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BizReport : Email Marketing : April 22, 2015

Even youngsters say slang in emails is unacceptable

How does the formal or informal tone used in your email marketing campaigns affect the way in which your recipients perceive you? New research from BuzzStream and Fractl reveals all.

by Helen Leggatt

Do you use humor in email marketing campaigns or do you keep the tone formal? Perhaps you use emoticons or abbreviations such as LOL? They way in which different age groups and genders, and even levels of education, perceive you is often based on the tone and language used.

When BuzzStream and Fractl surveyed 1,200 people between the ages of 18 and 64 about how they perceived senders of email based on tone and language it became clear that emails written in a formal tone portrayed the sender as "intelligent", "educated" and "authoritative". Meanwhile, emails written in an informal tone conveys that the sender is "creative", "young" and "funny".

On the whole, 50% more men than women found formally written emails to be more persuasive and authentic while 45% more women than men said informal emails are more authentic.

When it comes to a smiley face, its use is fairly accepted between both genders, although the data slightly favored women - half of female respondents find its use acceptable compared with only 43% of males.

When it comes to the wording of an email, more than a quarter of those from all educational backgrounds (graduate degrees, bachelor degrees and no degrees) said using obscure vocabulary that was not widely known or too advanced was "slightly unacceptable".

While more than half of respondents said humor is acceptable to use in emails, women enjoyed such a treatment more than men. The use of slang, however, was found to be unacceptable by the majority across every age group. Perhaps surprisingly, it was the youngest demographic - those age between 18 and 24 - that was most likely to find its use "totally unacceptable" (40%).


According to the report, 'Email Effect: What Your Emails Say About You', "the overall trend revealed its use is off-putting. A majority of every group found slang unacceptable to some degree, although older generations - specifically anyone 35 or older - were more accepting of its use, with 20% of respondents in each age group agreeing with the practice".

Tags: demographic, email content, email marketing, survey

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