Statistical Observatory 2020: results from 12 months of mailings

07 April 2020Reading time: 8 min.

Analyzing nearly 14 billion emails revealed newsletter, DEM, and transactional email trends. Data on the timing of monthly and weekly sendings were especially interesting.

We’re pleased to present the results of the latest MailUp Statistical Observatory.

In this edition, we’ve worked on an analysis pool of nearly 14 billion emails sent by over 11,000 customers of the MailUp platform.

An overview of 2019

The global comparison between the 2019 and 2018 metrics shows a clear improvement in delivering. This comes from both the MailUp platform’s continuous research on targeting performance and the customers’ enhanced focus on best practices in managing and cleaning the contact database.

Delivery rate: +1,1%

Open rate: +1,3%

Clic rate: -6,2%

We also see signs of improvement in the opening metrics. It’s worth noting that this isn’t directly related in a proportional way to delivering. Increased openings testify to the message’s relevance. Therefore, it’s a sign of consolidated trust between the companies and the recipients.

The click rate trend, however, slightly decreases. This metric represents the ground where companies must intensify their optimization activities.

The overall observation of metrics emphasizes the importance of an analytical look capable of transcending individual metrics, highlighting the results of their interdependent relationship. Engagement is the concept that must keep making its way among companies. Such a parameter considers metrics as connected and interdependent plans where each level of measurement (e.g. the open rate) depends on the previous one (the delivery rate) and influences the next one (click-through rate).

How to measure engagement

Openings

The Open Rate experienced a remarkable 12.7% increase between 2017 and 2018 followed by a further 1.3% increase on average in 2019. This proves that the 2018 growth is consolidating and that companies and recipients (whether individuals or firms) are trusting the email channel even more.

Since the increase in openings does not depend upon the increase in delivering (+1.1% per year), the trend in fruition increasingly demonstrates companies’ ability to involve recipients from their Inbox and lead them to opening.

In analyzing the broken-down results by audience type, the mixed sector is almost stationary (from 23.9% to 23.8%: -0.4%) while both B2B (from 27.1% to 27.6%: +1.8%) and B2C (from 18.8% to 19.2%: +2.1%) experience growth.

Click

The all-sectors (B2B, B2C, and mixed) 2019 Click-through Rate is 2.4% on average, whereas the global trend compared to 2018 shows a relative decrease affecting B2B at -7% and even more among the mixed sector at -13%. However, B2C shows a perfect balance between the results of 2019 and 2018 (2.3%).

The averages and their year-over-year trend indicate that the click rate is the metric with the greatest potential for unexpressed engagement. Companies need to place more focus on it.

There are three lines of action:

  1. The structure of the message, which must follow optimization guidelines for guaranteeing the best content use (especially in mobile mode)
  2. The call to action button, i.e. the email’s true focal point, which definitely requires graphic impact, persuasiveness, and bulletproof optimization
  3. The personalization of content, i.e. what makes a difference. This means developing functions and automatisms that shape both content and offers based on individual recipients’ data. This way, each email turns into a communication tailored to individual interests, preferences, and behaviors.

Email personalization: a step-by-step guide

Newsletter

Newsletters fill 70% of the total volume of emails sent. This shows that email is perceived mainly as an informative communication tool meant to cultivate the relationship with customers and prospects.

A multifaceted picture emerges whenobserving different metrics. B2B openingsand readers increase while mixed figuresdecrease at all levels (click performance is -12%). B2C faces an openings expansive trend and, at once, a negativeone in readers and clicks.

In short, newsletter results confirm the full maturity of this channel. This is highlighted by the volume of both sendings (meaning companies highly rely on the channel) and openings (meaning recipients trust it). Companies should, as emphasized above, concentrate their efforts on the click rate to take recipients from passive consumption (email opening) to action (the click).

Since many companies’ newsletters relyon a more or less structured Content Marketing plan, the way forward is goingfor a better dissemination ofcontent. One can achieve such a goal by means of segmentationactivities and functions.In fact, these allow for transmitting content that matches the preferencesexpressed by the individual recipient.

Transactional

The transactional sector once again recorded the best performances across all audiences in 2019. These brilliant results coming from transactional emails shouldn’t be surprising. In fact, these messages (login credentials, purchase notifications, shipment tracking) have always been triggered by user action (e.g. purchase). Therefore, they’re characterized by a high degree of relevance for the recipient.

Due to their nature, transactionale-mails are subject to repeated openings. In fact, the openings trend (exceptfor B2B) is expansive or steady yet unrelated to the percentage of readers(decreasing everywhere except the mixed sector).

As underscored, these results indicate a high performance. This is why we recommend an even smarter use of transactional emails. This type of message shouldn’t be limited to providing information on the recipients’ action (e.g. “Thank you for your purchase. Your order is on its way.”) but rather take the chance to kick start the marketing dialogue through upselling and cross-selling strategies.

DEM

Besides the newsletter, the advertisingworld is performing a consolidation.Almost all DEM metrics are in line with the 2018 results. Slight differencesare limited to the mixed audience(where openings decline from 16.3 %to 15.6%) and to B2C. Thelatter exhibits a growth in both openings (from16.7% to 17.4%) and readers (from 10.6% to 11.6%).

This means that commercial sending(advertising and promotions) is experiencing a consolidation of therelationship between the sender (the companies) and the recipients (theconsumers).

The ground on which companies must focus is, once again, the click (a metric that should improve especially in B2C, whose click rate is 2%). The goal is to capitalize on openings by converting them into email content interactions.

Within the advertising context, Predictive Marketing stands as the increasingly decisive technology in raising communicative relevance. This Email Marketing complementary and predictive tool allows for aggregating data from internal (CRM, Email, Social Network, E-commerce, Web Analytics, etc.) and external sources (demographic data, weather conditions, traffic intensity, etc.) and predicting the interests of customers who interact with the website, emails, and campaigns on Google, Facebook, Display Adv, and other channels.

Predictive strategies and technologies will increasingly contribute to converting every single email flow directed to a single recipient into personalized customer journeys—hence their improved effectiveness and profitability.

Timing

Delivery volumes per month

Mailings’ monthly arrangement allows for a clearer picture on how seasonal logics affect Email Marketing strategies.

First off, it’s worth mentioning themonths in which the largest sending volumes concentrate: the month of May stands out in conjunction withthe pre-summer season. Julyfollows shortly thereafter. Then, the sendings drop dramatically: August, of course, is the month with the leastsending volumes due to summer breaks. The months of October and November also emerge in terms of volume and areaffected by some of the most important sale opportunities: Black Friday, CyberMonday, and, of course, Christmas.

Delivery volumes per weekday

Analyzing sending volumes by weekday isespecially interesting. It offers a tripartite picture. The largest sending volumes areconcentrated between Thursday andFriday with a peak during the last day of the working week. An intermediatecluster emerges in the first three weekdays with very similar figures. Weekends constitute the thirdcluster, which shows a deepgap with the working period (Sunday has the lowest sending volumes).

Do you want your email marketing campaigns to perform better?

Has the Observatory shown that there’s room for improving your performance compared to industry averages? Contact us now to learn where and how to respond.
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This article was written by

Andrea Serventi

Andrea Serventi

Editor

I was born in 1986 in Milan, where I graduated in Modern Literature and started writing for online newspapers, magazines and TV news programs. Having now converted to marketing and the digital world, I am a Content Editor at MailUp: I read, listen, collect ideas, and write about what email marketing is and how to use it strategically.

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