What 2015 digital trends should small businesses focus on? A very good question, and a great theme for this morning’s Connect 2 Innovation seminar. It’s always a pleasure to be invited to speak at Woking Borough Council’s Connect 2 Innovation events and in my presentation I took the opportunity to introduce just 2 of the key trends that we as email marketers are experiencing.
I started with some statistics from our 2015 email benchmark report. Published just last week this report documents over 1 billion emails send through the Sign-Up.to platform over the last 12 months, with the performance categorised by 25 different industry sectors. For a business wanting to understand email performance trends over the last few years (and compare their own results against a relatively large industry data-pool) it’s a good place to start.
The first trend is the importance of mobile. We’ve been tracking email opens on mobile devices for some time and have watched them grow from around 27% in 2011 to around 50% last year. Although it varies by industry, for the first time our 2015 benchmark report shows that across all benchmarked campaign, email opens on mobile devices have now risen above those on desktop, by 54% to 46% respectively. However the proportion of emails which are optimised for mobile consumption is still relatively low – estimates put this at around 20%. This leaves considerable scope for businesses to improve and leads nicely to the first action point – the use of responsive email design.
The second trend is that of precision. Although open rates continue to increase (as above, mobile has an important effect here), click-through and click-to-open rates show steady or declining performance, with unsubscribes continuing to grow. There are several factors at work here but relevance is a key consideration when it comes to subscriber engagement. Open but don’t click, or worse, open and unsubscribe is a clear indication of disengagement, and relevance (or lack of) is a common reason. It’s never been easier to broadcast large scale email campaigns, but it’s also increasingly easy to profile an audience and create individualised messages and content which more accurately reflects their own specific needs and interests. Whether it’s where they are located, their gender, their birthday or other preferences audience profiling is the first step to improving relevance – and relevance is key to increasing engagement. We call it precision marketing, and it’s the second action point for businesses looking to improve their email marketing.
That’s it – out of time, other than questions and networking over coffee. If you’d like to know more about responsive design or audience profiling I’ve highlighted the links to our website here, and drop me a line if you’d like a copy of my presentation.
Oh yes, the 2015 email benchmark report – you can download a free copy here.