Despite industry concerns about the effect of GDPR, research reveals that out of eight marketing channels, nearly three quarters (73%) of consumers state email is their preferred marketing channel.

According to the DMA’s latest ‘Customer Engagement – Acquisition and the Consumer Mindset’ report, which surveyed 2,016 consumers exploring public attitudes towards the future of customer engagement, the next most popular channel was post, with 41% of respondents selecting this.

Other channels included social media (22%), text message (22%) , banner ads (18%), face-to-face (13%), messenger apps (5%) and phone (3%).

Keeping it relevant

The report found that when responding to an interesting marketing message, consumers tend to respond in several ways.

Out of those questioned, 48% said they search for the company website, while 41% bear the information in mind for later use. 37% said they click on a link in the message.

Clearly, by contacting consumers with messages that are relevant to them, businesses can influence consumer behaviour both directly (i.e. a click on an email link) and indirectly (i.e. consideration of the brand).

The majority of customers (90%) said they were aware of the GDPR. Consequentially, treating and using their data ethically would reinforce their trust towards brands and marketing communications.

Marketers should keep messages simple and relevant to consumers, as nearly two fifths (38%) of consumers rated information that’s easy to understand as something that helps them trust the marketing messages they would receive.

“It is encouraging to see that GDPR hasn’t had a negative impact on consumer perceptions of email marketing. Evidently, it remains a key way to engage customers when it is used to promote the right opportunities at the right times,” said Rachel Aldighieri, managing director of the DMA.

“Marketers should take note and ensure all their communications use simple, tailored messages,” Aldighieri continued.