Research often confirms what you have suspected and noticed all along, but that's not a bad thing. Having some stats to filter your gut feeling and local observations through is a good way to tell whether it's just you, or everyone.
So in case you were wondering whether consumers are feeling bombarded with an avalanche of email -- and whether just maybe, going a little easier on the "send" button is a good idea, Send Grid's latest figures are worth checking out.
Measuring 50 billion emails in ten main industries featuring 100,000 senders, its Global Email Benchmark Report 2017 is a good place to begin for some averaged-out observations. So, the average company sent out just over 8 emails per month and enjoyed a unique open rate of 14%, an open rate of 30%, a unique click rate of 1.7%, and a click rate of 2.5%.
Those are some average global stats to ponder, but the takeaway that the researchers offer is that people are generally opening more email but are clicking on their content less. It could be that consumers are wary of phishing emails or that they are becoming more discerning in which, among the many emails they receive, they wish to interact with.
interestingly, just a year ago, eight of the ten industries were desktop-dominant, while only two are this year -- insurance and government. So the mobile-first message is a good takeaway from the stats.
Another stat is pretty obvious: The more you send, the more recipients become desensitised to your message, and that of your rivals. In every industry where send rate increases, engagement in those messages dropped. And then, as if to prove the point, those industries that saw a drop in the amount of monthly messages sent out -- namely retail and insurance -- saw an increase in engagement.
So the lessons learned, or things to look out for, from the global benchmarking study are as follows.
1. Less Can Be More
Watch those send rates to make sure you're not making an unwelcome contribution to the tsunami of sales messages hitting every consumer's inbox daily.
2. Your prospects are mostly mobile-first
So if your campaigns are not mobile-optimised -- if they look truly hideous on a small screen and do not make it easy for people to interact with you -- then guess what? They won't.
3. A/B Testing
It almost goes without saying that testing different messages, designs and calls to action among two similar groups will allow you to hone what works best for your prospects.
And if I were to add a fourth, it would be to avoid being dumb and instead undergo a personalisation transformation. What do I mean? Well, I adore the Carluccio's restaurant chain, and my whole family does. So why do they never address me personally? OK -- so it's a general email each time, what am I complaining about? But very time I interact with their email marketing I have to do a really annoying step. If I want to find out more about the new menu, as I did this morning, I have to click through from a tiny mobile screen to go to a generic menu page.
That's right -- they don't even land you on the "new menu" page. Once this is selected from a drop-down menu, if you'll pardon the pun, they then ask the final, really annoying question: which restaurant do I want to see the new menu for? Presumably it varies between cities?
Here's the rub. I have told them a million times before that Oxford is my default restaurant. I told them when I signed up, every time I have checked out a menu online, every time I've booked a table online and every time I've rated a meal. What's stopping them from offering a simple one-click-through to the new Oxford menu? Better still, why not present the Oxford menu in the email copy itself?
If you keep asking people for data and then don't act on it, you appear to be the opposite of smart. You come across as ignoring them -- and there aren't many consumers who wish for the day their favourite brands stop listening to them.