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How to improve email metrics in a recession

How to improve email metrics in a recession

By Janine Popick, CEO of VerticalResponse.

Despite the recession, email marketing remains a popular channel for customer growth and continued sales.

According to the most recent online study by JupiterResearch, The Economic Downturn Online Consumer Survey, Q4 2008, the email channel still inspired 41% of consumers to make at least one online purchase.

There are four key metrics within your email campaigns that you should be monitoring, in order to maximize your customer intelligence.

Just as important is the industry average for these metrics, which are outlined below.

1. Open rates can be up to 40% with great customer relationships

Other email marketers that have gathered their lists over several years and have potentially lost some customers can be in the 14-18% range.

To increase the open rate, email marketers can download their list of non-responders—the people who have neither clicked on a link nor opened their email—and resend the email to them with an alternate subject line after a week or two.

A more catchy or incentive-based offer may get customers to open email. If this is ineffective, email marketers should consider trying another communication channel—such as phone or mailed postcards—to determine whether their customers have a different contact preference.

2. The typical click rate is between 1-3%

However, particularly great deals or compelling stories can lead to click rates in the 8-10% range. Rates above these indicate a really strong customer relationship. In order to raise the click rate, email marketers should test more links in their email and ensure all images are linked.

3. The ideal average bounce rate is under .5%

Email marketers may notice that lists mailed less frequently can have bounce rates in the 5%-7% range.

A list that is mailed for the first time can have up to a 50% bounce rate depending on how "new" it is. To combat this, download the list of bounces.

If their postal address is on file, send a postcard asking them to update their email address, then direct them to an opt-in form where you capture their new address.

If it’s a valuable customer you should consider offering a discount or gift card for their next purchase.

4. Unsubscribe rate should average .2-.5% for regularly mailed lists

A less frequently mailed email list can creep up to the 2-5% range. Keep in more frequent touch with recipients, perhaps increasing your emails from quarterly to monthly.

These four metrics will provide you with insight on how to react to unresponsive customers once you identify them with the help of reporting tools.

Ultimately by understanding their reporting data, email marketers will be able to expand their active users and ensure email campaigns are more successful.


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