Email is the Foundation for Online Communication in Southeast Asia

In our latest SUBSCRIBERS, FANS, & FOLLOWERS report, Southeast Asia Consumer Insightswe surveyed over 3,600 Southeast Asian consumers to see how consumers in the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore behave online. 

Email is still the foundation for online communication, with 96% of online Southeast Asian consumers identifying themselves as subscribers. Thus, email is the top communication channel for marketers with this audience. Email’s top spot in Southeast Asia aligns with our global research in every other country studied so far. 

Buying Power
Consumers in Southeast Asia use email often both at home and on the go, and they’re open to making purchases based on emails they receive:

  • 89% of online consumers check email at least once a day (Singapore: 90%, Malaysia: 87%, Philippines: 90%)

  • 48% have made a purchase as a result of a marketing email

    (Singapore: 45%, Malaysia: 51%, Philippines: 47%)

  • 76% report checking email via a mobile device at least once per day

(Singapore: 78%, Malaysia: 77%, Philippines: 71%)

Why Email?
Digital marketers should approach email from the same mindset that their customers do. Your most active subscribers are likely to be aged 25- 54; 92% percent of consumers in this age group use email once a day, and 53% have made a purchase as a result of a marketing email (compared to 48% overall). Consider how subscribers use and view their inboxes:

  • 58% always open emails from their favourite companies (Singapore: 56%, Malaysia: 61%, Philippines: 56%)

  • 51% expect to receive marketing messages when they opt in to email communication (Singapore: 46%, Malaysia: 49%, Philippines: 57%)

  • 22% use email when they’re bored (Singapore: 23%, Malaysia: 21%, Philippines: 21%)

  • 71% use email for work (Singapore: 69%, Malaysia: 72%, Philippines: 73%)

What do your consumers hope to receive when they subscribe to your email program? Perhaps unsurprisingly, the most common motivating factor relates to monetary incentives and perks:

  • 61% of consumers aged 18-44 subscribe to receive discounts and money-off promotions
  • 61% of consumers aged 45+ primarily subscribe to receive updates on a company’s products, services or offerings
  • Male consumers are more driven by receiving discounts and money-off promotions (64%), whereas females are more interested in keeping up to date with a company’s products, services or offerings (55%)

As consumers become more selective about sharing their personal information online, permission-based marketing becomes more critical than ever. With competition for inbox attention already high, this selectivity highlights the need for marketers to send only relevant and targeted messages.

For our full findings on Southeast Asian consumer trends, download the full report.
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