It’s not too early for marketers to begin considering their strategy for email campaigns during the upcoming holiday season. New research shows that the kind of email a marketer sends out plays a big role in whether a message gets opened. As a result, more marketers are likely to increase their use of triggered email messages.

The new North America Email Trends and Benchmarks Results report released by the Email Experience Council (Epsilon and the Direct Marketing Association) does a great job of summarizing the results of last year’s email activity during the holiday season.  In addition to looking at statistics from traditional campaigns, researchers also considered consumer responses to emails triggered by activities such as Thank You, Birthday, Anniversary and Confirmation. The bottom line is that consumers click more on triggered email messages.

In general, marketers have done a good job of cleaning up their email lists. As a result, only 3.7% of email messages bounced during the last quarter of 2011. During this same time period, 24.8% of all email messages were opened. This is positive news considering that marketers increased their email volume to customers by 21% over the previous holiday period.

Marketers also upped their use of triggered email and it amounted to 2.8% of total volume in Q4 2011. Analysts report that the rate of clicks on triggered email was 96% higher than for other email, which is also called business as usual (BAU) email.

Judy Loschen, Vice President of Digital Analytics at Aspen Marketing Services, a division of Epsilon, notes that “With triggered messages, marketers can create meaningful relationships with consumers in real-time based on specific behaviors or milestones.”

The higher click rates noted on these types of email suggest that marketers will be looking for creative ways to roll out triggered campaigns as early as October which is when the next holiday cycle begins.

[Source: Q4 2011 North America Email Trend Results. Epsilon.com. 5 Apr. 2012. Web. 23 Apr. 2012]