Just an Online Minute... The Reason for Low Response
Email marketing company Silverpop yesterday released the preliminary findings of a study they conducted on response rates to permission email and found that one of the most overlooked causes of reduced response rates is “broken” or unreadable HTML.
And you thought it was Spam, right? Not so. According to Silverpop, 42% of the HTML emails reviewed were difficult to read due to errors, such as missing graphics and raw code displayed. More specifically, 20% had 5 or less broken components, 9% had more than 5, 7% had “extremely disruptive errors,” and 6% were completely indecipherable.”
For the study, the company analyzed the email activities of more than 400 of the largest companies by revenue from nine major industries, and nearly 1400 emails (700 HTML) in 9 of the most popular email programs.
Apparently, the most dramatic examples of broken emails occurred on the B2B side in Lotus Notes 5.0, and on the B2C side in AOL versions 4.0 and 5.0. How wide spread is the problem? AOL 4.0 and 5.0 have a combined subscription of 7.5 million users according to eStats 2001 research, and Lotus Notes has over 70 million users according to IDC Research. In these two environments, 90% of the HTML emails reviewed contained disruptive errors.
Why should you care about this? The above translates into 70 million people who are not able to read messages sent to them by vendors and business partners.
As Aberdeen research director Kent Allen said, “Nearly every email marketer with which we work are focused on ways to improve response and conversion rates by avoiding Spam filters, more granular targeting, and fine-tuning offers and supporting creative. These issues must be addressed, but a key take-away from this study is that properly formatted HTML messages can improve response rates from 10% to as high as 40%.”