2020 was such a different year in almost every way. Pandemic, lockdowns, elections and closed borders affected everything. Email marketing was no exception.
Remote working and online/email fatigue played a huge part in trend movements in 2020.
Trends didn’t change so much as accelerated. Here are just a few observed email marketing benchmarks useful to our clients, and which we use for our own benchmarking.
“Everyone is looking for ways to communicate in ways that feel more personal.”
Total 2020 email marketing traffic jumped 7% on 2019
You probably noticed it yourself and is why you might feel “digital fatigue.” 7% growth in email volume from 2019 is three times the previous years’ average growth rate of 2-2.5% per annum.
Interesting side note: USA investor reports 2020 as having the biggest social media unsubscribe (ie accounts cancelled) rates.
Open rates increased (against the trend) … then dropped back significantly…
As lockdowns and restrictions impacted on us all globally. March-May open rates increased 20% on 2019, however from there it was a steady “return to normal.” By the end of the year, overall email click-to-open rates (CTORs) dropped on 2019 to 14%.
For the first time ever the percentage of emails opened on mobile devices dropped - from 8.8% (2019) to 7.6% of emails sent in 2020.
Email and digital fatigue seem to have had an impact here, along with a constant barrage of ‘Covid Safety Procedure emails’ from every business under the proverbial sun.
Average click-through rates (CTRs) were consistent (2.6%)
However, the average was perhaps ‘dragged up’ by the Government, Media and Political segment experiencing a huge jump to 4% CTR. Pandemics, lock-downs, wage subsidies and elections (USA and NZ locally) all played a part here.
Media and Government had a near-zero unsubscribe ratel… are we suckers for punishment or what…
Working from home… Friday became ‘Marketing Email Open Day… “a significant deviation from long-held email marketing wisdom.”
Missing face-to-face time, or Friday office drinks perhaps? In 2019, Friday afternoon became time to stop work and dwell on what the world outside was doing… Normally Tues and Thurs are the best days for email engagement - but not now. Remote working has shifted this, making Thursday the second worst (to Saturday) and Tuesdays became just like a Monday…
Other 2020/21 Email Benchmarks
In 2021 Customer Retention is more important to business owners than ever before.
More so than any other channel, email marketing must be relevant to the customer. Customers are fickle and, for email, can unsubscribe permanently unlike any other channel. Too often, or the wrong message, and they are gone forever.
As with all marketing, the key is to stay relevant and improve by tweaking things, and use different media for different customer types, and at different times of your customer's life cycle.
At Wordcom we utilise and recommend email, post, and phone for different contact times during your customer relationships.
We thank our friends at Campaign Monitor for many of these insights.
I was astonished recently to be phoned and offered a "New-Customer Only Deal" by an electricity retailer ... my existing electricity company...
Then, to be advised (by my caller) that I was “not eligible for this low-rate discount” due to my current ‘Relationship’ (yes, they even used the ‘R’ word to reject me)…
Overlooking the obvious
This is an all-to-common phenomenon: companies spend an inordinate amount on advertising, promotion and ‘customer win-back campaigns’, at the expense of their existing (goldmine of) customers. They are like a goldminer abandoning an existing seam of gold to spend all their effort prospecting…
Are you '$0 to budget' each month, or 25-60% out of the blocks?
Most businesses have wonderfully rich databases of existing customers. As owners/employees we can grind away month-after-month chasing and discounting each next sale, clawing ourselves from $0 to budget every month or start each month with 25-60% of sales already on the board from our retained clients.