Are your email marketing results above or below average?

  • 2015 Email Marketing Benchmark Report Review

    One of the most appealing aspects of email marketing is the ability to measure its effectiveness.

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    Leading email marketing software provider, Sign-Up.to, recently revealed its 2015 Email Marketing Benchmark Report - an analysis of over 1 billion emails sent across 25 industry sectors including finance and banking. The report focuses on results from UK based SMEs. Unsurprisingly, email marketing continues to be a winning strategy and an immensely credible and profitable channel, with a vast reach to boot.

    Interestingly, unlike some of the industry sectors, this year’s finance and banking results show a steady increase in average email open rates, rising from 21.05% to 23.51% in the last 12 months. To put this into perspective, average open rates are usually in the range of 10-15%, with high performers achieving 15-20%. Increasing your open rate is the first step to improving your overall campaign engagement and lead generation, but what else do you need to do?

    What you hope a recipient will do is engage with the content in your email and complete an action. This action is more often than not, a click on a link leading to a designated section of your website. This could be to read more and increase brand awareness or to buy a particular product or service.

    After a campaign has been opened, click-through (% of overall recipients who clicked a link) and click-to-open rates (% of recipients who opened and clicked a link) give a deeper insight into the campaign performance putting the focus of the metric on the actual email content.

    Since 2013, the click-through rates for the banking and finance sector have risen from 2.02% to 2.19%. This is just under the 3.13% average click-through rates of all tracked sectors. By analysing and better measuring campaign engagement you can help build a formula that elicits more clicks over time. This could be changing the design template to better fit a certain theme or service offering, personalised content to a particular section of data or personal emails to individual recipients e.g. simply personalising the introduction from Dear Subscriber to Dear Rachael.

    When you send an email out it is also important to know that people’s needs and interests can change. Unsubscribes and unsubscribes-to-opens are both useful measures of this active disengagement. Even though these are negative actions they can still provide valuable information on the cause and reason at the point of exit. Understanding and more accurately quantifying levels of campaign engagement (or in this case disengagement) is a highly recommended metric. The finance and banking sectors average is 0.37% for unsubscribes and 2.19% for unsubscribes-to-opens. Both of these rates have declined in the last 12 months and are under the 25 industry sector average rates of 0.55% for unsubscribes and 2.68% for unsubscribes-to-opens. So, what can you learn or adjust to reduce unsubscribes. Evaluate your content, is it still relevant? If your unsubscribe rates are going up, does your entire approach need changing? Split the data into two – it might be a demographic reason. Evaluating unsubscribes can tell you a lot, not only about your email campaigns but your business!

    Although different types of email campaigns will have different objectives and customers, the importance of the quality of your content and the strengths of your next steps cannot be overemphasised. If you want people to continue to read your emails you must demonstrate that you can offer them interesting and useful content, email after email. It’s one thing persuading prospects to open your mails, but quite another to make them look forward to future mailings from you.

    At The Marketing Eye, we specialise in offering tailored email marketing campaigns to a range of financial, professional services and manufacturing clients. If you would like to find out more about how we can help with your business, please contact us.

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