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10 Data-Backed Truths All Email Marketers Need to Know

Jun 18, 2015   |   3 min read

Knowledge Center  ❯   Blog

data_backed_truths_email_marketersEmail marketers are no strangers to data. We love pouring over analytics and insights, and we know the only way to truly prove a fact is to back it with data. So, when it comes to email marketing trends, the best way to weed out fact from fiction is to look at the numbers.

Below, we’ve collected ten of the most important data-backed email marketing truth guaranteed to help you create higher converting campaigns this quarter:

1. Mobile is where it’s at.

For most people, technology is omnipresent. Indeed, more than half of all emails are opened on smartphones and tablets-a 500% increase in only four years’ time. Apple devices account for 35% of all mobile email opens, with Google/Android devices representing a surprisingly small 13%. If you’re not building mobile-friendly design into your email marketing, you should start ASAP.

2. Email is the marketer’s workhorse.

Marketers use email for many purposes, including newsletters (66%), promotional content (54%) and welcome emails (42%). Interestingly, marketers rank the most effective use of email to be mobile opt-ins (76%), birthday emails (75%) and transactional emails (74%).

3. The majority of emails are never opened.

Across all industries, only 20 to 30% of emails are opened (depending on which researcher you’re listening to.) Some industries fare better than others. For example, financial services and public sector emails are the top winners, likely due to the highly transactional nature of their emails. The best way to increase your open rate is to focus on personalization.

4. Scheduling matters.

Most email opens occur within a few hours of delivery, which means you need to pay careful attention to sending your emails on the right day and at the right time. The challenge, though, is the right day and the right time depends entirely on your specific audience. How do you determine the best time for each of your segments? Test, test and test again.

5. Click-through rates are fairly stable.

Overall, click-through rates stand at 3.26%, compared to a similar 3.16% last year. Notable stand-outs for click-through rates are the online services and eCommerce industries, with rates of approximately 6% and 4%, respectively.

6. Triggered emails build more engagement.

Triggered emails-which are often highly personalized and carefully timed to reach your subscriber immediately after she’s engaged with you-do much better than the typical business-as-usual email. Indeed, more than half of all triggered emails are opened, with click-through rates of more than 10%.

7. Be mindful when measuring personalization.

When you look at personalization, it’s important to consider the big picture. For example, emails with the recipient’s name in both the subject line and the message content yield the lowest open rates (5.3%)-but the highest click-through rates (3.4%). However, if your primary goal is to increase open rates (and you’re less concerned with click-throughs) stick with only personalizing the message content, which improves open rates to 17%.

8. Social share buttons send click-throughs through the roof.

The email-social media relationship is often contentious. So stop fighting and get these two channels to work in unison! Email newsletters that include social sharing buttons have 158% higher click-through rates than newsletters that don’t include the buttons.

9. You only have one chance to make a first impression.

Looking to make your email stand out in a crowded inbox? Write your subject lines carefully. The most common words are “free,” “news” and “sale,” all of which imply special offers or time-sensitive messages. Also, keep the subject line short. Lengths of only four to 15 characters tend to enjoy higher open-rates (17% more, to be exact) and a greater number of clicks more (a 2% increase).

10. When it comes to bounce rates, more equals less.

Apparently absence does not make the hearts of subscribers grow fonder. Marketers who send a message at least once a day have the lowest bounce rates: a miniscule 0.3%. By contrast, marketers who send messages less than once a month generated bounce rates of a whopping 3.2%. So keep those emails flowing!

Of course, this list only scratches the surface of the opportunities for you to use data to drive smarter email marketing decisions. Additionally, the most accurate way to determine the best practices for your business is by inspecting your own data. Let the numbers do the talking, and you’ll enjoy greater ROI from your email marketing campaigns.

Looking for more ways to increase your open rates? Check out our case study to learn how one company increased open rates by 13%!

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