Email is still one of the most powerful marketing channels, continuing to deliver the highest ROI. As with any successful marketing vehicle, it evolves to respond to customer feedback and overall market changes—not to mention the latest regulations, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which has a compliance deadline of January 2020.
Taking a closer look at what’s trending in email marketing today, GetResponse analyzed four billion emails that were sent from 126 countries across 19 industries.
The analysis was based on an audience of active email marketers with at least 1,000 contacts. Also, unique values were assigned for email open, click, and unsubscribes, ensuring that each customer action is counted only once, even if a subscriber reclicked or reopened a message.
Here are five insights from that analysis.
1. Choose your email subject lines carefully, and focus on valuable content
The three most effective words to use in email subject lines are “newsletter,” “PDF,” and “e-book.”
The click-to-open rate for emails that included the word “newsletter” was 31.43%, 30.31% for “PDF,” and at 27.84% for “e-book.” Based on the uptick in PDF and e-book engagement, marketers can infer that content is being used more regularly to move customers further along the funnel.
2. GDPR boosts use of double opt-in and drives stronger results
Now that marketers have acclimated to the GDPR regulations that went into effect in June 2018, they are increasing their use of double opt-in in email, resulting in higher open rates and shares. Double opt-in also ensures higher deliverability while acting as a good security measure preventing anyone from injecting spam traps or sending other harmful emails to a list.
As marketers prepare for CCPA, we can anticipate even higher engagement from audiences, which clearly are willing and eager to hear from the companies and brands from which they have opted-in to receive messages.
3. Fewer emails means higher engagement per message
Email marketers who send one newsletter per week have the best campaign results. Specifically, they had the highest open rates, at 33.4%; highest clickthrough rates, at 4.65%; and highest click-to-open rates, at 13.91%.
Bear in mind that although sending more emails may dip the conversion rate per individual message, the total number of conversions would likely be greater if you increase your email frequency.
4. Autoresponders drive engagement, especially with new subscribers and special offers
Single-message autoresponders, often used as a welcome or thank-you email with a link to download valuable content or offers, had an 88.7% open rate. Considering that high open rate, marketers should make the most of their autoresponders by providing either content and offers of high value or incentives for referrals (or both).
5. Time-sensitive offers are most effective within the first hour
Marketers with time-sensitive offers and flash sales should note that almost 19% of all email campaigns are opened in the very first hour after sending. With each passing hour, the chances of getting more opens decreases. After six hours, over half of the emails will have already been opened. With that in mind, it’s worth investing the time to analyze past email marketing performance—i.e., previous customer behavior—to identify the optimal times to launch your campaign.
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Email remains the foundation of integrated marketing campaigns because it provides a low-cost, high-ROI channel for engaging subscribers who are primed to hear from you.
Although the latest benchmark report shows what’s currently working in email marketing, it also provides insight into the actions that attract, engage, and convert customers using a variety of marketing channels—including content, video, and landing pages—as well as preferences and customer behaviors around the globe.
For more email marketing benchmark analysis, download the full report.