Q4 2012 Email Trends and Benchmarks


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Q4 2012 Email Trends and Benchmarks

  1. 1. Q4 2012 Email Trendsand BenchmarksMarch 2013
  2. 2. 2epsilon.comExecutive Summary 3Business As Usual Email Trends 4Triggered Email Trends 8Email Activity Segment Evaluation 10Conclusion 13About Epsilon 14About Email Institute 14Contents
  3. 3. 3epsilon.comConsumers today interact with brandsacross a number of channels—oftensimultaneously—browsing, makingpurchases and receiving products andservices. Concurrently, marketers relyheavily on the email channel as a meansto connect and enhance the consumerexperience. Email continues to play a vitalrole in the marketing mix, driving strong ROIin customer acquisition and engagement.Epsilon has compiled and analyzedaggregated data from billions of emailssince 2002 to produce quarterly emailbenchmark reports. Marketers can gatherinsight from these benchmarks to helpimprove their email campaigns and developmore intelligent engagement strategies.Please note this benchmark data shouldonly be used as a guideline. Specifics foreach company will ultimately drive results.Executive Summary
  4. 4. 4epsilon.com• Click rates were unchanged quarterover quarter, remaining at 4.5%.They are lower than Q4 2011 (5.2%),but remain established over theprevious two years.• Removing triggered and real-timemessages, the average volume perclient increased by 17.7% over theprevious quarter, but decreased24.2% over last year (Q411). Thissuggests that marketers sent moretriggered and real-time messagesvs. Business as Usual (BAU) andbatch messages compared toQ4 2011.Business As Usual Email TrendsEpsilon open rateremained strongthroughout 2012The Q4 2012 Email Trends and Benchmarksanalyzed performance trends by industryand message type to provide an under-standing of how the average company ineach category performs. The study iscompiled from 7.3 billion emails sent inQ4 (October, November and December)2012, across multiple industries andapproximately 170 participating clients.• Non-Bounce rates remained strongat 96%.• Open rates increased both quarterover quarter (+0.6%) and year overyear (+10.6%), resulting in an overallopen rate of 27.4%.26.2%4.7%95.7%5.2%22.2%5.9%23.3%96.0%5.1%22.1%95.0%5.2% 4.5%24.8% 27.4%96.3% 96.0%96.5%23.8%5.5%95.9%25.6%4.4%96.5% 96.1%27.2%4.5%Q410 Q111 Q212Q211 Q311 Q411 Q112 Q312100%90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%0%Click-throughOpen rateNon-bounceQ412Q4 2012 Overall Performance
  5. 5. 5epsilon.comNine of the thirteen industries analyzedhad an open rate increase of 5% or higherwhen compared to Q4 2011: BusinessProducts and Services General, ConsumerProducts CPG, Consumer ProductsPharmaceutical, Consumer Publishing/Media General, Consumer ServicesGeneral, Financial Services CC/Banks,Retail Apparel, Retail General andRetail Specialty.Consumer Publishing/Media General,Financial Services General, Retail Appareland Retail Specialty saw a click rateincrease of 5% or higher compared to theprevious year’s metrics.The highest open rates were in FinancialServices/CC Banks (39.3%), RetailGeneral (36.7%) and Travel/HospitalityTravel Services (31.2%).The highest click to open rates werein Consumer Products CPG (39.5%),Consumer Publishing/Media General (33.1%)and Financial Services General (22.6%).Epsilon Q4 2012North American IndustryNon-BounceOpenRateClickRateClick toOpen RateBusiness Products and Services General 91.4% 29.7% 4.0% 13.4%Business Publishing/Media General 94.3% 16.9% 2.3% 13.4%Consumer Products CPG 97.5% 21.8% 8.6% 39.5%Consumer Products Pharmaceutical 91.5% 30.6% 4.0% 13.1%Consumer Publishing/Media General 99.3% 22.5% 7.4% 33.1%Consumer Services General 98.0% 24.6% 4.0% 16.2%Consumer Services Telecom 98.2% 18.4% 2.3% 12.7%Financial Services CC/Banks 95.4% 39.3% 4.6% 11.6%Financial Services General 94.6% 28.0% 6.3% 22.6%Retail Apparel 99.1% 19.1% 4.0% 20.9%Retail General 98.0% 36.7% 5.5% 15.0%Retail Specialty 97.3% 24.3% 4.0% 16.5%Travel/Hospitality Travel Services 97.5% 31.2% 3.8% 12.3%*Red or blue text indicates an increase (blue) or decrease (red) over last year’s metrics that was over 5 %.industriesanalyzedIndustry Performance
  6. 6. 6epsilon.comThe Q4 2012 Email Trends and Benchmarks also analyzed the types of messages sent and theirperformance metrics. Nearly 62% of emails deployed through Epsilon’s proprietary emailplatform were characterized as marketing messages, down slightly from 64% the previousquarter.key metricsanalyzed bymessage typeacross theindustriesanalyzedCampaign PerformanceMessageTypeOpenRateClickRate CTOR%Deliveredin Q412Acquisition 15.2% 1.1% 7.2% 0.0%Editorial 31.1% 3.6% 11.6% 0.4%Legal 53.2% 14.9% 28.0% 0.0%Marketing 22.5% 3.0% 13.5% 61.7%Other 18.4% 3.7% 19.9% 30.3%Research 13.0% 2.1% 16.1% 0.1%Service 36.2% 4.5% 12.5% 7.4%*Message types are based on emails deployed out of one of Epsilon’s twoproprietary email platforms and are defined by the person(s) creating thecampaigns, which may not reflect the same definitions as your company.Research0.1%Service7.4%Acquisition0.0%Editorial0.4%Q4 2012: % deliveredMarketing61.7%Other30.3%Industry IndustryCategoryMessageTypeOpenRateClickRateClick toOpenRate% of TotalDeliveredin IndustryBusiness Productsand ServicesGeneral Acquisition 5.4% 0.8% 15.5% 0.7%Editorial 48.1% 8.2% 16.9% 0.1%Marketing 24.3% 3.2% 13.2% 48.5%Other 11.2% 1.2% 10.9% 46.5%Research 1.2% 0.2% 15.0% 4.2%Business Publishing/MediaGeneral Marketing 21.2% 1.6% 7.5% 98.4%Other 48.3% 2.4% 5.0% 1.6%Research 54.6% 16.4% 30.0% 0.0%Service 23.4% 9.5% 40.4% 0.0%Consumer Products CPG Marketing 19.7% 3.1% 15.8% 99.9%Other 41.4% 7.7% 18.5% 0.1%Pharmaceutical Marketing 19.0% 3.2% 17.0% 89.2%Other 5.7% 1.2% 20.6% 10.8%Service 35.2% 7.7% 21.9% 0.0%Consumer Publishing/MediaGeneral Other 23.3% 5.3% 22.6% 100.0%Consumer Services General Marketing 26.3% 3.4% 13.0% 98.9%Other 81.1% 16.2% 20.0% 0.7%Service 65.6% 23.3% 35.6% 0.4%Telecom Marketing 29.7% 1.6% 5.3% 100.0%Service 93.9% 4.7% 5.0% 0.0%
  7. 7. 7epsilon.com*Message types are pulled from Epsilon’s proprietary email platform only and defined by the person(s) creating the campaignsand may not reflect the same definitions as your company.key metricsanalyzedIndustry IndustryCategoryMessageTypeOpenRateClickRateClick toOpenRate% of TotalDeliveredin IndustryFinancial Services CC/Banks Acquisition 20.0% 1.2% 6.1% 0.3%Marketing 31.0% 2.3% 7.4% 59.1%Other 83.7% 17.2% 20.5% 11.8%Research 32.6% 10.3% 31.4% 0.0%Service 49.7% 5.1% 10.3% 28.9%General Legal 66.0% 1.4% 2.2% 0.0%Marketing 28.5% 2.3% 7.9% 76.3%Other 40.7% 5.1% 12.6% 7.6%Service 51.9% 9.3% 17.9% 16.1%Retail Apparel Marketing 18.0% 2.1% 11.5% 94.9%Service 65.4% 5.8% 8.9% 5.1%General Editorial 28.7% 3.1% 10.8% 0.0%Legal 52.8% 15.3% 29.1% 0.0%Marketing 19.9% 3.7% 18.7% 30.4%Other 15.1% 3.1% 20.4% 61.9%Research 23.1% 1.5% 6.5% 0.0%Service 17.2% 3.3% 19.5% 7.6%Specialty Editorial 33.5% 4.7% 14.1% 1.8%Marketing 19.7% 2.3% 11.5% 91.0%Other 19.2% 3.2% 16.6% 7.0%Research 45.6% 10.1% 22.2% 0.2%Travel/Hospitality Travel Services Marketing 23.1% 2.5% 10.6% 99.8%Other 69.9% 5.3% 7.6% 0.1%Service 74.6% 19.3% 25.9% 0.0%
  8. 8. 8epsilon.comTriggered Email TrendsEpsilon’s triggered email metrics arecompiled from over 360 million triggeredemails sent in Q4, across multiple indus-tries. These campaigns were deployed asa result of an action, such as Welcome,Thank You, Abandoned Shopping Cartand Confirmation.This study also highlights significantdifferences between triggered emailperformance and Business as Usual(BAU) email performance.• Triggered messages accounted for5.0% of total email volume in Q42012, 73% higher than in Q4 2011(2.9%).• Non-Bounce rates continued to drivestrong results, only 0.4% lower thanBAU industry metrics.• Triggered open rates were 70.5%higher than BAU in Q412. This is adecrease over Q411 when we saw alift of 93.8% over BAU messages.• Triggered click rates continued toperform well, reporting 101.8%higher than BAU. Q411 triggeredclick rates showed a 123.0% liftover BAU.overall triggeredmessageperformanceOverall PerformanceEpsilon sees a 73% year over year growth in total triggered messages delivered45.9%10.4%94.7%9.8%40.4%12.9%46.8%94.6%12.4%42.2%94.8%11.5% 9.0%48.0% 46.7%94.7% 95.6%94.8%46.8%11.7%95.2%49.8%9.8%95.2% 94.7%47.7%9.7%Q410 Q111 Q212Q211 Q311 Q411 Q112 Q312100%90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%0%Q4126.0%5.0%4.0%3.0%2.0%1.0%0.0%Click-throughOpen rateNon-bounce% of Total delivered-.04%+70.5%+101.8%Q412 BAUDifference
  9. 9. 9epsilon.comThe highest open rates for triggeredmessages were in the Financial ServicesCC/Banks (64.8%), Retail General (64.2%)and Travel/Hospitality Travel Services(60.5%) categories.The highest triggered message click rateswere in Consumer Products CPG (18.5%),Retail Apparel (14.7%) and ConsumerProducts Pharmaceutical (14.0%).Triggered emails typically have higher openand click rates as they are deployed basedon an action taken by the consumer. Thecategories with the most notable differencein triggered open rates compared to BAUopen rates were in the Consumer ProductsCPG (+167.0%), Retail Apparel (+145.0%)and Consumer Services Telecom (96.2%)categories.The most significant click rate differencesbetween triggered and BAU messageswere reported in Retail Apparel (+266.6%),Consumer Products Pharmaceutical(+249.5%) and Consumer ServicesTelecom (186.3%).Triggered Email by IndustryQ4 2012North American IndustryNon-BounceBAUNon-BounceDifferenceOpenRateBAU OpenRateDifferenceClickRateBAUClick RateDifferenceBusiness Products and Services General 96.8% +5.9% 39.0% +31.2% 4.3% +6.9%Business Publishing/Media General 97.6% +3.5% 20.2% +19.7% 2.5% +10.8%Consumer Products CPG 96.2% -1.2% 58.1% +167.0% 18.5% +114.8%Consumer ProductsPharmaceutical94.0% +2.7% 59.4% +94.4% 14.0% +249.5%Consumer Publishing/Media General 97.9% -1.5% 32.0% +42.4% 11.6% +56.5%Consumer Services General 95.0% -3.1% 34.1% +38.8% 5.6% +41.0%Consumer Services Telecom 92.9% -5.5% 36.1% +96.2% 6.7% +186.3%Financial Services CC/Banks 93.3% -2.3% 64.8% +65.0% 5.7% +24.6%Financial Services General 98.0% +3.5% 54.3% +93.9% 7.5% +17.8%Retail Apparel 94.3% -4.8% 46.8% +145.0% 14.7% +266.6%Retail General 94.6% -3.5% 64.2% +75.1% 10.6% +93.7%Retail Specialty 96.5% -0.8% 44.6% +83.8% 8.1% +100.9%Travel/Hospitality Travel Services 94.0% -3.6% 60.5% +93.8% 9.1% +137.9%*Blue text indicates a 50% lift over BAU.
  10. 10. 10epsilon.comEmail Activity SegmentEvaluation TrendsEpsilon’s EASE analysis includedbehavioral segments and examined theoverall performance of an average emailfile across industry categories.These metrics are compiled from710 million non-bounced out and optedin email addresses. These addresses werecontacted from January 1, 2012 throughDecember 31, 2012, across multipleindustries and from approximately150 clients.This analysis first breaks down the email fileinto two categories: New and Mature. Newrepresents addresses that have been on amarketer’s file for less than three months.Mature are those addresses that have beenon a marketer’s file for over three months.Each category is then further segmentedbased on consumer email activity.The New segment is broken into twocategories:• Rising Stars: Subscribers who haveboth opened and/or clicked on anemail; and• Question Marks: Subscribers whohave been inactive for the previousthree months.The Mature segment is broken into threecategories:• Superstars: Subscribers who haveopened or clicked within the mostrecent three months;• Nappers: Subscribers who haveopened or clicked emails morethan three months ago; and• Dormants: Subscribers who havebeen inactive for the past 12 months.Rising Stars, Superstars and Nappers areconsidered active segments. QuestionMarks and Dormants are consideredinactive segments.• 49.9% of an average email file had atleast one open or click during the12 month study period.• Approximately 28.3% of subscribers inan average email file opened or clickedin the most recent three months.• 63.4% of new subscribers in anaverage list have no opens or clicks,down from 66.3% in Q312.• In 2012, 89.7% of a marketer’s emaillist had been on file for over threemonths.Overall Performance
  11. 11. 11epsilon.comAs the chart above illustrates, 49.9% of theaverage email list was active in Q4. This isan increase over Q312 (49.4%) and Q212(48.5%). Active segments are representedby the Superstars (24.5%), Nappers(21.5%) and Rising Stars (3.8%).As was the case in Q3 2012, the EASEanalysis suggests 10.3% of an email listwill be comprised of new subscribers.In the chart above, the new subscriberpopulation is comprised of Rising Stars(3.8%) and Question Marks (6.6%).36.6% of new subscribers are activeafter initial opt-in to an email program(New Clickers and New Openers). Thisis an increase over last year (Q411) when32.0% of new subscribers were active.New Inactive subscribers decreased inQ4 2012, with 63.4% of the average emailfile showing a lack of engagement withmarketers’ email programs. This is downfrom 66.3% in Q312, possibly indicatingthat marketers are doing a better job ofmaintaining subscriber engagement.Understanding mature subscribers’ behaviorcan help marketers develop models basedon consumer triggers or identifiers to createbetter engagement strategies for newsubscribers.In Q412, 51.4% of Mature subscribers wereactive in the previous 12 months. Maturesubscribers are comprised of Mature LapsedClickers (11.2%), Mature Lapsed Openers(12.8%), Mature Recent Clickers (14.0%) andMature Recent Openers (13.3%).27.3% of Mature subscribers had recentlyengaged with an email program (MatureRecent Clicker, 14.0%, and Mature RecentOpener, 13.3%), up 4.5% from Q411.Mirroring the Q3 2012 benchmarks, 48.6%of Mature subscribers remained inactive. Thisfinding serves as a reminder that customerengagement and loyalty is a continual process,not a one-off campaign. Marketers now havean opportunity to develop reengagementstrategies for their Mature Inactive segment.New Inactive63.4%New Opener25.6%New Clicker11.1%New Subscriber Behavior*Mature Subscriber Behavior*Mature Inactive48.6%MatureLapsed Clickers11.2%MatureRecent Openers13.3%MatureLapsed Openers12.8%MatureRecent Clickers14.0%Question Mark6.6%Rising Star3.8%Dormant43.6%Super Star24.5%Napper21.5%Percentage of Segments in the Average Email*
  12. 12. 12epsilon.comRetailer Apparel again had the highest amount of engaged subscribers, with 36.1%of their file categorized as Super Stars (down slightly from 36.7% in Q312). FinancialServices CC/Banks outperformed the other industry categories in regards to on-boarding new customers, as shown in the percentage of Rising Stars (9.3%).Industry PerformanceIndustry Super Star Napper Dormant Rising StarQuestionMarkRetail Apparel 36.1% 25.5% 26.2% 8.1% 4.2%Travel / Hospitality 34.0% 25.3% 29.1% 5.3% 6.3%Retail General 33.8% 25.0% 29.9% 6.2% 5.1%Consumer Products 31.7% 18.6% 44.2% 2.4% 3.1%Business Publishing / MediaGeneral31.2% 21.7% 39.0% 2.2% 5.9%Financial Services CC/Banks 28.8% 22.4% 25.0% 9.3% 14.5%Consumer Publishing / MediaGeneral26.4% 24.6% 42.8% 3.0% 3.2%Retail Specialty 23.3% 21.5% 37.0% 5.1% 13.0%Consumer Services Telecom 22.5% 21.8% 47.9% 2.2% 5.6%Business Products and ServicesGeneral21.6% 19.8% 49.1% 2.2% 7.2%Financial Services General 20.0% 21.6% 44.5% 3.0% 10.8%Consumer Services General 18.5% 16.5% 54.8% 3.5% 6.7%Consumer Products Pharmaceutical 8.3% 16.8% 53.1% 5.1% 16.7%Overall 23.8% 20.9% 42.3% 4.4% 8.6%*Note: due to rounding calculations, these charts may not equal 100%
  13. 13. 13epsilon.comConclusionSince introducing our Email ActivitySegmentation Evaluation in Q2 2012,we have seen consistent findings. Whilethe percentage of active subscribers onan average email list has increased from49% in Q212 to 51% today, new inactivesubscribers have remained above 50% forthe previous three consecutive quarters.Marketers have a tremendous opportunityto capitalize on their current assets—theirsubscriber lists. Studies have repeatedlyshown that it is more cost effective tomaintain current customers than toacquire news ones. Furthermore, currentsubscriber data can provide contextualinsights to enhance acquisition models andfuture engagement strategies.Leverage the customer and loyalty datayou have to communicate intelligently withyour subscribers. Obtaining initial opt-in isonly half the battle. Engagement and loyaltyrequire an insight-driven communicationstrategy that focuses on the individualconsumer and their interactions withyour brand.
  14. 14. 14epsilon.comEpsilon is the global leader in delivering direct-to-customer connections thatdrive business performance. Epsilon’s integrated solutions leverage the powerof rich transactional and demographic marketing data, strategic insights, analytics,award-winning creative and robust digital and database marketing technologiesto connect brands with consumers both online and offline, increasing engagementto generate measurable marketing outcomes. Founded in 1969, Epsilon workswith over 2,000 global clients and employs over 4,800 associates in 60 officesworldwide. Epsilon is an Alliance Data company. For more information, visitwww.epsilon.com, follow us on Twitter @EpsilonMktg or call 1.800.309.0505.About EpsilonEmail Institute, powered by Epsilon, was founded with the purpose ofeducating marketers on email marketing best practices and how it intersectswith other channels (Mobile, Social Media, Brick and-Mortar, Catalog, etc).The best practices site features articles from around the industry that focus onhow to improve email marketing by pointing out how-to information on a specificsubject and showcasing other company’s email marketing efforts. Email Institutealso showcases premium Webinars, events, whitepapers and Epsilon primaryresearch and benchmarks to provide in-depth information strategically targetedto increase your email marketing acumen.About Email Institute
  15. 15. 15epsilon.com800.309.0505 | epsilon.com | info@epsilon.comCopyright © Epsilon 2013 Epsilon Data Management, LLC. All Rights Reserved