Q4 2011 North America Email Trend Results: Open Rates Increase Over Previous Quarter and Year


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New Metrics Show Triggered Message Open Rates 96% Higher Than “Business as Usual” Messages

Dallas, Texas – April 5, 2012 – Epsilon and the Direct Marketing Association’s Email Experience Council today released the Q4 2011 North America Email Trends and Benchmarks Results which for the first time includes an analysis of triggered email messages. In Q4 triggered messages represented 2.8% of total email volume measured in the report. These messages had 96% higher open rates and 125% higher click rates than “business as usual” (BAU) messages.

The report also shows a 41.5% increase in average email volume per client during the critical holiday season. Open rates increased 11.6% from Q3 2011 and 12.4% from Q4 2010, while click rates decreased slightly to 5.2%

The full quarterly analysis is compiled from 8.5 billion emails sent in October, November and December 2011, across multiple industries and approximately 140 participating clients. The analysis combines data from both of Epsilon’s proprietary platforms, DREAM and DREAMmail. Triggered message benchmarks are compiled from over 51 billion triggered emails sent by Epsilon from January 2010 through December 2011 across multiple industries. Results track campaigns deployed as a result of an action or trigger, including Welcome, Thank You, Abandon, Anniversary, Birthday, Confirmation, Saved Cart and Cancel.

Report Highlights:
• Non-bounce rates remained strong, increasing slightly quarter over quarter and year over year to 96.3%.
• Open rates (24.8%) increased quarter over quarter (1.2%) and year over year (12.2%).
• Click rates decreased 0.4 percentage points (8.1% overall) from last quarter to 5.2%.
• Average volume per client increased by 41.5% over last quarter and showed an increase over last year 21.0% (Q410).
• Throughout 2010 and 2011, triggered messages accounted for 2.2% of total volume; the highest volume was recorded in Q4 2011 at 2.8% of total volume.
• Non-bounce rate was strong for triggered messages, only 1% lower than BAU industry metrics.
• Triggered open rates were 96% higher than BAU. Triggered clicks were 125% higher than BAU and increased 13.6% year over year to 48% in Q411.
“The percent of triggered messages grew almost 20% from 2010 to 2011, with quarter over quarter growth throughout 2011. Triggered messages are now a vital component of any email marketing program and clearly outperform business as usual messages that tend to be less targeted,” said Judy Loschen, Vice President of Digital Analytics at Aspen Marketing Services, a division of Epsilon. “With triggered messages, marketers can create meaningful relationships with consumers in real-time based on specific behaviors or milestones. Leveraging dynamic content and a series of messages, as opposed to a single message, will solidify the customer experience.”

“The growth of triggered messages is just one area where email is evolving,” says Yoram Wurmser, Director, Marketing and Media Insights for DMA and the Email Experience Council. “Our Q4 data show that these innovations continue to drive higher volumes and open rates.”

For more information and industry-specific benchmarks, the Q4 2011 Email Trends and Benchmarks report is available at www.epsilon.com/pr/Q411emailbenchmarks.
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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