As a child, I remember weekly grocery shopping with my mother. There was always at least one well-organized parent with his or her coupons ready at the cash register. While my mother faithfully avoided this line (she was convinced that 3 coupon-less families would move faster than 1 coupon-cutter), I secretly admired this person.

I aspired to be that organized one day; cutting coupons that I knew I would need in the coming weeks in order to save a couple of dollars on peanut butter or milk.

20 years later, I am still not this person.

It’s not because I don’t value a good deal or try to save where I can. Technology advances allow me to avoid having to plan before my shopping trips. Long gone are the days of accordion files full of freshly cut promotional codes or coupons.

As companies shift these types of loyalty programs and discounts to digital channels, consumers are finding it easier to flash their discount codes found in their email inboxes by way of their smartphone screens.

Email acts as a mobile filing cabinet

We recently partnered with Egg Strategy to study and release The Future of Digital Communication which includes data email use, preferences, and perceptions across generations. One participant described “With email, I can forward, I can search easily, I can organize things…I need it.”

Whether that’s tracking information, receipts, or important documents, this report suggests that consumers have a confidence that their inboxes will guard these different communications and that they will be easily found through a simple search when needed.

Email is a strong communication preference

I’m not the only consumer taking advantage of technology. This convenience is just one reason why, according to the report, consumers across generations hold an overwhelming preference for email over all other communication forms when it comes to interactions with businesses.

In fact, 74% of people choose email as their preferred communication method for companies or brands to interact with them.

Knowing that this overwhelming preference exists, we should ask ourselves, “Why do consumers prefer email over other forms of digital communications?”

Consumers can choose how and when they want to interact with their favorite brands

Consumers feel that the emails they receive are truly curated to their own preferences—more so than other online channels. Unlike other digital channels where any brand can pay to post an ad and attract your attention, email provides a platform where consumers can sign up for the communications that they want to receive from the brands that they want to hear from.

One male millennial described: “I also use [email] to get sales flyers/promotional info from companies I have purchased from more recently. I like that form of communication from companies I buy from.”

Takeaways

Let me leave you with another example of the power of email. Several weeks ago I was shopping at one of my favorite retail stores (who I receive fairly frequent emails from). After hours of perusing the different aisles, I was dreading the checkout counter as I knew the damage to my credit card was going to be large. Several mini-panic attacks later, once my plethora of items was all rung up, the store attendant asked me if I had any coupons or additional discounts that I’d like to use.

My eyes perked up and my heart skipped a beat as I remembered that I had just recently seen an email from said retailer come across my inbox. No preparation or additional thought, I searched my inbox and flashed my 20% off code. Yes! I saved a small fortune!

These conveniences are the exact reason why consumers across generations prefer email over other forms of digital communication and why email will continue to be an important channel to connect with customers and prospects.

This insight is just the beginning. Want additional insight and other trends that will help you connect with your customers? Read the full report!



Ashley Stadille

As a Research and Insights Analyst, Ashley is responsible for implementing both primary and syndicated research projects to help SendGrid better understand its customers. When she is not digging into data she can be found wake surfing or skiing one of Colorado’s amazing mountains.