Email campaigns that welcome new subscribers generate higher transaction rates and more revenue per email than bulk mailings, as they educate subscribers and set expectations for future communications via email, according to a study by Experian CheetahMail.

Among the welcome email campaigns studied, transaction rates were nine times higher than standard bulk mailings (0.94% vs. 0.10%) and such messages generated over eight times more revenue per email on average ($1.24 vs. $.15).

Welcome campaigns' open rates were nearly four times higher than bulk promotions (57.8% vs. 14.6%), while click rates were more than five times higher (14.4% vs. 2.7%).

Below, other findings from the Experian Marketing Services' CheetahMail study titled The Welcome Email Report: Benchmark Data and Analysis for Engaging New Subscribers through Email Marketing.

Benefits of Real-Time Email Messages

Real-time welcome campaigns—triggered by the initial registration of an email subscriber, or as a result of a customer's first purchase—generated significantly higher open, click, and transaction rates than bulk campaigns.

For example, real-time welcome messages registered open rates nearly three times higher than bulk promotions (88.3% vs. 29.3%) and click rates over four times higher than bulk promotions (52.6% vs. 11.9%).

Meanwhile, welcome messages generated transactions rates 10 times higher than bulk mailings (4.01% vs. 0.40%), and roughly 11 times more revenue per email ($5.83 vs. $.53).

Messages With Offers

Both real-time and bulk welcome emails with offers tend to generate higher transaction rates and revenue per email than those without offers:

  • Real-time welcome campaigns with offers generated transaction rates twice as high as those with no offers (4.84% vs. 1.85%).
  • Real-time welcome campaigns with offers generated revenue per email twice as high as those with no offers ($6.89 vs. $3.07).

Meanwhile, bulk welcomes with offers generated a 9% lift in transaction rates and a 30% lift in revenue per email compared with bulk welcomes with no offer.

Across offer types, welcome emails with free shipping offers generated the highest transaction rates (5.31%):

Other than messages with free-shipping offers, campaigns offering "15 percent off" generated the highest revenue per email for both real-time and bulk welcome emails.

In addition, welcome emails with links to social media generated click rates roughly 6% higher than welcomes without those links.

About the data: Findings are based on the results of 17,000 welcome email campaigns conducted by 65 Experian Marketing Services' CheetaMail clients from May 2009 to April 2010.

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Welcome Emails Drive Up Revenue, Transactions

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