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The Most Common Types of Email Marketing Campaigns (and Performance Metrics)

With an average ROI of $38 for every dollar spent, email remains one of the top digital channels to connect with customers and build relationships. 

A new report out from Return Path, the 2018 Email Marketing Lookbook, examines 10 common email campaign types, including abandoned cart messages, newsletters, welcome emails and the results are fascinating. 

Welcome messages are important for building new subscriber relationships, according to the ReturnPath report, but struggle to reach the inbox. Welcome emails certainly provide a powerful way for marketers to greet new subscribers and set expectations for future communications but these campaigns present some unique challenges. As a result, welcome messages had the lowest inbox placement rate (84 percent) and the highest complaint rate (0.62 percent) of any campaign type studied.

Post-purchase messages, however, outperformed every other campaign type in the Return Path study. Also called transactional messages, these type of messages provide details of a completed purchase (such as order confirmations, receipts and shipping information). Since these messages are expected by consumers and provide valuable information, according to the study, they tend to have a high inbox placement rate (98 percent), a high read rate (44 percent) and a low deleted-before-reading rate (seven percent).

Promotional messages are the most common campaign type, but performance appears to be relatively poor. Promotional emails tend to highlight a specific product, service, sale or event, and accounted for more than 70 percent of all messages in this study. Performance for promotional messages, however, had a read rate of only 19 percent and deleted before reading rate of 12 percent.
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