June 25, 2012
Email open rates have increased since last year and last quarter, but click-through rates have declined, likely because they are abandoned after consumers open them on mobile devices and the messages are not optimized, according to findings from a study by Epsilon and the Direct Marketing Association.
Mobile-optimized emails are important, especially for luxury marketers whose customers are more likely than non-affluent consumers to have smartphones and tablets. Furthermore, optimizing emails increases the possibility that consumers click through the messages and possibly purchase on a mobile site.
“As open rates continue to rise while click rates fall quarter over quarter, it is increasingly important to have a strong call to action and tailor your email campaigns based on customer preferences and past activity,” said Jennifer Wiese, a Lafayette, CO-based analytic consultant at Epsilon.
“As the use of mobile devices continues to increase, it is critical to ensure that your emails are rendering correctly on the vast number of mobile devices being used by consumers,” she said.
The quarterly analysis is compiled from 7.1 billion emails sent by Epsilon in January, February and March 2012, across multiple industries and approximately 150 participating clients. The analysis combines data from Epsilon’s proprietary platforms.
Email open rates increase quarter over quarter by 5.9 percent. In addition, they increased year over year by 12.6 percent, for an overall open rate of 26.2 percent.
However, click rates decreased 0.5 percentage points from last quarter and 5.2 percent from the first quarter of 2011.
Barneys New York emails are not mobile-optimized
In addition, non-bounce rates were 96.5 percent.
In terms of volume, average emails per client decreased by 23.9 percent over last quarter. This drop is normal because of the holiday season, per the study.
Still, it increased 21.4 percent from this time last year.
Triggered emails are the most valuable emails that marketers can use, with open rates 75 percent higher than normal emails.
In fact, triggered email click-through rates are 119 percent higher than normal emails, according to the study.
Triggered emails include welcome, thank you, abandoned shopping cart, anniversary, birthday, purchase confirmation and saved cart.
Trigger email from Ralph Lauren
“Email continues to be a cost-effective tool that marketers can use to drive customers to their various social sites and company or ecommerce Web site for a complete digital experience,” Ms. Wiese said.
Almost every luxury marketer sends out brand emails. This is because the medium is opt-in, so it is usually reserved for current customers who want to hear from the brand.
However, since affluent consumers are more likely than non-affluents to have smartphones and tablets, luxury marketers owe it to them to optimize their email for mobile.
Mobile use is growing with consumers checking their email throughout the day from their various mobile devices including smartphones and tablets.
In fact, studies suggest that mobile readership increased 82 percent with only 2.4 percent of those emails being opened on both a mobile device and a desktop, according to Ms. Wiese.
Also, affluent consumers are expecting luxury marketers to be on the forefront of technology. This makes it more important than ever to ensure that branded emails are optimized to increase click-throughs and, ultimately, transactions.
“For all brand categories including luxury, it is important to know which devices your customers are using and when and where they are opening their emails,” Ms. Wiese said.
“Be sure the messages are rendering properly by considering both email design and readability,” she said.
Rachel Lamb, associate reporter on Luxury Daily, New York