ATLANTA, Dec. 9, 2009 - A Silverpop analysis of B2C email marketing campaigns leading up to the important holiday selling season found more emails being sent to more people as open and click rates held steady.
Silverpop reviewed the email marketing programs of 70 retail and consumer product companies, comparing last year's campaigns with those sent last month. Overall, the companies' list sizes grew by more than 124 percent, and they sent 25 percent more emails in November this year than they did in 2008. During "Cyber Week," the time between the Sunday before Thanksgiving and the Monday following, companies sent 22 percent more emails this year than last.
The average unique open rate of promotional messages from these companies was 15 percent in 2008, compared to 14 percent in 2009. Average unique click rates dropped slightly from 29 percent in 2008 to 25 percent this year. And while list sizes grew dramatically, the deliverability rates increased as well, averaging in the upper 90 percent range.
"Email marketing is both cost effective and fast, making the channel a workhorse during the competitive holiday season," said Scott Voigt, vice president of marketing for Silverpop. "Companies can quickly respond to changing market conditions, revising campaigns on the fly to respond to individual customer interests and needs. And that creates win-win scenarios for consumers and the companies eager to see profits rise during the holiday season."
During the month of November, email subject lines were most likely to promise savings. And offering customers more for less worked far better this year than last. Sixty-six percent of the companies studied included a discount offer of some type in the subject line last year, compared to 62 percent who did so this year. But in 2008, the open rate for emails offering discounts was only 17 percent compared to a strong 31 percent open rate this year.
When offering a discount, companies were most likely to offer a percent off the cost of merchandise, with 27 percent in 2008 and 32 percent in 2009 doing so. But they might have had better luck by offering a gift with purchase or a buy-one-get-one (BOGO) promotion. Offering a gift was far more likely to generate an email open than offering a percentage, dollar or British pound off a purchase, or simply announcing a sale.
Additionally, companies were more likely to give time limits on discount offers this year, which also generated higher open rates. In 2008, 25 percent of the emails studied included a time limit on offers, and those that did generated a 12 percent open rate. In 2009, 30 percent of the emails had a time limit but generated an average open rate of 23 percent. There was only a slight increase in emails this year offering free shipping -- 12 percent in 2009 compared to 9 percent in 2008.
Silverpop's Engagement Marketing suite helps turn prospects into customers, and customers into fans. Silverpop's Web-based solutions enable companies worldwide to build relationships with customers and prospects through the creation, automation and delivery of relevant, online messaging. And Silverpop's strategic counsel, service and support helps clients with the precise level of training and advice needed to quickly improve campaign results and ROI. Silverpop makes it easy and affordable for marketers to create, automate and execute campaigns ... from first click to lifetime customer. With offices in the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany, Silverpop's engagement marketing technologies are used by industry-leading brands around the globe. Best practices and white papers are available at www.silverpop.com.
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