It may seem counterintuitive given the COVID-19 pandemic, but email had a so-so holiday season, judging by some metrics.
Only 3.6% more emails were sent on Thanksgiving compared to the prior year, according to 2021 Email Marketing Guide 4 2020 Report, a study by Essence of Email.
And despite this seeming flattening of volume, unique open rates decreased by 10% and revenue per email by 9%.
Meanwhile, email remains the most popular channel among 58% of firms.
And across the board, it was usually the Welcome, Post-Purchase and Abandonment flows that made a killing in terms of key metrics, which are overall revenue, revenue per recipient, conversion rate, and open rate.
Meanwhile, SMS jumped in popularity as a marketing channel. More SMS sends went out on Black Friday and Cyber Monday than during all of November 2019.
SMS conversion rates averaged 3.16%, a 136% increase YoY. In addition, 19% of all SMS orders came from Black Friday offers.
Here are some of the accelerating email trends, as delineated by Heath Weaver, managing director of Essence of Email:
Personalization is advancing, but it is a complex issue. “Privacy continues to be critical and the elections have focused on technology’s ability to impact what people think,” Weaver writes.
Automation “showed fruits in 2020 and we don’t expect it to slow down any time soon,” Weaver continues. Weaver adds that “nearly every email platform is making large investments into their marketing automation and wherever possible, trying to stuff machine learning into it — from smart sending times to combined SMS and email.
Digital communities have come into sharp focus as “we have been separated from physical communities,” Weaver notes. As with any relationship, differences in values can result in “sharp and difficult exchanges.”
Brands should remember that the customers represent another community, and problems can be worked through with a focus on communication,” Weaver concludes. “Email has proven to be the best channel to build those digital communities. “
The study is based partly on findings from various studies by Omnisend and other companies.