Email Alphas: The Best Performers In Four Sectors

Consumer packaged goods marketers are tops in using email, according to The State of the Inbox 2021, a study by Ansira Partners Inc. 

The CPG vertical pulled a blended score of 85% in a recent review. And it had the smallest score range on both the high and low sides, meaning that there was less difference between brands in observing best practices.

Insurance -- which had a 70% blended score -- stood out for “the high degree of difference (48 PP) between brands, indicating that each brand has varied degrees of maturation in email marketing,” the study notes. 

However, insurance brands “significantly outscored the other industries in technical performance,” the study says.

“In fact, two-thirds of the evaluated brands were in the 80th percentile or higher for spam compliance, technical requirements, functionality and accessibility (compared to only three of 10 for retail),” it states. 

Retail pulled a 70% score overall and banking came in at 60%. Both have relatively high ranges between individual brands. 



Ansira evaluated over 100 emails across four industries (Banking, Insurance, Retail and Consumer Packaged Goods) Between February and April 2021, via website signups and using Sparkpost.  

The CPG vertical scored 86% for customer experience and 82% for technical performance, with a potential customer experience upside of 14%, meaning it has less ground to make up. 

Why this seeming superiority?

“Driven primarily by their focus on unique and memorable experiences, branded emails in the CPG category tend to engage customers with unique content and user experiences, while also having greater personalization and dynamic journeys,” the study notes.

Based on these criteria, the top CPG brand in technical performance was Procter & Gamble, and the leader in experience was tied between L'Oreal and Nestle.

In contrast to CPG, the insurance business pulled 86% for technical performance and 53% for experience, meaning it had an upside of 47%. The winners were Allstate, Liberty Mutual and Geico. 

Allstate’s emails were perfect “in terms of technical performance—spam compliance and technical, functionality and accessibility measures,” the study adds. But it was tied with Liberty Mutual on engagement. 

Retail, which had an overall blended score of 70%, achieved 76% for technical performance and 66% for experience, with an experience upside of 34%. The leading brands were Best Buy, Target and Home Depot. Best Buy’s email strategy and user experiences earned perfect scores. 

Banking scored 67% for technical and 56% for experience, with a 44% potential upside.  Citi led the way, with an experience score of 83%. Next were PNC and Capital One.

The study concludes, “To achieve the best results, branded email programs should be firing on both cylinders — technical performance and customer experience.” 

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