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Epsilon: Open rates for triggered emails soar

Marketing services firm Epsilon and the Direct Marketing Association‘s (DMA) Email Experience Council released the Q1 2012 North America Email Trends and Benchmarks report, which shows a 12.6% year-over-year open rate increase in both triggered emails and business as usual (BAU) emails and a 5.9% increase over Q4 2011, says Jennifer Wiese, analytic consultant at Epsilon. Overall open rate was at 26.2%.

The quarterly analysis is drawn from the 7.1 billion emails Epsilon sent out on behalf of its multiple industries between January and March 2012 in North America, with the participation of approximately 150 clients.

Epsilon also analyzed 165 million were “triggered” emails – direct follow ups to consumer actions, like “thank you for signing up for our program,” or “here is an offer based on what you told us about yourself,” Wiese says. Open rates for triggered messages were 75% higher than “business as usual” (BAU) in Q1 2012, dropping from 101% in Q1 2011.

“[One reason] BAU opens are going up [could be] because of mobile,” Wiese says. “And maybe because of mobile, too, clicks are going down. We could not be targeting as well as we could be.” Epsilon’s study found that click rates decreased from last quarter to 4.7%.    

Mobile use continues to increase, Wiese says, advising direct marketers to “make sure you have a strong call-to-action so people are interacting with your emails.”

She underscores the importance of rendering emails correctly on a mobile device. “There are so many types of phones out there, so companies need to know that what may work for an iPhone may not work for an Android.”  

Another trend Wiese considers important is the social component within email campaigns, saying that brands that combine email and social programs to send a consistent message to consumers will see more success. “Use email and social together,” she says, “not against each other.”

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