191 posts categorized "Studies & Research" Feed

Email Marketing Tactics That Work in B2C and B2B

It's interesting to see in the below chart that both B2C and B2B marketers (or at least 50% of them) agree that identifying the best time to send emails is an email marketing tactic that works well for them.

What is also interesting to see is that including links to social networking sites works better for B2C marketers than for B2B marketers. I find this hard to believe actually. Maybe it's because B2B marketers haven't found the best way to do this yet? Or they haven't started to focus on it? I'd love to hear your thoughts.


Source: eMarketer

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Email & Social Media: a couple of stats

In her post "Making Social & Email Work Together" on the MarketingSherpa blog, Jeanne Jennings shares some interesting stats on email & social:

The strategic link between social and email is supported by “View from the Social Inbox 2010”, released by Merkle last month. It builds on the findings published by MarketingSherpa earlier this year, and by Silverpop in their “Emails Gone Viral: Measuring ‘Share to Social’ Performance” late last year.

Merkle found that people who use social media actually check their email more frequently than those that do not: 42% of social media users check their email four times a day or more, compared to just 27% of those that don’t use social media.

Even better news for marketers: 63% of those surveyed said that they use the same email account for social media messages as they do to opt-in to permission based email.

A recent MarketingSherpa study found that 75% of daily social media users said that email is the best way for companies to communicate with them, compared to 65% of all email users. And 49% of Twitter users said they made an online purchase because of an email, compared to 33% of all email users

The Silverpop study found that social media share links included in email messages were receiving clickthrough rates of 0.5%. It may not sound like much, but it is significantly higher than the clickthrough rates on the “forward this email to a friend” links that marketers have been using for years.
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DMA launches UK Email Benchmarking Report Q2 2009

Denise Cox reports:

The Direct Martketing Association’s Email Marketing Council has released the Q2 2009 Email Benchmarking Report.

In this quarter’s report, email shows a consistent pattern of growth. Volumes have increased, and contacts per month rose for the first time in a year. Everything points to a growing confidence in this channel.

Interesting to note is that email used for acquisition has increased. Perhaps marketers are investing in more expensive acquisition campaigns to build in-house lists – which lets them continue the conversation one-to-one.

You can view the report (pdf) here.

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Top 10 email clients, according to Fingerprint

Last week the folks over at Fingerprint recompiled their email client usage statistics. Here are some highlights: 

Top 10 email clients

  • Outlook continues to dominate the email client landscape, but Outlook 2007 is still only being used by around 1 in 10 recipients. 
  • Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail are (slowly) losing ground, whilst Gmail gradually gains popularity. 
  • iPhone ranks as the 6th most popular client. 

Read the full report here.

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Benchmark data and analysis for connecting web behavior to email marketing

Online shopping carts are abandoned at a high rate of 56.2 percent, and 61.2 percent of all items that consumers place in their online shopping carts are left behind without purchase.  But with a little prodding from savvy email marketers, these cart abandoners can be converted into active customers. Sending an email to remind browsers and cart abandoners of the items they left behind is a very effective means of recovering this revenue. 
This white paper provides a thorough summary of key trends surrounding remarketing along with strategic best practices and recommendations.
Download the white paper here
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2009 Holiday Marketer: Experian’s Benchmark & Trend Report

What do we expect to see this holiday season in respect to the email marketing industry’s performance? The 2009 holiday marketer: Benchmark and trend report has some interesting points well worth your consideration, especially for all of you email marketers out there looking to gain an edge on the competition this winter.

Taking a look at the data from the report, there are a number of relevant tidbits that merit a quick shout-out:

  • Email’s “eco-friendly” reputation may not hold as much sway with environmentally-conscious customers as you thought, so don’t cancel the print catalogs just yet.
    “Surprising to many, Behavioral Greens, which are the group of consumers that are most green aware according to Experian Simmons, account for nearly half of all catalog purchases.”
  • Shorter really is sweeter when it comes to email subject lines during the holidays.
    “All industries with the exception of consumer products and services experienced the highest open rates when using subject lines of 25 characters or less last year.”
  • Email and search still drive the most traffic to retail sites, but keep an eye on additional traffic from social networks.
    “Last December, search engines and email were the top referral sources for retailers, but social networking referred nearly five percent of traffic, a rate higher than portal front pages.”
  • The economy will continue to be a factor in online marketing strategies this holiday season.
    “In 2008, searches for the term ‘layaway’ jumped as consumer awareness increased. Layaway programs effectively drove early purchases with the peak for search-term variations that included ‘layaway’ taking place last year during the five weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.”

Have a closer look at these findings and many more by downloading the report in full from the Experian Marketing Services’ website.

Source: Email Responsibly

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How Are ISPs Changing Their Spam Filters?

The folks at Pivotal Veracity have written a report about how ISPs are changing their spam filters and how legitimate email marketers are impacted by this. You can download it here.

Key take-aways:

  • Domain-based Reputation is here!
    A number of top ISPs including Yahoo & AOL are moving to augment IP-based reputation systems with portable Domain-based reputation systems for those mailers using DK/DKIM authentication.  This is a hugely important development and one that will be welcomed by legitimate mailers.  This means, ISPs will “attach” (compute) your Spam Complaint Rate, Unknown User Rate, and Spam Trap Rates to your Domain (this will be the domain you are authenticating which for most mailers will be the friendly from domain)  in addition to your IP.   Switching IP addresses? With domain-based reputation ..you get to keep (for good or bad) your reputation.
  • Authenticate with DK/DKIM
    With the exception of Hotmail which is still sticking to its proprietary “Sender ID” authentication model, the authentication method of choice by all the other leading ISPs is DK/DKIM.  If you are not already ..authenticate !  You need to authenticate in order to take advantage of domain-based reputation and other ISP services such as Yahoo’s feedback loop. 
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Free Shipping Emails Work Best When Planned and Segmented, Study Says

More multichannel retailers used free shipping promotions in the first quarter of this year compared to Q1 of 2008—up from 47% to 55%, according to a new survey from e-mail marketing vendor Experian CheetahMail.

With free shipping offered as an incentive more often, retailers should carefully plan such promotions and be selective about when they offer the deal and who they offer it to, says the study, “Free Shipping report: Benchmark data and analysis for email marketers,” which is slated for release next week.

It found 70% of respondents across all industries—online companies offering business and consumer products and services, catalogers, and multichannel retailers—had higher conversion rates on e-mails offering free shipping than on other types of marketing e-mails. Of the 70% with higher conversions, 78% saw increased transaction-to-click-rates—defined as the total number of transactions divided by the number of unique visitors clicking on the e-mail—and 47% had higher average order values in free shipping e-mails compared to other marketing e-mails.

The success of free shipping e-mail promotions varied by industry, with the consumer products and services industry experiencing the largest gains. Transaction-to-click rates for free shipping e-mails in this segment were 60.7% greater on average compared to other marketing e-mail messages.

To create the most profitable and successful free-shipping e-mail campaign, Experian suggests the following:

  • Feature the right products. Free shipping on overstocked items tends to perform poorly. Marketers should pair free shipping offers with products consumers are interested in, Experian’s report notes.
  • Limit free shipping offers. Constantly running free shipping offers may dilute their effectiveness, Experian says. Offering free shipping for a shorter period is typically more successful than offering it over a longer period.
  • Segment the e-mails. Divide the subscriber list into groups of customers based on their product interests, then offer those groups the products with free shipping.
“The release of the free shipping report data and analysis is extremely timely given the upcoming holiday season. Considering that companies will be fighting extra hard for dollars this year, and taking account of the fact that we have seen holiday e-mail volume increase at least 20% or more year over year for businesses in all industries, e-mails should be optimized to maintain subscriber engagement,” says Sara Ezrin, senior strategy consultant, strategic services, Experian CheetahMail.

Source: Internet Retailer

PS. Don’t forget to register for the webinar “Getting the most out of your holiday email campaign” with Andrew Kordek and Tamara Gielen on October 6th.

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Average Email Marketing Performance for UK SMEs

Sign-up.to published their first ever large-scale report on average email marketing performance for small to medium sized businesses in various UK industries.

The report is based on more than 216,000,000 emails sent by UK based Sign-Up.to clients in the 12 months to 31st July 2009. They've only included emails from clients who opted-in to their stats comparison service and who declared their industry type. They've removed any industries with less than 450,000 sends so that the averages are more robust and where relevant they've merged several categories together.

Defining terms

All figures that are used are based on unique user actions - i.e. they only count the same recipient opening a campaign once, if they open that campaign again they don't count that as another open.

  • Open Rate: the percentage of delivered emails that were opened (measured by an image load or link click); i.e. number opened / (total sent - bounces)
  • Clicks: the percentage of delivered emails that had a link clicked; i.e. unique clicks / (total sent - bounces)
  • Unsubscribes: the percentage of delivered emails that result in an unsubscription; i.e. unsubscribes / (total sent - bounces)

For some of the reports they used different ratios, as these are a better way to compare some aspects of campaign performance - these are:

  • Click to Open: the percentage of opened emails that had a link clicked; i.e. unique clicks / opens
  • Unsubscribe to Open: the percentage of opened emails that result in an unsubscription; i.e. unsubscribes / opens

They use these 'x to Open' figures as ways to compare the performance of the actual campaign content because these look at what happens after the first objective of someone actually opening the campaign has been achieved.

Continue reading "Average Email Marketing Performance for UK SMEs" »

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Some Interesting Email Marketing Statistics

In a recent article on ClickZ, Jeanny Mullen shared these 7 email marketing statistics:

  • Every year an average of 30 percent of the people who signed up for your e-mail marketing list will not get your e-mails because their ISP will incorrectly block them.
  • 85 percent of the people on your e-mail list will stop reading your e-mails (without unsubscribing) after the third message your company sends to them (yes, company, not just your group inside the company).
  • 25 percent of the people on your list who receive your e-mails and never open them will be among the top 10 percent of your best customers.
  • An average of 39 percent of your current year subscribers will either unsubscribe, or stop reading/engaging with your e-mails by the end of the year.
  • Over 10 percent of people who initially read your e-mail on their handheld device will file it away, intending to take action, but never doing so.
  • About 15 percent of your list will read your e-mails and look to a social network like Facebook or Twitter to see if others are buzzing about the message or offer before taking action.
  • Over 49 percent of people who are happy with their recent purchase from your company will open future e-mails seven times faster than those who have not made a purchase in over three months.

These seven statistics from the Email Experience Council are pretty powerful by themselves but together paint a very clear picture of why you need to absolutely stay on top of your messaging strategy to your consumers.

Read the full article here.

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1 in 5 Commercial Emails Never Reach the Inbox

According to Return Path’s latest Deliverability Benchmark Report, only 79.3% of commercial, permissioned emails reached the inboxes in the United States and Canada during the first half of 2009. With the undelivered email, 3.3% is routed to a "junk" or "bulk" email folder and 17.4% is not delivered at all - with no hard bounce message or other notification of non-delivery.

Some other interesting findings from the study include:

  • The US deliverability rates are slightly better than Canada with an average of 82% inbox placement rate, while Canada's inbox placement rates are lower with just 75% of commercial, permissioned emails reaching consumers' inboxes.
  • Reaching business addresses, which are protected by systems like Postini, Symantec and MessageLabs, is even more difficult: on average only 72.4% of commercial email is delivered to the inbox through these enterprise systems!
  • In the US, the toughest inboxes to reach are those at MSN, Hotmail and Gmail

Read the press release here and download the study here.

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Some Interesting Retail Email Marketing Stats

  • Half of all customers who purchased in the past twelve months subscribe to e-mail campaigns.
  • E-mail buyers have a 77% annual repurchase rate, among the most loyal of any channel.
  • Only 25% of your e-mail file bothers to click on at least one e-mail campaign, per year. The remaining 75% are inactive.
  • Only 5% of your e-mail file buy something from your e-mail campaigns, on an annual basis.
  • E-mail is what I call a "transition channel". It is the channel that your customers migrate to as they begin to rely upon catalog marketing less. After the customer buys from an e-mail campaign, the customer is likely to buy from your website, without attribution to any other marketing campaign.
  • 80% of your e-mail purchasers buy merchandise on sale, or buy when free shipping is offered. As a result, your e-mail buyer file is over-populated with discount shoppers.
  • When you offer full price merchandise via e-mail, you generate $0.05 per e-mail campaign.
  • When you offer sale merchandise, or you offer free shipping, you generate $0.25 per e-mail campaign.
  • Over time, you optimized e-mail performance based on the metrics you had available to you ... open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates. As a result, your optimization best practices resulted in a program that sale/promo customers love. Your customers are no longer interested in e-mail marketing unless there is a marketing promotion.

Source: Kevin Hillstrom’s MineThatData Blog

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Most popular email clients in February 2009

Campaign Monitor analyzed 6 months of data covering more than 250 million opens. The result - a birds eye view of email client popularity and usage trends over time. Check it out here.

What I found most interesting to see is the total market share held by the 5 most popular email email client over the last 6 months. Seems like the adoption of Outlook 2007 is growing slowly but steadily...


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Participate in the Email Marketer's Club's 2009 Inside Email Marketing Study

I would like to invite all of you to participate in the 2009 Inside Email Marketing Study, sponsored by the Email Marketer’s Club in cooperation with ExactTarget and Ball State University.

The purpose of this study is to provide the international marketing community with a better understanding of how email marketing performance is measured across the globe and how email marketing teams integrate with other marketing channels.

The survey should take you about 10 minutes to complete.

Take the survey now:

50 randomly selected respondents will receive a 25$ iTunes gift card and all respondents can receive a summary of responses by submitting their contact information at the end of the survey.

Thanks for your cooperation!

PS. If you have a blog, we would appreciate it if you could post a link to our survey on your blog.

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DMA Releases ‘Future of Direct Marketing’ Report

Marketers facing the current weakened economy remain unclear about what this year and beyond will bring, according to the Direct Marketing Association’s first-ever “Future of Direct Marketing” qualitative report, released Monday. Nevertheless, a common theme of the report is that technology will become increasingly essential to success.

Consisting of interviews with direct marketing leaders and a compilation of their views on a variety of factors affecting the industry, the report found:

  • Consumerism increasingly will drive legislation and self-regulation in the direct marketing arena.
  • The customer will gain more control of choices and transactions, especially concerning marketing communications. Marketers should ask customers their preferences about what marketing messages they want to receive, how often they wish to receive them and through what channels.
  • Multichannel marketing driven by Web. 2.0 technologies will become increasingly important, including capturing and capitalizing on data acquired through digital channels.
  • The movement away from single-channel campaigns will continue, with more integrated multichannel strategies being implemented.

The report, available for download at DMA’s online bookstore via www.the-dma.org, is priced at $135 for DMA members and $240 for nonmembers.

Source: btobonline.com

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Subject Line Research Reveals Content is as Important as Length

Something I've known for years has now been confirmed by this research report by Epsilon. In short, they found that even though shorter email subject lines generally correlate with higher open and click rates, subject-line word order and content may be just as important to email performance.

The analysis (pdf), which involved more than one billion emails over nearly 20,000 separate campaigns sent out by several of Epsilon’s US-based clients in the retail and consumer services industries, found that the relationship between subject-line length and open and click rates is not as strong as previously thought.

Overall, shorter subject lines do correlate with higher open rates and click rates for both industries, Epsilon said. However, the rates vary by company.

For example, the open rates for several consumer services clients show a high negative correlation with subject line length, while one client did have a high correlation of subject line length to clicks:


In contrast, for most other companies in the study, Epsilon found the relationship between subject email performance to be relatively weak.

Moreover, Epsilon also analyzed the content of subject lines and found that word order, word choice, and brand and audience awareness are critical success factors as well.

“Marketers should keep in mind that most recipients will likely decide to open an email based on their relationship with the sender and the first 38 to 47 characters of the subject line,” the report stated. “However, that decision may depend less on a subject line of 38 to 47 characters, and more on the information those 38 to 47 characters contain. campaign, the vital piece of information may be the brand name. For another, it may be the consumer benefit.”

Overall, Epsilon recommends that marketers should rethink how they develop subject lines and place increased emphasis on positioning the most important elements first. This includes front loading subject lines with the most important information, keeping the subject line as short as possible to convey the message and using longer subject lines only when there is a compelling reason to do so.

“Companies are spending little time thinking about and testing subject lines, compared with the resources and time devoted to creative development,” said Thane Stallings, senior analytic consultant, Epsilon Strategic Services. “The reality is that more people will see a subject line than its accompanying creative.”

The full report is available at www.epsilon.com/emailsubjectline.

Source: Marketing Charts

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