Email Marketing Survey: Number of Subscribers Decreasing Slightly

Email marketing has been around for years, giving consumers a way to keep up with their favorite brands through newsletters and updates sent directly to their inboxes. But social media may have begun changing the landscape a bit by allowing customers to simply keep up with the same brands on the sites they already use. Have preferences changed at all throughout the past year?

email marketing

Email Marketing

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, 36% of respondents said that they currently subscribe to multiple email lists from their favorite brands or companies. Another 34% said that they subscribe to just one or two of these lists. 15% said that they don’t actually subscribe to any, but they sometimes receive promotional emails anyway. And 16% said they don’t receive any emails from companies. Those numbers are down slightly from a September 2012 survey, when 39% subscribed to many email lists and 32% subscribed to one or two of them.

There are a few different reasons consumers could choose to subscribe to promotional emails, depending on the type of company or brand. 79% said they subscribe to brand emails to receive discounts or coupons. 47% said they subscribe to learn about new products or services. 27% said they subscribe just because they like the brand or brands. 24% subscribe to read interesting articles or content. 18% subscribe to keep up with new company information. And just 6% subscribe for other reasons, like to enter contests or learn about jobs opportunities.


So it’s clear that the majority of people receive promotional emails sometimes, but how often do they actually make an impact? Just 11% of those who receive promotional emails said they always read them. 33% said they read most of the emails they receive from brands. Another 33% said they read them about half the time. 21% said they rarely read promotional emails. And just 1% said they never read them.

Social Media

So how do social media users differ from those who get promotional emails? Fewer respondents, 25%, said they follow many different brands on social media. 28% said they follow just one or two of their favorite brands on social media. 13% said they don’t follow any brands on social media, but sometimes brands reach out to them or connect with them anyway. And 35% of respondents said that they never connect with brands via social media. Of those who have access to brands’ social media posts or communications, just 10% said they always read them, and 32% said they read most of the posts by their favorite brands on social media.

While the amount of people who subscribe to email newsletters seems to have decreased, the amount of those who follow brands on social media has barely changed. 25% of respondents in the September 2012 survey followed many brands on social media, and 26% followed just one or two. So there has been a very slight increase in social media activity, and a small decrease in email activity.

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.

Photo Credit: Xbox email newsletter from Flickr

What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on December 9 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.