Using Email To Sell High-Ticket Items

by , Oct 10, 2012, 12:32 PM
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Much has been written about today’s affluent consumers being device-crazy.  For example, according to a recent “Engage:Affluent” column by Stephen Krauss of Ipsos MediaCT, half of affluents now own smartphones and a quarter own tablets, and these numbers have been increasingly rapidly.   

Smartphone and tablet owners also use their devices quite often. Since one of the selling points of both smartphones and tablets is their ability to receive emails, it’s little surprise really that marketers of high-ticket items have begun seeing increased response to their email messages.  After all, their intended audiences are now available to them virtually 24/7!

The Direct Marketing Association says that emails seeking new customers for products costing at least $1,000 achieved open rates of 11.35% and click-through-rates of 2.53% in 2011.  

For higher-ticket items, like automobiles, the numbers have been even better. Last fall, emails in a campaign we handled for a leading car company achieved an open rate of 21.07% and click-through-rate of 10.21%.  During the campaign, 99,195 emails were sent to consumers identified as technology enthusiasts in the early stage of shopping for cars. Of the 20,000-plus recipients who opened the emails, 48% clicked through -- more than twice the industry average of 22%. 

Of course, much of the success of any email campaign depends on the target list, the quality of campaign creative, and specific offers (in this case recipients who clicked on the ad were taken to a dedicated site where they could take advantage of a special APR offer.)

You might say that one campaign hardly constitutes a trend.  So let’s look at the 90 email campaigns reaching over 28 million people that we led last year for leading auto marketers. The open rate was 10.2% and click-through rate 13.1%, up from 9.8% and 11.3% respectively a year earlier.  In 2012, the figures have been even better – 10.8% open rate and 14.7% CTR.

Okay, you concede, open rates might be up because mobile consumers have more opportunities to check their emails.  But why should CTR rates be improving?

Maybe, “Engage:Affluent” readers, the new affluents are, well … more engaged!

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