Two Types of Email That Produce Marketing Wins

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An industry insider clears up a widespread myth about email marketing and reveals two surefire ways to ramp up its effectiveness.

Many marketers believe that there's a timing sweet spot for emailing consumers. But Spencer Kollas disagrees. “There's no perfect time to send an email that works across the board for all brands,” says Kollas, VP of global deliverability for Experian Marketing Services. “Every brand has a different set of customers, with different needs and preferences. What's more important than when to send is what to send. No matter what time it is, emails need to be relevant.”

Dispelling the timing myth opens the door to smarter strategies. Kollas cites findings from Experian's recent quarterly email benchmark report—which DMN covered in “Two Tremendous Revenue Opportunities for Email Marketers”—to make two recommendations to increase email's performance.

First, is to use data to ensure relevance. Kollas says email marketers have to know how to pull insight from the data in this recent benchmark study and other research on email performance, as well as marketers' own email data. He notes that marketers also need learn how to spot trends in the data that can help them improve their email marketing results. Kollas cites as an example one interested data point from the study: “While the percentage of total open rates only increased 3.1%, the number of users that are opening [marketers'] email increased tremendously.”

Kollas explains the more than 3% increase, which at first glance may seem as if increasing the volume of email is the key to getting more users to take action. If, for example, a company sends 500 emails and there was a 25% open rate, the total number of consumers opening the email would be 125. However, if the company increases its volume and sends out 1,000 emails and there was still a 25% open rate, the total numbers of consumers opening the email jumps to 250. “That is a lot more consumers who are finding the email useful and are engaging,” he says, suggesting this reason for the increase: “Marketers are being smarter about the emails they send, and people are opening the ones that are relevant to them.”

Second is to harness the marketing wins that email can deliver when tied to loyalty programs. One tactic that Kollas says can improve the effectiveness of email marketing tied to a loyalty program: e-statements sent via email. He says data from the benchmark report shows that e-statements sent to loyalty program members perform better than standard promotional mailings from the same brand. “E-statements provide personalized and relevant information to the end user that they're more likely to engage with,” he says. That information includes everything from earned benefits and urgent deadlines for promotions to exclusive offers and personalized recommendations. “E-statements provide ongoing, personalized communication with a brand's most loyal customers.” Marketers can use these emails to build relationships that are unique and beneficial to each customer.

In fact according to the study, brands saw a lift in revenues per email (42%), unique clicks (36%), unique opens (31%), average order value (27%), and transaction rates (8%) when comparing loyalty program emails to standard promotional emails.

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