Car brand emails drive straight to spam folders research finds

The car industry suffers from the highest rate of spam placement for its marketing emails of any industry, with more than a quarter of emails from auto manufacturers going straight to spam folders, new research has found.

Matt Blumberg says car makers are seeing email campaigns disappear into spam folders

The global study by email specialists Return Path revealed 24% of emails from car companies were failing to reach their target, despite the highly targeted and permission-based nature of the strategy.

By comparison, banks and financial services companies saw just 6% of their emails going to spam.

Matt Blumberg, co-founder and CEO of Return Path, said the challenge for car brands was particular because consumers were only highly engaged with them during a brief period when they were actively looking to buy a new car.

“It is interesting how much it varies sector by sector,” Blumberg told Mumbrella.

“Generally the thing that’s driving spam placement is going to be user engagement and that is where an area like automotive may have more of a problem.

“By comparison if you are looking at kids and babies or pets, to pick a couple of verticals, those are verticals where if you have a baby or you have a pet you are engaged with a brand on a much more frequent basis.

“You may have given your email to the Ford dealer or the Peugeot dealer when you were in market to buy a car but once you have bought one you are not so interested any more. As your engagement levels drop and you are ignoring messages or complaining about them to your ISP, you are much more likely to trigger the filters.”

Other sectors with high spam rates of more than 20% included education, non-profit, government social and dating and telecommunications.

The research also revealed more consumers are deleting emails from brands without even considering them.

The “deleted without reading” rate rose from 9% to 13% between 2015 and 2016.

Blumberg also said marketers relying on email were having to adjust to changes in the way the major email services – Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook/Hotmail – were filtering mail.

“The thing that is generally true about all of them is they are all moving in the direction of paying much more attention to engagement at the subscriber level.”

He said the use of AI and programmatic would have a growing impact on the sector.

“The biggest couple of trends and things that will be driving what we see over the next handful of years are going to be an emphasis on cross-channel and an emphasis on data-science and AI,” he said.

“These two things together are very powerful and essentially working for the same cause which is to be as efficient as possible and as targeted as possible. Anticipating customers needs and being channel agnostic about them is where I think things are likely to head.

“The early adopters, the most sophisticated marketers are going to get there 10 years ahead of everyone else.

“What’s interesting to me about AI is it may give first movers a more sustainable advantage because its not just about being first, it’s actually about building a better customer experience and a better relationship and therefore creating a different level of brand loyalty.”


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