According to JD Engelbrecht, Managing Director of Everlytic, marketers know that the success of email campaigns comes down to the total number of engaged contacts. The ultimate return any organisation can hope for is to multiply the volume of its email distribution list by the engagement rate. But to build engagement, the recipient must first open the message.
According to the Everlytic 2020 Email Marketing Benchmarks report, email subscribers who have been opening their messages have been more engaged with the content than ever. The Everlytic Email Marketing Benchmarks report is the largest email engagement study in South Africa providing a unique categorised analysis of the billions of emails sent in the country.
Even though fewer people have been reading their emails, (likely due to the economic uncertainty created by the pandemic and reduced inclination to spend on non-essential products and services) the report has highlighted the importance of providing subscribers with more value-added content than purely sales-driven information. Subscribers are looking for a richer journey than what traditional marketing campaigns can provide.
The only industries that showed an increase in open rates last year were education (6% increase) and logistics (20%) which may be attributed to increased homeschooling and home deliveries via online shopping platforms.
Surprisingly, even though hospitality, travel, and tourism were impacted substantially by the pandemic, their email engagement increased by 21%. This is likely due to how the lockdown left people unable to travel, but may have boosted their aspiration to do so. Additionally, the recipients may have kept engaging with those emails in the hopes that there were updates to travel regulations or on trips they had booked prior to the lockdown.
The report further highlighted that the pandemic impacted which devices people use to view their emails. Desktop use dropped substantially, with mobile and web picking up in response. With many offices closing during lockdown and introducing a more flexible working environment, this was to be expected. In fact, every industry’s mobile views went up, while desktop views decreased.
All about engagement
Marketers know that the success of email campaigns comes down to the total number of engaged contacts. The ultimate return any organisation can hope for is to multiply the volume of its email distribution list by the engagement rate. But to build engagement, the recipient must first open the message. It is therefore important to improve subject lines and start building brand affinity. In doing so, companies can improve open rates to improve the return on investment they are getting from their email. Once opened, the relevance and compellingness of the call-to-action will lead to further engagement.
A smaller, engaged list could yield the same volume of engagement as a large, unengaged one. The findings of the report have shown the importance of practising email list hygiene.
Amid changes in the digital marketing landscape, email will evolve in functionality and should remain the go-to platform as it provides the most cost-effective way of engaging with customers on their terms.
Based on this comprehensive study, it is clear that delivering quality content to email subscribers will be the cornerstone of any successful campaign. Subscribers have moved away from expecting a pure sales pitch to emails that deliver meaning to their lives. Generating this relevant content will significantly help to improve engagement rates.