Metrics Are The Message: How Associations Did With Their Email In 2016

Associations sent 12% more email in 2016 than they did in 2016. But their open and click-through rates fell slightly, although not for groups that used marketing automation, according to a new study by informz Inc. 

The report is based on an analysis of email metrics from over 1 billion emails sent in 2016 by associations in five countries: the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the U.K.

Last month, Bob & David James reported that 62% of associations use email for marketing. The informz study purports to provide the metrics they are getting.

Delivery rates remained high in 2016, at 98.3%  But there was a slight dip in click rates, from 16.1% to 15.6%. And open rates fell from 36% to 35%.

Of the opened emails studied, 65% achieved the “read” level — engagement lasting ten seconds or more.

Although no supporting metrics are provided, the study states that campaigns using marketing automation have increased by 70%. Companies deploying marketing automation experienced a slightly lower delivery rate -- to 98%. But their open rate hit 37.6% and their rate to 16.7%. Why these increases in engagement? Relevance, targeting and timing, said informz.



It would be useful to known conversion rates, but that will have to wait for another study 

With one exception, the U.S. had the lowest engagement rates of any country studied: 34% for opens and 14.% for click-throughs. In contrast, Canada had an open rate of 49% and a 23.2% click-through rate. The UK generated 35.9% for opens and 18.3% for click-throughs.

The U.S. did beat New Zealand on opens, with the latter achieving 13.2%. But New Zealand had a higher click average.: 21.3%.

iPhones are the single biggest vehicle for opens, generating a rate of  28.1% .Outlook 2010 is next, with 20.1%, followed by Gmail (8.8%) and Outlook 2013 7.8%. The iPhone also tops the mobile list, beating the iPad and the Android by sizable percentages.

Among client types, mobile pulled the highest open rate — 41.1%. Second was desktop, with 33.1%, and Web browser came in at 25.3%.

These findings could well apply to other types of marketers. Here are some lessons:

  • Mail less — In general, open rates declined with higher send volumes.
  • Include links — Emails containing between three and seven links and those with 31 or more had click rates greater than the benchmark average.
  • Design n your emails for mobile — Mobile readers generated read rates of 67.6%, compared to 59.8% for desktop users. Their open rates are 17.1%, compared to 24% for desktop readers. This indicates that they are more selective about what they open.
  • Shorten up your subject lines – Emails with less than 10 characters achieved the highest average open rate, at 44%. But such emails made up less than 1% of the volume. Half of the emails sent had subject lines with more than 40 characters, and their average open rate was lower than the benchmark, at 35.6%. 
  • Send your emails on Friday — Friday is the day with the highest opens and click-throughs. Opens are almost as high on Saturday, but clickthroughs fall off. But most association marketers don’t seem to know this: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are tops in terms of volume, accounting for 64%.
  • Schedule your blasts for later afternoon—That time period tends to be better for opens. 
1 comment about " Metrics Are The Message: How Associations Did With Their Email In 2016".
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  1. Corinne Hallander from Persado, June 13, 2017 at 1:40 p.m.

    We've found no correlation bewteen character count and open rates across industries. We help brands optimize language--and subject lines are our bread and butter. We've sent millions of subject lines and analyzed their impact, and ultimately we've discovered longer subject lines perform just as well as shorter subject lines across industries. Our clients can also upload their historical data to our platform, so we can look at individual companies (and even look at sub-datasets for certain audiences or email types)--and still, there is no significant correlation.

    The assumption that shorter subject lines are better is erroneous and not substantiated by data.

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