B-to-C Email Campaigns Increased 25 Percent in November
An analysis of B-to-C email marketing campaigns leading up to the holiday selling season found more emails being sent to more people as open and click rates held steady.
The analysis by Silverpop, an Atlanta-based email marketing and marketing automation company, found that companies’ list sizes grew by more than 124 percent and they sent 25 percent more B-to-C emails in November this year than in 2008.
During “Cyber Week,” the time between the Sunday before Thanksgiving and the Monday following, companies sent 22 percent more emails this year than last, according to Silverpop's study.
Open rates decrease
The average unique open rate of promotional messages from companies analyzed was 15 percent in 2008 versus 14 percent in 2009. Average unique click rates also dropped slightly from 29 percent in 2008 to 25 percent this year. Deliverability rates, on the other hand, increased — averaging in the upper 90 percent range this year.
Subject lines also were analyzed. Sixty-six percent of the companies studied included discount offers in subject lines last year, compared to 62 percent this year. But in 2008, the open rate for emails offering discounts was 17 percent compared to 31 percent this year.
When offering a discount, companies were most likely to offer a percentage off the cost of merchandise, with 27 percent in 2008 and 32 percent in 2009 doing so. But they may have had better luck by offering a gift with purchase or a buy-one-get-one promotion. Offering a gift was more likely to generate an email open than offering a percentage, dollar or British pound off a purchase, or simply announcing a sale, according to the study.
Companies were more likely to give time limits on discount offers this year, which generated higher open rates. In 2008, 25 percent of the emails studied included time limits on offers, and those that did generated a 12 percent open rate. In 2009, 30 percent of the emails had time limits and generated an average open rate of 23 percent. There was only a slight increase in emails this year offering free shipping — 12 percent versus 9 percent in 2008.
Silverpop reviewed the email marketing programs of 70 retail and consumer product companies and compared last year’s campaigns with those sent last month for the study.