The Stats Are In -- Time To Up Your Email Game And Sell More, Or Do Nothing And Be Ignored

The problem with email is that its success is not exactly a secret -- well, not among those in the know, anyway. That means a lot of brands are sending out a whole lot of messages, and so it's becoming more difficult to stand out. In fact, the latest figures from Experian show that email quantities were up a third in the third quarter this year compared to the same period in 2015.

Given that consumers are not suddenly a third more likely to buy a third more stuff than they did a year ago, the obvious result is that unique open rates are down nearly 7% and unique click-throughs are down nearly 9%. Interestingly, however, bounce rates and unsubscribe rates are also down nearly 20% and 13% respectively. So, put the two together and you just come up with the worst possible word that any email marketer fears hearing -- apathy, or even worse, being ignored.

This can be likely attributed to a widely recorded increase in the number of people setting up email accounts they give to brands so newsletters and offers arrive in an inbox that is checked less frequently than each person's main work address. That would almost certainly explain why the huge increase in emails has not led to a huge rise in unsubscribes or bounces. The emails are being delivered, only perhaps not to a box that is checked as regularly as before.

The really good news is that there is a light at the end of this tunnel, and it comes in the form of ecommerce. Transaction rates from email marketing are up around 7% as nearly 14% more click to transact actions were recorded in Q3 2016 compared to the year before. So, there is a lot more mail out there and there is a larger risk of being ignored but, if you pass the test, transactions are up too. 

The answer is pretty clear, isn't it? If there is a lot more email being pumped out than before, what you put out has to keep on being better to get noticed. The good news is that among the masses of emails that will be ignored, the majority are likely to be simply pumped out because they always have been. The smart email marketer will use this background "noise" to stand out with highly segmented lists that allow tailored offers to be personalised to focussed audience groups.

So don't be disheartened by this huge rise in email volume -- nor by the likelihood that it is prompting special rarely checked addresses to be set up. Instead, the top email marketers will see this as an opportunity to be a part of improving transaction figures by standing out rather than blending in with the massive tidal wave hitting inboxes throughout the day.

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