Q1 2012 North America Email Trend Results: Open Rates Improve Over Previous Quarter and Year

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Triggered Messages Click Rates 119% Higher Than “Business as Usual” Messages

Dallas, Texas – June 20, 2012 – Epsilon and the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) Email Experience Council today released the Q1 2012 North America Email Trends and Benchmarks report, which shows a steady increase in open rates over both Q4 2011 and Q1 2011.

Although findings reveal a 23.9% decrease in average volume per client from the previous quarter, which is typical following the holiday email surge in late Q4, the report also shows an increase from Q1 2011 (21.4%).

The quarterly analysis is compiled from 7.1 billion emails sent by Epsilon in January, February and March 2012, across multiple industries and approximately 150 participating clients. The analysis combines data from Epsilon’s proprietary platforms.

Triggered message benchmarks are compiled from over 165 million triggered emails sent by Epsilon from January to March, 2012 across multiple industries. Results track campaigns deployed as a result of an action or trigger, including Welcome, Thank You, Abandoned Shopping Cart, Anniversary, Birthday, Purchase/Transaction Confirmation and Saved Cart.

Report Highlights:
• Open rates increased quarter over quarter (5.9%) and increased year over year (12.6%), with an overall open rate of 26.2%.
• Non-bounce rates remained strong at 96.5%.
• Click rates decreased 0.5 percentage points (8.3% overall) from last quarter to 4.7%. Click rates also decreased over Q1 2011 (5.2%), but continue to remain established over the last two years.
• Average volume per client decreased by 23.9% over last quarter, but showed an increase over Q1 2011 (21.4%).
• In Q1 2012, triggered messages accounted for 2.3% of total email volume, a 14.5% lift over Q1 2011.
• Open rates for triggered messages were 75% higher than “business as usual” (BAU) in Q1 2012, dropping from 101% in Q1 2011.
• Triggered messages continued to perform well with significantly stronger click rates (119% higher) than BAU.

According to Judy Loschen, Vice President of Digital Analytics at Epsilon, “In the first quarter this year we again noticed that open rates continue to increase as click rates decrease. This is partially a result of consumers’ growing tendency to open emails on their mobile device, then abandon without clicking because the content is either not optimized, or the mobile experience is lacking. As sophisticated marketers today strive to deliver, in real-time, personally relevant content via the individual customer’s preferred communication medium, they need to ensure their email creative and content are optimized for the mobile web. Email can be the ideal means to seamlessly connect marketing initiatives, especially as more and more customers access email on their mobile devices, staying connected around the clock.”

“Although email is a mature marketing medium, volume grew year to year by more than 20%,” said Yoram Wurmser, DMA’s Director of Marketing and Media Insights. “Greater use of triggered messaging is only part of the reason. Marketers realize that email remains a cost-effective and very lucrative means to communicate regularly with existing customers. The drop in click rates, however, is a signal that marketers need to better optimize their emails to account for the shorter attention span of the mobile email reader.”

For more information and industry-specific benchmarks, the Q1 2012 Email Trends and Benchmark report is available at www.epsilon.com/pr/Q112emailbenchmarks.
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About Epsilon
Epsilon is the industry’s leading marketing services firm, with a broad array of data-driven, multichannel marketing solutions that leverage consumer insight to help brands deepen their relationships with customers. Services include strategic consulting, acquisition and customer database technologies, loyalty management, proprietary data, predictive modeling and a full range of direct and digital agency services, including creative, interactive web design, email deployment, search engine optimization and direct mail production. In addition, Epsilon is the world’s largest permission-based email marketer. Epsilon is an Alliance Data company. For more information, visit www.epsilon.com or call 1.800.309.0505.

About the Email Experience Council
The Direct Marketing Association’s Email Experience Council is a global professional organization that strives to enhance the image of email marketing and communications, while celebrating and actively advocating its critical importance in business and its ROI value.
We are committed to regularly conducting a broad series of initiatives for a variety of organizations that highlight the positive impact and importance of email as a marketing tool, communications vehicle and branding device. Additionally, eec members are setting the standards for email through our Member Roundtables. The members who belong to our organization are representatives of other trade organizations, agencies, advertisers, technology partners, clients and companies focused on the potential of email marketing via mobile and other digital devices. We encourage you to become part of the eec at http://emailexperience.org/member-center/why-join-eec.
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