Inbox Through the ‘Out Door’July 28, 2014 By M.J. Crabbe-Barberis
A. 20,000 opened emails, with a .5 percent clickthrough rate; or
Answer: Assuming the same starting population of 100,000, they both generate the same total—100 clicks. But are they equally effective? Which is better?
This article will argue that Scenario B trumps Scenario A all day long.
Email marketers shouldn't be surprised the gap between median and best-in-class for email open rates, clickthrough rates and opt-out rates continues to grow, according to the "2013 Silverpop Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study" (opens as a PDF). Basically, it's a matter of, "You reap what you sow."
More and more emails are being sent. The top performers are driving the average results higher and disguising the actual trends. Consider these differences between top quadrant and median performers on key email performance metrics, as gleaned from the Silverpop report:
- Tops had six times fewer hard bounces
- Tops had almost six times the overall open rate
- Tops saw almost three times the number of unique opens
- Tops had double the number of clicks-per-open
- Tops had eight times the number of clicks
- Tops click-to-open rates were 2.5 times higher
- Tops saw a quarter more clicks-per-clicker
- Medians had unsubscribe rates of more than six times those of tops
Marketers should view these trends as opportunities. At the root is the concept of providing a vastly improved consumer experience that leverages data, mathematics, plus greatly enhanced execution and governance capabilities. Marketers need to improve upon existing scientific direct marketing concepts and introduce entirely new capabilities that can help close the gap between best-in-class and all others. And they need to care about the customer or potential customer and stop treating email as a nearly free advertising medium. They need to stand up to those product owners and give them a way to get the results they are seeking. It's about quality and quantity.
1. Data: It seems these days that the eligibility requirement for any email is that the company has your email address. Done. Basically, by checking one box to opt into emails, the consumer has self-selected themselves for any and every potential email the business wants to send out. And, to get out of that jam, again it is the consumer who must either opt out of all emails, or select to receive them less frequently. How about an option that says, "Send me emails I will care about?" Can that be done? Of course it can, if marketers view each email address as an expensive, scarce marketing resource. The solution here is data. Companies have tons of it and they need to start using it to target the email to the individual. This leads into the next category: