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One of the first sessions at this week’s Email Insider Summit in Park City, Utah, was a panel of five moms who shared how they use email along with the things they like and the concerns they have with their inboxes. While there were some great nuggets in the session, I believe it is more interesting to compare what was shared in the moms panel with the panel of college students at the Email Insider Summit held last May in Captiva, Fla.
The consistent theme of the moms was the issue of time — they don’t have any. Their priority is running the kids between soccer practice and music lessons. When it comes to time on the computer, they are competing with their children and spouses. While one mom on the panel was consistently connected because she runs an online business from the computer in her kitchen, the more common scenario was one where Mom checked into her inbox late at night: “Around 10 o’clock at night, I can generally elbow my way between the kids so I can go through my email and check things online,” one said.
In general, what we heard is that moms’ email use is very utilitarian. They want information that is easy to digest. They value clarity and highly structured information over content. There is value in getting email from companies to which these consumers feel affinity, but all too often, they find the messages cluttered and the process of checking out frustrating. “Tricks turn me off. I recently responded to an email that advertised $10 off, but when I got to the end of the process, there was a catch, I had to do something else to get my $10 back.” Instead, what these consumers wanted was upfront information about the total cost of completing the transaction: “I don’t have time to figure it all out. Just show me the fully loaded price, even if it is an estimate. I’m willing to pay more for something if I know the process is going to be quick and easy!”
Contrast these insights to what we heard from the panel of college students in May.
Originally from “A Fork In The Road?”| Published December 10, 2008