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Email Marketing Tactics: What Worked (and What Didn't) in 2013

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Personalized promotional emails sent during 2013 had 26% higher unique open rates and 41% higher unique click rates than non-personalized mailings, according to a recent report from Experian Marketing Services.

Personalized triggered marketing mailings had similar lifts, with 25% higher unique open rates and 51% higher unique click rates.

The effectiveness of personalization varied by industry, Experian's analysis found: CPG (+6%) and media (+15%) organizations recorded smaller increases in unique open rates, whereas travel (+65%) and multichannel (+37%) retailers registered major jumps.

Below, additional key findings from the 2013 Email Market Study, which was based on Experian client data collected in the past year.


Growing Trends

  • Pop-up windows: 45% of marketers used pop-up windows by the end of 2013 on their websites to collect email addresses. That was a 107% increase from 2012 levels.
  • Responsive design: Brands increasingly looked for ways to deliver the most optimal experience to mobile customers, exemplified by the use of responsive design in 2013, which more than doubled from 2012 levels.
  • Social promotion: Promoting social networks in email increased significantly in 2013, with the highest growth recorded for Instagram and Pinterest.

Proven Tactics

  • Activity segmentation: In 2013, most marketers (83%) segmented their email campaign audiences by past activity data, such as open and click activity.
  • Real-time triggering: Sending a second abandoned-cart reminder garnered an average 54% lift compared with just sending one abandoned-cart message.
  • Browse-history: Emails based on products or categories that a customer had already surfed achieved a 3.4x increase in revenue compared with other promotional mailings.
  • Confirmed opt-in: Confirmed opt-in mailings had 2.7x higher click rates than other welcome emails and 3.3x higher click rates than other reactivation emails.

Areas for Improvement

  • Personalization: Despite the general effectiveness of the tactic, Experian found 70% brands did not personalize emails sent to subscribers in 2013.
  • Customer preferences: 60% of marketers did not give customers the option to select the types of emails they wanted to receive in 2013, and only 30% let their customers decide how often they wanted to be mailed.
  • POS collection: Most (80%) of retail brands continued to collect email addresses via a point of sale (POS) system entered by a sales associate, a method with a high potential for error, rather than more effective digital methods.

About the research: The report was based on Experian client data collected in 2013.


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Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategy and content consultant. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. His experience includes working as a strategist and producer of digital content for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, and AOL.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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Comments

  • by Abby Bandel Mon Feb 10, 2014 via web

    Don’t just settle with sending emails based on products or categories that a customer had already surfed. Send personalized emails that contains the actual cart abandon by the customer, or the actual products viewed by them and include product recommendation in the email body.

  • by Kool Design Maker Mon Mar 3, 2014 via web

    Email marketing is not easy as it was before two years because now receivers of marketing relevant emails are very clever, keen and experienced about these kinds of email. They even don't open the email, i want to give my own example that i don't like to open marketing's relevant emails from their title or subject i select them and delete them. it is very hard for email marketers to increase CTR on emails. However your points are very effective and helpful to increase CTR and to get good business.

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