June 2, 2005, 12:00 AM

Moms are choosey about retail e-mail newsletters, study says

Most mothers with young children at home subscribe to 5 or fewer e-mail newsletters from retailers, and their response to commercial e-mail is mostly driven by price discounts from trusted brands, says a new study by EmailLabs and Lucid Marketing.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

Most mothers with young children at home subscribe to five or fewer e-mail newsletters from retailers, and their response to commercial e-mail is mostly driven by price discounts from trusted brands, says a new study by EmailLabs and Lucid Marketing.

EmailLabs, an e-mail services provider, and Lucid Marketing, a firm that specializes in marketing to moms, based their study on survey responses last month from more than 700 mothers who are multi-channel shoppers. A key finding of the study is that many mothers are constantly multi-tasking to handle home and job duties, and are most likely to respond to e-mails that save them time and money, says Loren McDonald, vice president of EmailLabs.

“Respondents said in written comments, ‘I’m busy, just tell me the price,’” he says. “They’re basically saying, ‘I don’t have time to look around, so just give me a coupon and make it easy for me and I’ll buy.’”

The study found that 62.6% of mothers subscribe to 1-5 e-mail newsletters from retailers; 25% subscribe to 6-10; 5% subscribe to 11-15; and 4.2% subscribe to 16 or more.

When asked why they signed up for retailers’ e-mail newsletters (multiple responses included) 86.6% of respondents said they signed up to get a coupon or price discount; 69.4% signed up to find out what’s on sale; 43.2% wanted to learn about new products; 41.1% said they wanted information relevant to them personally; 27.7% wanted information about special events; and 6.3% wanted to learn about the company.

The study found that e-mail subject lines citing actual discount prices were the most effective at getting consumers to open e-mail. Following are subject line types and the percentage of respondents citing them as reasons for opening e-mail:
Discounted price, 72.5%
Free shipping, 60.1%
Specific products, 37.4%
Specific brands, 26.9%
Limited time offer, 21.4%
Inclusion of consumer’s name, 4.3%
Inclusion of family member’s name, 3.3%.

Within the text of an e-mail message, the display of product pricing was found in the study to be the most effective at getting recipients to click through to the retailer’s web site. Following are message types and their percentage of respondents citing them as effective click-through motivators:
Displaying price, 62.7%
Photo of product, 61.7%
Shipping offers, 43.7%
Brand name, 42.4%
Product description, 36.1%
Price discounts in dollars, 36.1%
Percentage price discounts, 24.3%
Number of items/days left in sale, 14.9%
Ratings and testimonials, 13%.

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