A big thank you to the organisers for inviting us to speak at yesterday’s Kingston Chamber of Commerce Expo – and especially those who attended my presentation on ‘Digital Trends for Email Marketers’. Such a big topic, but just 50 minutes (plus some questions) – so in case you missed it, here’s the summary of the 2 topics I focused on.
I started with some statistics from our 2015 email benchmark report. Published earlier this year this report documents over 1.5 billion emails sent 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.
So, to the two trends in question.
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. Responsive email design (by the way don’t confuse this with scalable email design) is not completely new – the CSS coding technology has been around for a while and many email service providers have libraries which include responsive template layouts. However a fully responsive ground-up components based editor is new – and I was really pleased to give attendees a sneak peak of the new Sign-Up.to editor which is due to released later this month.
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 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.
Here at Sign-Up.to we call it precision marketing, and it’s the second action point for businesses looking to improve their email marketing. There are lots of ways to add precision targeting to your campaigns (there are 7 ‘precision dimensions’ directly built into Sign-Up.to), and when you’ve got all of your ‘insights’ data in place then ‘dynamic content’ is the ultimate way to automatically tailor your content to take advantage of what you know.
Meanwhile here are some of the highlights of the day – including Kevin chatting with the Lord Mayor of the London Borough of Kingston.
Oh yes, the 2015 email benchmark report – you can download a free copy here.