Decreasing email volume per month corresponds to increased subscriber engagement, according to a recent study by SendGrid -- potentially steering marketers toward strategies that limit inbox overload and email fatigue.
Monthly email send rates in the retail industry decreased year-over-year from 18.3 messages per month to an average of 14 messages per month, according to SendGrid’s Essential Guide To Email For eCommerce, an analysis of annual sending data from more than 25,000 of SendGrid’s eCommerce customers
Increased unique open and click rates may be derived from sending fewer email messages to subscribers each month, according to the report. Average open rates in the retail industry increased from 12% to 15% year-over-year, according to SendGrid, while open rates increased from 6% to 8%. Unique click rates also increased year-over-year from 0.8% to 1.1%, while click rates decreased from 4.3% to 1.7%.
Marketers who send a high number of emails each month “are sacrificing engagement,” says Scott Heimes, chief marketing officer at SendGrid.
Heimes offered several recommendations to increase subscriber engagement and limit email fatigue.
“Consider testing a lower monthly send rate or optimize sending frequency by subscriber engagement,” suggests Heimes. “We also suggest providing recipients with an email preference center so you can learn how often they prefer to receive messages and what type of messages they want to receive. Gathering as much information as possible at the point of sale can be useful down the road. Capturing information like purchase history, location, and even birthdate can be powerful in segmenting and personalizing future emails.”
Heimes also recommends that email marketers compare their email metrics to industry benchmark reports, and limit email volume if they are sending a significant amount of email compared with the rest of the market.
“If your volume is really taking off, you may consider sending different types of marketing email, such as re-engagement messages versus monthly newsletters, from different IPs as well,” says Heimes.
Two-thirds of ecommerce emails are now read on a mobile device, according to the SendGrid report -- an increase from 59% in 2016. This jump in mobile email usage suggests that marketers should consider smartphones and tables a critical component to their email strategy.
“It is clear that marketers are making the transition to mobile-focused email strategies; however, there needs to be consistency between mobile and desktop experiences,” says Heimes. “Recipients now expect to read an email on a mobile device that directs them to a website that is formatted for a mobile experience. To create a consistent experience, email templates need to be easily scrollable when viewed on mobile devices and desktop websites need to be responsive to mobile designs.”