 Digital Strategy Consulting Limited | All rights reserved | This material is for your personal use only | Using this site constitutes acceptance of our user agreement and privacy policy