A new IBM study shows that the more consumers feel satisfied with email messaging and its value proposition, the more likely they are to engage, and hopefully purchase.
According to new findings from IBM's 2015 Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study, analyzing email marketing trends from some 3,000 brands across the globe, the data implies that engagement can lead to the highly coveted sale.
Dave Walters, strategic marketing evangelist at IBM Silverpop, says “Engagement is most certainly the gateway to conversion and then sales… For e-commerce companies Engagement can translate directly into revenue. For other industries, it might prompt a deeper conversation with customers. or even spark new conversations.”
Some industries, such as the travel industry, are excelling in email open rates, with more than 56% in opens, 10 times more than some lower-performing peers, the study shows. One of those lower performers, according to the data, includes the retail and e-commerce industry (33.8% opens), a rate that pundits insist shows this industry is flat out missing the mark. The report says that today's customers demand “perfect moments” from brands, which means relevant deals on items or services, at the right time, on the right devices, says the report.
Walters insists that the reasons behind success or failure are clear. Travel brands, for example, use strong visuals and offer lots of deals in each email, so readers have higher engagement with click-through rates (CTRs) of more than 15%.
Email marketers in retail, however, have much lower engagement rates. The study points to the industry's persistent use of batch-and-blast methods, which lack in personalization that's required by consumers today.
Walters says that “Personalization zeroes in on the fact that you have to build a relationship with people,” he says. “With all of the consumer choices, it's incumbent upon marketers to know their customers—who they are, what they've bought in the past, and what they need next.”
Highlighted in the report are the top three performing industries for CTRs: computer hardware (16.3%), lodging and travel services (15.2%), and consumer products (14.6%). At the bottom sits automobiles (8.8%), retail (7.5%), and media (6.2%).
Click-Through Rates (By Industry)
Automobiles & Transportation
Computer Hardware & Telecommunications
Computer Software & Online Services
Food Service, Sports & Entertainment
Hospitals, Healthcare & Biotech
Industrial Manufacturing & Utilities
Lodging, Travel Agencies & Services
Marketing Agencies & Services
Media & Publishing
Nonprofits, Associations & Government
Real Estate, Construction & Building Products
Retail & Ecommerce
Schools & Education
Source: IBM, September 2015
The research also finds that brand marketers who use a person's previous actions, such as a purchase or password update, to trigger email campaigns had higher engagement. In fact, transaction emails produced an open rate of 72% and an average CTR of about 30%, concludes the report.
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