Your Clients Should Be Planning Their Holiday Email Campaigns Now

BY Kathy Crosett

That holiday time of the year: You may not be ready to go there, but your clients should be. Planning for advertising campaigns that sway consumers during the last quarter of the year should already be underway. The Email Trends Benchmarks report from Epsilon contains some great data to get your clients to think about holiday advertising.

Email Success Last Year

Everybody says they get too much email. The trick is to help your clients stand out and encourage consumers to open their email messages. Here’s what last year’s numbers looked like in Q4:

  • Delivery rates 97.5%
  • Open rates 34.1%
  • Click-​through rates 3.1%
  • Unique open rates 19.3%
  • Unique click-​through rates 2.1%

The “unique” numbers reflect a new and improved measurement statistic. Those numbers refer to the number of individuals who opened and ultimately clicked through. Marketers should know these data points as they speak to the number of people they reached with their email efforts versus the number of times each message was clicked on.

Email Impact by Vertical

Your clients should also know that not every industry fared the same in Q4 of 2018. Here are the unique CTRs by verticals included in the Epsilon study:

  • Automotive 2.8%
  • Business products/​services 1.3%
  • Consumer products 1.5%
  • Pharmaceutical 2.0%
  • Publishing 2.8%
  • Consumer services 2.0%
  • Telecom 0.7%
  • Financial services (banks, credit cards) 2.4%
  • Financial services general 2.4%
  • Retail 1.7%
  • Travel/​hospitality 2.5%

Epsilon analysts also tracked changes from the previous year. Unique open rates and CTRs in the retail, travel and hospitality, and consumer products sectors all dropped more than 5% when compared to Q4 in 2017. This trend isn't surprising, because many businesses, especially retailers, ramp up their email send rates in Q4. 

Email Impact by Type

Epsilon also monitored the types of emails that businesses sent and how they fared. Not surprisingly, over 80% of Q4 emails are classified as marketing messages. These emails also had the lowest CTRs: 0.8%. Unique CTRs were much higher when businesses sent out emails formatted as newsletters (2.6%) or surveys (2.2%). Publishers and general consumer services businesses had good success with CTRs on newsletters, scoring 2.2% and 2.5%, respectively. 

This trend suggests that your clients should avoid sending out marketing emails during the holiday season. Their efforts to connect with consumers will work better if they engage target audience members with unique and personalized email content.

Triggered emails are another way for your clients engage consumers. By definition, a triggered email is sent after a customer takes an action like placing an order or asking for services. Verticals with the highest CTRs for triggered emails include pharmaceuticals (10.8%) and travel and hospitality (10.0%).

To learn more about the kinds of emails consumers most appreciate, review the AudienceSCAN reports available at AdMall from SalesFuel.