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Understanding How Consumers Feel About Emails

Most email marketing statistics roundups are great if you want to understand how your open rates compare to the industry average or find a new best practice to copy.

But they rarely uncover consumer expectations from email marketing or how to use data in a value-driven email marketing campaign.

Don’t worry, though. I’m here to shake things up.

My team and I surveyed 1000 people to find out how they feel about emails—and I spill everything in this article. You’ll learn about email usage habits, their favorite niches, and, crucially, what they think about AI-generated email content.

So, if you’re ready to create more relevant, engaging, and profitable e-mail campaigns, let’s dive in.

Consumer E-mail Habits

Let’s kick things off by discussing the top consumer preferences for email marketing:

  • How often do consumers check e-mail?
  • How do they check e-mail?
  • What kind of offers do they care about?

That way, you can give subscribers what they want!


How often do consumers check their e-mail?

Consumers check their email a heck of a lot.

Our research shows that 61 percent of consumers are likely to check their e-mail a few times per day.

Almost one in five people (18 percent) check their email multiple times per hour.

It won’t come as a surprise, then, to learn that most people check their e-mail on a smartphone, with 89% of respondents choosing this as their preferred method.

They check their emails at all times of the day, too:

  • 28 percent said Early morning (before 9 am)
  • 27 percent said Late morning (9 am –12 pm)
  • 21 percent said early afternoon (12 pm – 3 pm)

That’s right, it doesn’t matter if you send your e-mail in the morning or the afternoon! But I recommend testing different times of day with your specific target audience to see what they prefer, which will help you drive more success with your email marketing campaigns.

Why do consumers sign up for e-mails?

Whether you’re running email marketing for e-commerce stores or just about any other business, it helps to know what motivates people to subscribe.

Which industries do consumers care about most?

Our survey found that the top three most popular industries people receive e-mails from are:

  • Retailers
  • Entertainment
  • Health and wellness

That’s great news if you run email marketing for e-commerce stores.

But the top industries change depending on who you ask. For example, when we asked people who said they make a purchase from emails either often or very often, we found they signed up for emails from slightly different industries.

For these high-intent buyers, the top three industries were:

  • Technology (think major tech manufacturers and companies)
  • Travel and hospitality + health and wellness (this was a tie for second)
  • Retailers

The great thing about this group of consumers is that even if they don’t remember signing up to get e-mails from your business, 41 percent would still look to see if your emails provided value or use to them.

Demographics and Email Preferences

Now, let’s look at how e-mail preferences differ in demographics like age and gender.


We asked a range of age groups (16-24, 25-34, and 35-54+) which email subject lines would most likely get them to open an email.

Both the 16-24-year-olds and the 25-34-year-olds — younger consumers, in other words — said a number-based headline like “60% off ALL spring styles” was the most enticing.

The 35-54+-year olds preferred an exclusivity-based subject line like “Exclusive offer”.



You won’t be surprised to hear that men and women sign up for e-mails from different industries.

For men, the top three industries are:

  • Technology
  • Retailers
  • Entertainment and events

For women, the top three industries are:

  • Retailers
  • Entertainment/events
  • Health and wellness

Men and women also prefer different subject lines.

Women prefer numerical offers, while men prefer exclusivity.

If you didn’t already know, this research shows why segmenting emails is so important. Splitting your e-mail list into separate groups (based on age, gender, or something else entirely) allows you to personalize subject lines and email content.








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