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Mobile Email Now Rules Email Response Rates

January 28th, 2015 Posted in Email

The email marketing benchmark is set. Among 8.7 billion emails sent in Q3 2014 by 140 marketers in 13 industries, open rates rose while click rates fell. “Both trends [are] likely the result of an increase in mobile device usage,” according to Irving, Texas-based marketing firm Epsilon, an Alliance Data company. However, the “Q3 2014 North America Email Trends and Benchmarks” report announced on Wednesday doesn’t list the percentage of emails opened on mobile devices vs. desktop. Target Marketing asked for that answer on Wednesday.

Email open rates climbed 6.5 percent above where they were in Q3 2013 and click rates dropped by 0.5 percent, to rest at 4 percent.

In what Epsilon terms “business-as-usual” (BAU) emails, financial services and banks saw the highest open rates at 52.1 percent, retail 41.4 percent and general financial services 38.8 percent.

Those open rates rose even higher when “deployed based on a consumer action,” or a trigger. Financial services and banks saw 69.1 percent of their trigger emails opened, “consumer services telecom” marketers got 65.5 percent, and travel and hospitality earned 64.4 percent.

Epsilon differentiates between click and click-to-open rates. So for the former category, business publishing and general media earned the highest numbers, at 6.7 percent, retail got 5.3 percent and consumer services telecom saw 4.8 percent. As for click-to-open rates, again the business media and publishing category topped the list at 27 percent, consumer publishing and general media reached 21.8 percent and consumer services telecom earned third place, at 20.9 percent.

Epsilon says this report has a few messages in it for marketers:

1. Use Triggers. This 3.9 percent of the 8.7 billion emails sent in Q3 2014 performed the best, according to Epsilon. “Triggered open rates were 76.7 percent higher than BAU” open rates, reads the report. Click rates were 151.9 percent better, Epsilon says.

2. Use Retargeting. “Many consumers open emails on their devices but don’t follow through on purchases because of factors such as the mobile shopping experience or the fact that they’re on the go,” reads the report’s conclusion. “This means that marketers need to become savvier and find new ways to engage with their customers based on insights and an understanding of their behavior, including using triggers and retargeting when they know consumers are most likely to be at their desktop for an optimal shopping experience.”

3. Optimize for Mobile. See Tip 2. Epsilon suggests the mobile shopping experience may not be the greatest. In IBM’s reports about Holiday 2014, the company repeatedly says, “smartphones browse, tablets buy.” That means even on mobile devices, shoppers currently need bigger screens to make conversions happen. “Mobile traffic accounted for 45 percent of all online traffic for the 2014 holiday season, an increase of 25.5 percent [year-over-year],” IBM announces on Jan. 5.Opens in a new window “Mobile sales accounted for 22.6 percent of all online sales for the 2014 holiday season, an increase of 27.2 percent YoY.”

By Heather Fletcher
January 8, 2015
Target Marketing Magazine

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