Top Reason Brands Fail Is Annoying Communications

Sep 10, 2019

Leanplum, a multi-channel engagement platform, announced the results of a new study on consumer sentiment toward brand communication. Study results show that brands primarily fail because they send too many and irrelevant notifications, yet brands like Facebook, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America are the best at communicating with their users.

Mobile phones are an integral part of our lives, and brands rely on a multi-channel solution to build and maintain relationships with their customers via notifications. To garner insight of people’s engagement preferences (whether via email, push notification or in-app messaging), Leanplum commissioned a survey of 1,000 mobile phone users in the United States. Highlights of findings are below.  

Irrelevant and Frequent Notifications - #1 Reason to Delete Apps

The number one reason people delete apps is too many and irrelevant notifications clogging up their inboxes and notification feeds. Across all generations, from Gen Z to Baby Boomers, the most common reason to delete an app was because of copious notifications. Over 75% of Millennials are deleting apps that annoy them with unnecessary notifications. Brands are consistently having to navigate the fine line between keeping their users informed and notified while being sensitive to over-communicating. 

Facebook, Wells Fargo and Bank of America Win at End User Communication

Surprisingly, respondents reported that the brands best at communicating with their users are social media and financial companies. From a list of popular companies, people selected Facebook, Wells Fargo and Bank of America as being the best at communicating with their users. Users who consistently disregard and are unenthused by notifications find that social media and financial brands send the most helpful notifications. Over 30% of people reported that they like to receive notifications for financial alerts and over 25% of people think that Facebook does the best job at communicating with their users.

Email Is Not Dead

Interestingly, respondents said they prefer email notifications to other forms of app communication. In other words, email is not dead; people just have a preference for when and how they like to be notified. Nearly half (46%) of respondents reported that they prefer to receive notifications in the form of email, while only 15% prefer push notifications.  

Even across generations, email is the most liked form of communication for brands on mobile devices—43% of Millennials prefer to receive emails from brands compared to 28% of Gen Zs. As email transitions to being easily accessible on mobile devices, it has reemerged as the most liked form of communication from brands.

Other interesting statistics include:

  • 60% of people have a preference for what time of day they receive notifications. Of those who have a preference, the split between morning (27%), afternoon (38%) and evening (34%) was fairly even
  • 72% of Gen Z (compared to only 43% of Gen X’s) like to receive messages/updates from friends/followers on social media
  • The least annoying push messages to receive were from email/messaging apps (9% found them annoying) and financial apps (only 13% of people found these annoying)
  • 49% of people find financial/banking alerts helpful
  • 54% of people say they are most likely to open emails from messaging companies, and 41% are likely to open financial emails


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