Email Marketing Statistics

6 Surprising Email Marketing Statistics and What They Really Mean

Surprising Email Marketing Statistics

Email marketing statistics are, dare I say, a dime a dozen? Spend only a minute or two with Google and you’ll see what I mean. It makes sense, however, because email is very much about numbers. When we can so easily pull together statistics to learn from, we should.

Yet all those numbers can sometimes make our eyes glaze over, and we might miss some noteworthy trends that we should be paying attention too.

Lately a few such stats have jumped at out me and I’ve pondered their possible meaning for us marketers—how we can learn from them and be more proactive in our jobs.

Below I’ve pulled together six of those surprising statistics related to email marketing and listed them with some suggested takeaways for you as the email marketer. Some are B2B specific and some B2C specific but take that as a vague kind of categorizing, because I do think there’s plenty of cross-pollenizing that goes on between the two.

I hope you find them useful—or at least noteworthy.

Surprising statistic #1. B2B buyers are doing most of their research ahead of time

These days, B2B buyers aren’t waiting for salespeople to reach out to them when they have a need. Instead, they are proactive: B2B buyers are now 57-70% through the buying cycle before contacting a vendor.

What this means for you: This isn’t email specific, but it does mean your email marketing program needs take into account this kind of self-service approach. Do you need to provide more detailed information, to meet the needs of an educated prospect? Are you talking to the prospects at the level they are at and answering the questions they have? Review your email marketing cadence and content and make sure it fits with this new paradigm.

Surprising statistics #2 and #3. Business people are on mobile devices—aaaannd their computers

Don’t think the mobile marketing is only for the B2C marketer targeting teens and Millennials. Among the business users, 64% of decision makers read email via mobile devices. In response, the percentage of B2B marketing dollars devoted to mobile is predicted to nearly triple by 2018. However, don’t give up on those desktops either: Although mobile use for B2B purchase research has jumped 91% in the past two years, 78% of business execs still prefer to use their computers when browsing content.

What this means for you: You still have to have a mobile mentality even if you’re a B2B marketer. But don’t leave out the laptop and desktop either. Make sure you cover all of your prospects’ preferred ways of getting and interacting with email.

Surprising statistic #4: Millennials actually like email marketing

Just because its email doesn’t mean it won’t work for marketing to the younger set! According to MarketingProfs, more Millennials (26%) than non-Millennials (16%) say promotional emails influence their purchase decisions “all of the time or most of the time.” In addition, research by Adestra finds about 68% of teenagers and 73% of Millennials say they prefer to receive communication from a business via email, and over 50% rely on email to make online purchases.

What this means for you: Keep investing in your email marketing and continuing to make it better and better! Email is not and probably won’t ever be dead, so ignore the naysayers and give the people what they want…even if those people are under age 34!

Surprising statistic #5: Android users spend more time with their emails

According to Movable Ink “US Consumer Device Preference Report: Q2 2014” which I found cited at Emailmonday, almost 53% of Android smartphone users spent 15 seconds or more viewing each email message. Desktop users came in second, with 43.99% spending 15 seconds or more viewing an email. iPhone users, on the other hand, tended to pay little attention to their emails, with the majority (39.87%) spending only 3 seconds or less on each message.

What this means for you: You need to know what kinds of devices your audience uses to view your emails. If you have Android users, take advantage of their longer attention spans. If you have a majority of iPhone users, find ways to make their short attention spans work for you. And segment the best you can to make sure you serve each of these two audiences relevant messaging that fits the time slot they’re giving you!

Surprising statistic #6: Mobile shopping is seriously on the rise, especially for the holidays

This statistic might not be a surprise to you because of course mobile shopping is on the rise, right? Except this is a dramatic rise! According to IBM Silverpop, mobile email click-throughs grew 22.8% on Black Friday last year, from 44.7% in 2014 to 54.9% in 2015. Yet mobile opens were up only 2.7%! In general, mobile commerce for the 2105 holiday season grew 59% from about $7.98 billion in 2014 to about $12.65 billion in 2015. One expert predicts this year’s 2016 holiday season will see growth of 60% in mobile purchasing!

What this means for you: Ready or not, Black Friday and its new best shopping friend Thanksgiving are fast approaching, and people will be whipping out their smartphones to do their holiday shopping—in droves! And since last year, 70% of people learned about holiday shopping deals via email, you’d better be ready to tell them about the deals, and make the deals easy to do via mobile!

There you have it, the six surprising statistics that jumped at out me—and what I think they mean. How about you? Have you noticed any noteworthy changes in how your email marketing program is working, or not working? Let me know!

Gerald MarshallGerald Marshall is Head of Operations at Email Industries, the folks behind Indiemark and BlackBox.

Big Data Will Not Help your Email Marketing, Probably.

We hear a lot about “big data” these days. It can be a bit overwhelming. For everyday marketers, those without in-house data scientists, I suggest they use the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) theory, and focus on the numbers that are sure to make a difference in driving revenue.

Let’s start with the email list

With lists, size doesn’t always matter. What matters is quality. You could have a 6- or 7-figure list, but if it’s made up of disengaged readers, prospects, or customers then what good is it? Aside from quality, most important is your list growth rate.

Clearly size plays a big role. After all, marketing is a numbers game. If your list or segment is extremely small, however, it could pose a problem when you’re conducting A/B tests. You’ll want a test group large enough to obtain statistically valid results.

The Email Marketing Council of the UK’s Direct Marketing Association has a handy chart that will help you determine the appropriate list size for what you’re testing. In the chart below, if your normal click rate is 10% and you want to measure if it changes by 20% (to 12% or more), you’d need a sample size of 2000 for each test cell.  That way, any click rate change of 20% or more would be a statistically significant result and not chalked up to randomness.

Email Marketing Metrics

Deliverability rate

Obviously, this metric is key. If your emails aren’t reaching the inbox, they can’t be opened or clicked through. The best way to ensure deliverability is to have a clean list. Follow best practices and use opt in (never opt out) to build your list organically. No matter how tempting, don’t buy a list; the risks are too great.

Of course, you’ve got to follow other best practices to ensure your email ends up in the inbox, not the spam filter.  Know your own “traps” and avoid them.

Open rate

There are opens and then there are unique opens. Total opens don’t give you the total picture; it’s the unique open rate that reveals the pulse of your campaign.

Click-through rate (CTR)

The CTR isn’t just the number of clicks an email generates. It’s the number of times a link is clicked in an email, divided by the number of delivered messages. Your CTR is an important metric because it’s a gauge of how engaged your subscribers are with which content.

Conversion rate

Opens are okay, clicks are nice,  but to determine whether your campaigns are producing results, you’ve got to monitor the conversion rate. Remember, the conversion rate isn’t always about selling. It’s about prompting your subscribers and leads to take action – whether it’s to download an article, post on a social-sharing site, write a review, or whatever.

Bounces, unsubs and spam complaints

These metrics tie back to your list health. Just because we listed them last, that doesn’t negate their importance. It’s crucial you keep tabs on these stats, as a high bounce rate can damage your sender reputation with email clients and Internet service providers (ISPs).

There are two types of bounces – hard and soft – that you need to monitor. A hard bounce means an email address on your list is incorrect has expired. A soft bounce occurs when a subscriber’s email inbox is full, or when an ISP or email client rejects your message as spam. That’s why it’s important to regularly purge your list of bad email addresses.

Likewise, if you see a lot of unsubscribes you need to make sure your content is relevant. Be prepared to refine your segmentation. You also may need to reduce email frequency or give subscribers frequency options.

Lastly, you need to take spam complaints seriously. Spam complaints can lead to your company being blacklisted from the major ISPs.

The key takeaway

Focus on the metrics that mean the most in your email marketing efforts. Put your time, effort and money where it counts, and you’ll easily reap big rewards with small data.

The Truth About Video Email Marketing

Look in your email inbox, and on any given day you’re likely to find several emails that feature videos. They can range from informational/educational to simply entertaining. But what is all the fuss about? Does video email marketing really lift response rates? Can anyone use video in their email marketing? What are the best tactics (or best practices for that matter)? Let’s find out!

Video Email Marketing Statistics and Reports

  • Simply including the word “video” in an email’s subject line saw an increase of 7%-13% in overall click-through rates (CTRs) in 2011, according to Experian’s 2012 Digital Marketer Benchmark and Trend Report. Embedding a video in an email generated an average conversion rate 21% higher than emails containing a static image alone.
  • And Videoretailer.org reported that using the word “video” in the subject line of helped achieve increases in open rates of up to 20% vs. no “video” in the subject line.
  • The 2010 Video Email Marketing Survey and Industry Trends Report revealed that video was used with email marketing by 50% of survey participants, and an additional 24% were considering the use of video in their email marketing programs.
  • Video in email can increase click-through rates by as much as two times to three times, according to David Daniels, former principal analyst at Forrester Research and current principle at Relevancy Group.
  • Holland America conducted an A/B test with an animated .gif video in email vs. a static image. The video segment resulted in 100% higher click-through rate, reported Liveclicker.
  • According to Marketing Vox, 63.9% of 5,000 people watched to completion a video sent by email.
  • In a Get Response study of 800,000 customer emails, those containing video received, on average, 5.6% higher open rates and 96.38% higher CTRs than non-video emails.

Video Email Marketing Tactics and Examples

Depending on your budget, several options exist for creating videos in emails:

  • Embedded video, which is provided by companies like Bomb Bomb. But keep in mind that embedded video will not work in all email clients.
  • Animated .gif videos. See this example from Style Campaign, which is executed brilliantly but this format also has its limitations.
  • A static callout linking to a web-hosted video, like the examples below, is by far the most common tactic.

The video featured in this Williams-Sonoma email demonstrates how to use a product (and clearly labels it as such):

Video Email Marketing Example

Cosmetics retailer Obagi creates continuity in its emails with a video series that touches the emotions, sharing one woman’s struggle with acne and how she overcame it – in time for her wedding – by using Obagi products.

Using Video in Emails

Video Email Marketing Best Practices

No matter what format you choose, if you decide to take the plunge, you should follow these best practices for video in emails:

  • Video expert Justin Foster, in a webinar for the Email Experience Council titled “Video Email: Why, When and How,” said it’s important to call out the video in the subject line, use a play button in the video player/player image, and highlight in the email what happens when the video is clicked.
  • Make the call to action a text link for subscribers who have blocked images.
  • Keep full video length with audio to less than 3 minutes, animated .gif videos to 30-45 seconds.
  • Make sure the first frame of the video is acceptable for email clients that show static images only.
  • Ensure that the amount of bandwidth required by the subscriber is not more than 150-200kB/second.

The key takeaway to using videos is email

You have to decide whether video in email is right for your brand, your subscribers, and your budget. Video can add a personal element (such as a message from the president), it makes your emails more interactive/engaging, and it can be repurposed for other channels, such as YouTube and social sharing sites.

If fear of the unknown is holding you back, many resources are available to guide you through the process. A few factors to consider before selecting an email video provider include video quality, video storage capacity, mobile video recording and mobile playback.

About the Author: Scott Hardigree is Founder of Indiemark. Connect with him everywhere, here.

You Might Need an Email Marketing Agency If…

This post is intended to be a resource for those who, admittedly, know that they could be deriving more value from the email channel. No matter if decide to hire outside professionals, such as an email marketing agency, or in-house talent; this guide will help you to assess and reevaluate your current email marketing efforts.

Let’s Look at the Numbers

Email has been the marketing workhorse for a decade, and that’s unlikely to change in the near future.  It allows targeting because it’s data driven. It drives direct sales. It builds relationships, loyalty and trust. It also supports sales through other direct channels:

  • According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing generated an ROI of $43.62 for every dollar spent on it in 2008, that’s twice that of the first runner-up.
  • A recent summary by MarketingSherpa states, “Those that see the effectiveness of their email programs diminishing are much more likely to have short-sighted organizational attitudes toward the tactic. Organizations with investment-oriented views of email reap the rewards.”
  • The CMO Council’s Marketing Outlook ’08 Report reviewed the plans and opinions of 650 marketers. Email marketing was the top target area for investment.
  • In a 2008 survey of retailers, Shop.org stated that “E-mail is the most mentioned successful tactic overall”.

Handle Email Marketing In-house?

If you don’t have an existing agency relationship or do have sufficient in-house talent, consider this:

  1. You (meaning you or your team) know your business; are you also well-versed in email marketing?
  2. If yes, do you have time and energy to optimize the effort?
  3. How does your integrated marketing and CRM compare against your competitors?
  4. Does your email marketing drive sales, build loyalty, and reduce marketing costs?
  5. Is your email program founded on research and/or historical data?
  6. Does your in-house work save or cost you money?

Already Have an Expert?

If you already have a marketing agency or other outside help, ask yourself:

  1. Do they specialize in email or are they “full service”?
  2. Do they generate an ROI that’s in-line with the findings above?
  3. Do they think about us without being prodded?
  4. Do they understand our target market and business processes?
  5. Have they explored and monetized all the options?
  6. Is their work for fresh, exciting, and reflective of best practices?

Pieces of the Email Marketing Equation

Email marketing can involve customer acquisition, lead nurturing, client reactivation and retention, and of course direct sales, which means that a host of processes and services are potentially involved, including:

  • Strategy & Research
  • Editorial & Promotional Planning
  • Copy Writing & Content Development
  • Design & Coding
  • List Growth & Community Building
  • List Segmentation & List Enhancement
  • Behavioral & Customer Profiling
  • Message Delivery & Deliverability Monitoring
  • Cross-channel Integration
  • Email Service Provider (ESP) or In-house Mailing Solution Evaluations
  • Lead Nurturing & Direct/Up/Cross Sales
  • Multivariate Testing & Program Optimization

If the list above encompasses more than you’re doing, this may be a strong indicator that you’re under-utilizing this lucrative channel. Perhaps it’s time for a fresh marketing partner or maybe you need to reallocate budgets and/or provide your in-house team with more training?

If you’ve (officially) determined that you need help, stay tuned. In the second and last installment we’ll discuss HOW to find and evaluate qualified talent that fits your unique needs and meets your budgetary restrictions.

Email is the Preferred Method of Receiving Communication from Marketers

Eric Kirby, an email marketing veteran, delivered a keynote address Monday at MediaPost‘s Email Insider Summit, where he dismissed suggestions  that email marketing may be losing steam while urging marketers to carpe diem and capitalize on social media networks.

Email has been the marketing workhorse for a decade, and that’s unlikely to subside, he said. This endorsement, which is supported with hard data, comes as the industry has dealt with suggestions in 2009 that its long-held, top-tier role is fading.

However companies are using some inventive programs with mobile and social media to grow enhance their email efforts that marketers could learn from, he indicated. Outback Steakhouse, for example, offered a free Bloomin’ Onion to the first 500,000 people who became its fans on Facebook. And its list grew by 125,000 between Nov. 16 and 24.

This and other relieving statistics  (including Tiger Woods’ preferred media channel usage) are outlined is this well-delivered and insightful presentation.

Brian Says, It’s Time to Get Your Email On

This contribution is courtesy of Brian Massey. Brian is the Conversion Scientist™ at Conversion Sciences. He also writes about behavioral marketing at ClickZ Network.

Would you believe that e-mail marketing is still in its infancy?

A couple of graphs from MarketingSherpa drive an important point home about the use of e-mail for marketing. It works, it has always worked, and it will continue to work. You just have to know how to use it.

House List Email (as opposed to purchased list email) continues to get results for marketers.
House List Email (as opposed to purchased list email) continues to get results for marketers.

In this graph, “Emailing to house lists” falls behind “Web 2.0 (social network marketing).” However, since fewer marketers are reducing the use of house list email, it should be #1.

I’ll go so far as to state this:

If you don’t have your email marketing efforts nailed, you have no business investing in social marketing.”

Social marketing has its place, and is not a fad. But, we know so much about good, permission-based email marketing, that it is criminal to ignore it. Don’t let superstitions drive your marketing strategy.

The more sophisticated a marketer you are, the more likely you are to use house list email marketing.
The more sophisticated a marketer you are, the more likely you are to use house list email marketing.

MarketingSherpa has some choice interpretations of this graph:

“Those that see the effectiveness of their email programs diminishing are much more likely to have short-sighted organizational attitudes toward the tactic.

Organizations with investment-oriented views of email reap the rewards. They have higher open, click and conversion rates. In addition, they are much more likely to have a metrics-based grasp of how email works for them. Those with the “email is free” view, on the other hand, are more likely to fall into the group that doesn’t track conversion.”

It is so easy to measure email’s effectiveness, that I would argue that you can’t call yourself a marketer if you’re not watching your results. We call you a spammer.

You’re not marketing if your not measuring.

Essential for any Considered Purchase

If all of your customers buy spontaneously on their first visit and never buy again, then you may not need to invest in email marketing. I don’t know of any business like this.

If your customers take weeks or months to come to a purchase decision, you cannot ignore email. Email is the biggest social network on the planet. Even retirees use email.

Your House List is the list of people who have given you permission to enter their inbox. This means they want what you have, and should be given every opportunity to opt out.

Email Isn’t Promotional, It’s Social

Don’t use email purely to promote sales and discounts. Use it to educate, inform and entertain. If you have a blog, send your most interesting posts via email. Most of us aren’t using RSS. Email is your ticket to growing your blog readership.

Then simply advertise in your own emails.

Get Started Now

It does take time to build your house list, so start now. Email can be fun if you’re sending content that reflects your passion for your company, your industry and your brand.

Then you can start investing in the smaller, less intimate social networks out there.

Read more at http://conversionscientist.com/wordpress/email-marketing/its-time-to-get-your-email-on/