Digital enterprises aren't just sending more email, they are generating more revenue from it according to Experian Marketing Services' latest email benchmark report.
Experian found that revenue per email increase 8 percent in Q4 2012 compared with Q4 2011 (from 13 cents to 14 cents) and was 30 percent higher than in Q3 2012 (from 11 cents per email to 14 cents). There are clearly some seasonal trends (e.g. Two-thirds of travel brands increased mailings in Q4 2012), but based on the total year-over-year numbers, email seems to be holding its own as a channel to drive conversions.
"Overall email volume increased in Q4 and unique open rates increased for the third straight quarter, as more than 56 percent of brands had statistically significant increases in transaction rates for Q4 2012, with Multichannel retailers seeing the largest increase along with Consumer Products," said Peter DeNunzio, general manager, Experian Marketing Services CheetahMail.
One of the reasons for the increased revenue could likely be speed of response. Analyzing data from 2010 to 2012, Experian's study found a five to six percent increase in the percentage of both open and clicks received in one day from send. The reason of course is likely mobile; the usage of which has more than doubled in the same time frame.
"One trend for email marketers to watch is the speed of response time among their customers, especially when it comes to email viewed via mobile devices. Marketers operate in a time and place where it's more important than ever to continually optimize their marketing campaigns with some sort of testing procedures, especially given the amount of data available today."
Other interesting findings from the report include:
- The email volume among different industries shows that travel emails reported the largest increase with 21.4 percent.
- All verticals had some gains in volume in Q4 compared with Q3 2012. Multichannel retailers and consumer products and services verticals led the way with increases of more than 30 percent in Q4 compared with Q3.
- In Q4 2012, total and unique open rates were above the Q4 2011 rates, while click rates matched those seen in 2011.
- Transaction rates were the same as Q4 2011, while revenue per mail and average order rose by 8 percent and 12 percent, respectively.