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Is marketing automation improving email success rates?

29th Jun 2014
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According to the most recent statistics for UK businesses, the average open rate for an email campaign is 22.87%, while the average click-through rate hovers around the 3.25% mark. Success in the field has a low bar.

Despite the advent of social media and an annual revelation from analysts that the medium is dead, email isn’t in decline, with campaign usage stats continuing to rise, and the open and click-through rates actually improving since 2013.

Part of this improvement is said to be down to marketing automation. In its first study since being acquired by IBM, email marketing provider, Sliverpop claims that automated email campaigns are now pushing open rates nearly 15% higher than manual campaigns, with click-through rate stated to be 79% higher.

Such stats, gleaned from analysing emails sent by 3,000 brands across 40 countries through 2013, highlight that personalisation is now becoming a major factor in driving more engagement through email campaigns.

Marketing automation’s email functionality usually consists of segmenting and prioritising contact lists, highlighting individuals’ clicks and downloads from historical data and configuring more personalised versions of your email campaigns based on this information, thus creating more relevance and, as Silverpop’s study results reveal, higher success rates.

“The ‘human’ element is more important than ever in marketing messages,” says Dan Pingree, VP of marketing at Moosejaw Mountaineering. “At Moosejaw, we pride ourselves on making every customer interaction a fun and meaningful one. We take an individualized approach with both our automated and transactional messages, which engage our customers and encourage repeat purchases. This year’s survey results confirm what we have discovered at Moosejaw – that digital marketing with automation at the centre is the key driver to great customer experiences and overall marketing success.”

Alongside this, automated email workflow is also said to be improving bounce rates, with “median hard-bounce rate” now just under 0.04%, due to the enhancements it can offer in data cleansing.

Other notable findings were that transactional messages (emails triggered automatically by customer behaviours such as purchases on websites or account activity) delivered open rates four times higher than non-transactional, while click-to-open rates were 15.1% compared to 9.9% for non-traditional.

“The study results confirm that in today’s customer-driven world, highly relevant, individualized messages are what drive buyers to engage with marketing emails,” said Loren McDonald, VP of industry relations at Silverpop. “In order to achieve this level of true one-to-one engagement, marketers must adopt marketing automation technology, sending messages with personally relevant content based on the customer’s timeframe, not the marketing departments.”

“Typical email marketing benchmark studies only include ‘average’ metrics. In today’s marketplace, however, ‘average’ is no longer acceptable. We encourage all email marketers to set their sights higher, aiming to be among the top-quartile performers. By taking a step back and examining your marketing objectives, and ensuring that you are putting your customers at the center, you will be able to set attainable goals to make sure your buyers are receiving the awesome experience they deserve.”

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