Top 10 Email Marketing Stats of 2015

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2015 marked a significant turn in the perception of email marketing in the media and in C-suites. After years of “Email Is Dead” headlines, this year brought renewed interest and headlines like The Triumphant Return of the Email Newsletter and Shop, Play Games, And Check Twitter—From Your Inbox. We took a look at these trends and more to bring you the top 10 email marketing stats of 2015.

Ultimately, these predictions of email’s demise just weren’t supported by consumer behavior. Indeed, lots of fresh research shows that email is at the top of its game.

At the same time, research from this year also points to plenty of opportunities for marketers to improve their email marketing programs and rethink how consumers interact with brands via email.

A number of these stats are ones you might want to share with your CMO as budgets get finalized for 2016. So here we go…

1. US marketing executives believe email alone drives the same amount of revenue as their social media, website, and display ad efforts combined, according to The Relevancy Group. (Source)

While it’s not email vs. other channels, when it comes to budgets, most brands underfund their top performer. All too often, budgets are determined by legacy allocations and internal politics.

2. Seventy-two percent of consumers chose email when asked, “In which of the following ways, if any, would you prefer companies to communicate with you?” according to MarketingSherpa. Postal mail was a distant second with 48% of respondents. (Source)

As much as marketers love the shiny, new thing, consumers love the shiny, old thing: email.

Companies ignore consumer preference at their peril.

3. Email marketing ROI is the second most easily measured (after paid search), with 39% of marketers rating their ability to measure the ROI of the email marketing retention efforts as “good,” according to Econsultancy and Oracle Marketing Cloud. (Source)

Email marketing is one of the easiest channels to measure and much less of a black box than many other channels. That said, we still think that a lot of email marketing’s influence goes unmeasured, in part because brands make measuring ROI a fairly low priority.

4. Outside of work, Americans most commonly check their email while watching TV (70%), from bed (52%), on vacation (50%), while on the phone (43%), from the bathroom (42%) and even—most dangerously—while driving (18%), according to Adobe. (Source)

As much as we might like to think of subscribers dedicating their full attention to our carefully crafted emails, this research reinforces the fact that they are often dedicating much less than their full attention. The fact that checking email is often only one task for a multitasking recipient should cause marketers to redouble their efforts to create messages that are clear and actionable at a scan or—at the other end of the spectrum—so anticipated and engrossing that subscribers will in fact give it their undivided attention.

5. Top-quartile performing companies have transactional email click-through rates of 6 times the median, according to IBM Marketing Cloud, indicating that smart marketers are finding ways to add value through transactional messages and driving further engagement, such as purchasing a related product or service. (Source)

Transactional emails are incredibly powerful because they’re highly anticipated and highly personal, and are therefore highly read. Marketers can make the most of this engagement by adding upsell messaging, product care, and other information to their transactional emails. This research proves that some marketers are having great success doing this.

6. Fifteen percent of the top 500 internet retailers didn’t offer an email signup form on their website, and 8% required account creation to opt-in, according to 250ok. Only 6% of retailers used a confirmed or double opt-in process. (Source)

When consumers give you their email address, it’s like a promise that they’re going to spend more money with your brand. Yet, some retailers still make it surprisingly difficult for consumers to make this commitment to them. If you haven’t examined your own opt-in sources lately, let this be your cue to do so and see if your email sign up process has too much friction in it. That said, we’re glad to see that confirmed opt-in (COI) usage is low for homepage signups.

COI is best reserved for low-quality email acquisition sources like sweepstakes and manually entered email signups.

7. The top 1% of most viral emails generated in excess of 1 forward for every 21 opens, with a handful of the more than 400,000 campaigns analyzed generating forward-to-open rates of more than 100%, according to Litmus. Meanwhile, the bottom 5% of email generated no forwards at all. (Source)

OK, so we’re a little biased here, but this first-of-its-kind research into email forwarding behavior will definitely make you think about the influence of shared emails in a new way. Particularly if you’re sending an email about one of the more highly forwarded topics, then using some of the tips in this report will help enhance pass-along frequencies.

8. Email is the most-used source of data for analytics, with 41% of businesses mining their data from the performance of their email marketing campaigns, according to Salesforce. Research data (39%) and transaction data (37%) were the next two most common sources of data. (Source)

Email marketing isn’t just the No. 1 digital marketing channel, it’s also companies’ top source of data for analytics. So it’s not only a powerful channel on its own, but the data generated from email marketing helps power your other marketing efforts by providing actionable data insights.

9. Twenty-three percent of potential online buyers purposely abandon their shopping carts in order to collect coupons that sellers send to try and close the sale, according to Bizrate Insights. Forty-five percent of abandoners hoped to receive a coupon for free shipping with no minimum purchase. (Source)

Triggered emails like cart abandonment emails can be incredibly powerful, but they’re best used as customer service vehicles rather than promotional ones. That’s because when they’re used to serve up discounts, subscribers are trained to abandon carts, delay purchases, and to become more price sensitive. This research highlights those dangers for brands.

10. Email marketing was the biggest marketing channel on Black Friday, driving 25.1% of all transactions, according to Custora. Beyond email, 21.1% of sales originated through organic search and 16.3% through paid search, while social media (including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest) drove only 1.7% of sales. (Source)

Email marketing shines year-round, but it’s particularly vital during the holiday season and other peak seasons. To make sure that your emails are performing their best, consider adding seasonal content to your triggered emails and sending re-permission, win-back, and preference update emails to get your database in tip-top shape for the holidays.

Check Out Our Other Top 10 Lists for 2015

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