Are consumers paying attention to email messages? Is there a way marketers can increase consumer engagement with email? These questions were explored in a survey recently carried out by Pivotal Veracity. Their findings can help marketers improve the results of their email campaigns.1215930_an_e-mail

Pivotal Veracity tracked differences in email engagement metrics between the first and third quarters of this year in several large sectors, including retail, financial, technology and travel. In general, the survey revealed that consumers tend to read emails from financial services and technology and telecommunications firms at a higher rate than the communications they receive from retail or travel concerns.

However, the timing of e-mail releases can make a difference.  During the first 9 months of 2009, consumers responded at the following rates to all emails:

  • January 56%
  • February 56%
  • March 53%
  • April 60%
  • May 59%
  • June 56%
  • July 63%
  • August 58%

By specific sector, the peak month for email engagement occurred as follows:

  • Financial institutions – July
  • Technology and telecommunications – August
  • Retail – May (engagement drops during the summer and begins to rise in August again)
  • Travel and hospitality – April

Pivotal Veracity also tracked the elapsed time between when emails are sent and when they are noticed by consumers. On average, the time period is about 24 hours and it has grown by nearly 2 hours during 2009. Analysts believe this growing time frame is linked to the variety of demands on consumer time. In general – people have fewer hours to devote to e-mail.

Then there are the read rates. According to survey findings, the read rates break out as follows:

  • Industry average – 25%
  • Financial institutions – 34%
  • Technology and telecommunications – 27%
  • Retailers – 21%
  • Travel and hospitality – 18%

This survey data indicates that more businesses may be taking several factors into account as they prepare their e-mail marketing campaigns. Companies that consider their industry’s seasonal peaks and time their campaigns to those peaks may experience higher rates of return on their investment.

[Source: Vertical Market Benchmarks & Trends, Pivotal Veracity, Fall 2009]