Posted on 13 Jan 04
The following article, which originally appeared in Selling with Technology, was forwarded by one of our Storefront family members, Fritz Seifert. (Americana Program Underwriters http://www.programbusiness.com/tracking/sftracker.asp?SFid=181) It sheds some statistical light on the continuing viability of e-mail advertising communications:
E-mail trend report for Q3 2003 shows that despite increases in spam and e-mail clutter, bounce rates are down and click-through rates are up slightly. The advertising technology company's second-quarter e-mail trends report found bounce rates have dropped in most categories, and have declined overall year over year from 13.3 percent to 11.8 percent. Also on the bright side, average click-through rates have increased, from 8.5 percent in Q3 2002 to 9.2 percent for the same period this year.
The Q3 report, based on approximately 2 billion e-mails from approximately 300 clients, couches most of its good news in terms of improved delivery rates — defined as the percentage of messages that generate neither hard nor soft bounces. However, since the company has no way to count how many messages are caught in spam filters, this statistic is more useful as a measure of list hygiene than of literal delivery to a consumer's inbox.
Keeping that in mind, business publisher e-mails and retail and catalog campaigns saw the biggest gains in list hygiene, with delivery rate increases of 4.4 percent and 2.8 percent respectively. More modest gains were experienced in the consumer publisher, business products and services, and travel categories.
However, delivery rates on consumer products and services campaigns fell slightly to 84.3 percent, .5 percent lower than last year's third quarter. On the up side, this category experienced a 12 percent increase in click-through rates, from 10 to 11.2 percent.
Click rates for other types of e-mail were also up. Retail and catalog e-mails rose to 8.8 percent, a 27.5 percent increase; and travel business publisher e-mails rose more moderately. Click-through rates on business products and services campaigns remained steady at 7.8 percent.
Open rates, meanwhile, were generally flat or slightly down compared to last year. Dips occurred in the retail/catalog (down 1.1 percent) and travel (1.1 percent) categories.
The average order size was up 4 percent to $101, and revenue per e-mail increased 24 percent to $0.26
The report concluded that marketers focused on ensuring list hygiene are enjoying sustained or increased performance, despite growing challenges in the e-mail environment.
"The Q3 results seem to show that clients' improved practices and smarter marketing habits are helping them keep ahead of these increasing complexities."