Smaller Email Lists Generate Higher Engagement

New research from GetResponse suggests that marketers should “go small or go home” when it comes to email list size and segmentation.

The email marketing automation platform analyzed almost two billion emails sent by its customers over a two-month period in 2017 in its report, Email Marketing Benchmarks. The data is derived from email marketers across the world, located in 126 different countries and across 19 industries.

GetResponse’s study suggests that higher email engagement is directly correlated to smaller email list size. The larger an email list becomes, the lower its engagement rate drops. Email list sizes between 1,000 and 2,499 contacts generate average open rates of 31.19%, while email lists with more than 1 million contacts only generate open rates of 8.15%. 

Smaller email lists enables marketers to send messages with more finite segmentation, and an added degree of personalization.

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Triggered email messages also had significantly higher email engagement rates than traditional newsletters or RSS feeds, according to the GetResponse report, likely due to the added personalization factor. Triggered messages are sent after a customer makes a specific action online, such as participating in a webinar, downloading a product guide, or abandoning a product in a shopping cart. By nature, a triggered message is more personalized than a batch-and-blast mass email, so it should come as no surprise that it generates higher engagement rates than email newsletters.

Triggered email messages have an average open rate of 56.67%, according to GetResponse, with an average click-through rate of 14.99% and a click-to-open rate of 25.99%. Newsletters, on the other hand, generate an average open rate of 22.03%, average click-through rates of 3.27%, and click-to-open rates of 14.84%.

The power of personalization is also evident in subject lines. Fewer than 10% of email subject lines are personalized, according to GetResponse’s study, but those few emails generate higher open rates than their batch-and-blast brethren. 

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