Recap: Consumers Wanted Your Holiday Email, and the Numbers Prove It
Customers aren't bombarded by marketing email around the holidays. In fact they crave more of it ... From everyone. A recent snapshot done by my company showed that over the holidays, while people got 10 percent to 20 percent more marketing messages, they read 22.4 percent of their daily messages, compared to a 22.8 percent quarterly average. So they engaged with their email at just about the same rate they usually do. Not only did subscriber engagement hold steady during the rise of holiday messages, complaints from disillusioned subscribers remained low. For every 10,000 shopping messages that subscribers received only 63 complaints were made. Almost every other category of message was more likely to get complaints.
What does this mean? Do consumers really welcome holiday shopping email? In a word, yes. It also means that email is a channel that customers are habitually using to read, to show their loyalty, and of course to make purchasing decisions. Other channels can make some of these claims, too, but email is unique because it generates measurable engagement indicators—an always-on way for people to tell marketers what they want and don't want, and how they prefer to get it.
Email engagement not only tracks actions, like consumers' heavy reading and light complaining during the holidays, but the sentiment it reveals. While other channels can give you little more than an impression count (leaving you without a clue into whether your customer actually read or processed your message) email can show you behavior and perception. Between late November and mid-November last year, marketers could look at their email engagement metrics to see not merely that their messages reached consumers (inbox placement rate) but also that people liked those messages (read rate, click through rate, this-is-NOT-spam rate, forward rate), and—less often—that they didn't (this-IS-spam rate, delete unread rate).