- Experian Marketing Services has issued its Q2 2016 Email Benchmark Report identifying five strategies that retailers and other brands should consider incorporating into upcoming holiday marketing campaigns, including weighing the quality of subscriber data obtained during acquisition, targeting customers based on social media interested, developing creative content, email personalization and retention strategy.
- Regarding subscriber data collection, Experian's report notes that marketers need to work to improve the quality of the data obtained at the point of sale, as those subscribers often are highly engaged with the brand. In fact, between April 2015 and March 2016, welcome mailings to POS subscribers had a 32% higher click-to-open rate than for subscribers obtained from other sources.
- The Experian report also says that targeting email subscribers based on their social media interests can yield high engagement. For example, welcome emails sent to subscribers who engaged via Facebook had an 11% higher click-to-open rate than other welcome emails from the same brand (22% for Facebook welcomes, compared with 19.9% for other welcome emails).
Is it time to prepare for the holidays already? Well, it is if you're in the marketing game and engage a bit with retail customers who will be getting dozens of emails about pre-holiday sales every day from retailers by around early November after Halloween has been put to bed.
And while it might still come as a surprise to some, email is an increasingly effective way for retailers to get the attention of subscribing customers. As Experian separately noted at the beginning of this year, the number of retailer promotional emails sent in 2015 was up 27.6% from 2014. Also, that percentage was even higher during the holidays.
The whole science of email marketing also continues to be refined. As retailers learn more about customers via social media and data collection, they can more effectively target specific customer groups with the right sorts of email promotions.
Experian's report has a couple other interesting, perhaps somewhat surprising points about email marketing. Personalizing email subject lines, for example, can be highly effective. Experian said that between April 2015 and March 2016, brands that included personalized subject lines experienced 27% higher unique click rates, 11% higher click-to-open rates and more than double the transaction rate compared with other promotional mailings.
Experian's point about retention strategy also is important. "Thank you" e-mails demonstrate good follow-through, provide some assurance a transaction has closed properly, and are just, well, darn polite. As we all rush into the holidays, there is something to be said for being nice, even if it is just one element in a retailer's email marketing program. Maybe it's the thing that will keep customers engaged enough that they will open the next batch of promo emails when Presidents' Day sales roll around.