Updated for 2021
Last year, the pandemic touched nearly every facet of our lives. As consumers, the way we engaged, researched and bought from brands completely changed. And for brands, customer engagement channels underwent rapid digital transformation in order to meet consumer needs.
As brands concentrated on digital channels, email emerged as strong as ever. 300.4 billion emails were sent and received every day in 2020. (Statista) In 2021, 4.03 billion people around the world use email and experts expect that number to grow as high as 4.48 billion by 2024. (source) No platform even comes close to the potential reach of email. Nearly 72 percent of consumers say emails are their number one choice in brand communication. To stay in front of consumers and cut through the clutter, marketers need to continually evolve their strategies to stay relevant among changing audiences and changing times.
- Day of the week matters: Best day of the week with the highest email open rates was Friday (18.9%). Friday was also the best day with the highest click-through rates (2.7%).
- Average benchmarks for industry: Average open rate: 18.0%; Average click-through rate: 2.6%; Average click-to-open rate: 14.1%. This is a high-level overview and varies by industry.
Email by Age Group
Millennials love their email. According to research by Adobe 2018, those who were born between 1981 and 1996 spent 6.4 hours a day on email and 41% even check their work email in bed, before or after work. (source)
Mobile is the most popular reading environment with 42% of all emails being opened on smartphones or tablets. Furthermore, Apple’s iPhone continues to be the undisputed leader in mobile email. About 28% of all email opens happen on iPhones, and an additional 9% come from Apple’s iPad, the #2 most popular mobile email client. (Litmus)
However, these numbers vary by industry. According to a 2019 report by Acoustic, mobile open rates may be as high as 52.9% for the Automotive industry, and as low as 18.0% for Insurance. (source)
The Value of Triggered Emails
Clearly, triggered emails bring significant value and ROI as they generate almost 5 times the click rate. Many marketers are using welcome emails as a standard practice (72%), but other types of triggered emails are also on the rise such as abandoned shopping cart and transactional emails in response to a purchase.
Personalized Communications Increases Open Rates and Reduces Unsubscribes
Personalized one-to-one marketing is key to increasing open rates and engagement and personalization is evolving even further into marketing to a “segment of one”. According to eMarketer, 70 percent of people expect a personalized experience.
Almost three-fourths of marketers say personalization in email increases engagement (Litmus, 2020).
- Personalized emails generate a median ROI of 122%.
- Birthday emails generate 3.42 times more revenue per message than a standard promotional email.
- Emails with personalized subjects are 50% more likely
to be opened.
According to the research by Litmus, businesses use a variety of personalization techniques. The most common method used by three-fourths of respondents is to personalize the email subject line and the copy in the body of the email. However, these techniques vary by industry.
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For example, 80% of financial services companies personalize email body copy vs. 55% of retail/ecommerce/consumers goods and services companies. And 77% of retail/ecommerce/consumers goods and services companies personalize email subject lines vs. 66% of financial services companies.
Email personalization also reduces unsubscribe rates and has a major impact on boosting revenue. A report by Silverpop found that 50 percent of consumers unsubscribe from an email list due to irrelevant emails. This impact of unsubscribes adds up to a loss of 60 percent in future lifetime value (LTV) (AgilOne). However, when emails are personalized, the average click-through rate is 2.5 times higher with an average increase of 5.7 in revenue.
Marketers who realize the full impact personalization can bring to the table are now experimenting with numerous data points to add value to their emails.
Brands have huge opportunities this year to engage with their customers and prospects through highly personalized, one-to-one email communications.
Interested in more great resources? Check out the Email Marketing Success Kit and access some of our most informative resources on email marketing trends, strategies, and tactics. The most convenient way to research, this success kit contains topic-focused blogs, podcasts, case studies, and more – all with one download.
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