Creating Data-backed Strategies Using Email Marketing Benchmarks [GUEST POST]

Creating Data-backed Strategies Using Email Marketing Benchmarks (Featured Image)

You’ve calculated your latest open rates, crunched the numbers on your unsubscribes, and know the exact percentage of customers who are clicking through your emails after they’ve opened them. 

Now, crafting your next email marketing campaign should be a breeze.

The truth is, your business can use these visible metrics to extract deeper, actionable insights. Data collection in email marketing is growing even more sophisticated, and your campaign could seriously benefit from some data analytics. 

Yes, we know that working with lots of numbers can be pretty overwhelming. It takes work to collect and organize data, and decide which ones will affect your next business decision.

In this article, we’ll point you to the most relevant email marketing data, so you can allocate your focus towards crafting your most successful email marketing campaign yet.

It’s all about the benchmarks

We know it’s pretty exciting to get new subscribers. But, understand that your email marketing campaign does not stop here. You want to give your potential customers an unparalleled experience and keep them on board until they become advocates and drive conversions. 

Want to know if your email marketing campaign is on track? The easiest way to determine your own success is to compare your results with your competitors’. 

This comprehensive guide from Campaign Monitor gives an idea of industry averages and the best days of the week to send emails, plus several tips on how to leverage these email marketing metrics and improve your own numbers. 

If you’re a nonprofit, you’ll find that, overall, your industry does well in terms of open rates. For example, an open rate of 18% is good for a publishing or travel company but is actually below the industry average for nonprofits, which stands at 20.39%. 

Meanwhile, regardless of your industry, the benchmarks reveal that Thursdays are the best days of the week to send an email, while Sundays, on the other hand, are a hard no.

From looking closely at the benchmarks, here are some more of our key takeaways:

First impressions are long-lasting

Subject lines are the door to customer engagement. However, your preheader text, or the preview text that subscribers see beside your subject line, can also significantly improve your email’s open rates.

Content matters

Customers check their inbox using phones, laptops, desktop computers, and tablets, so draft an email that is readable across different devices. Use fonts, colors, and designs consistently. 

Be trustworthy

Make sure your subject line is consistent with the content of your email, especially if it’s a promotional email. Otherwise, your customers will feel deceived. In addition, keep your spam rates low by signing your email with a recognizable name, like the name of your CEO. 

Listen to your customers

If your business has not yet implemented a feedback process via email, try to come up with one. It’s also a great way to collect customer intelligence.

Automate it

Customer segmentation can improve open rates, click-through rates, unsubscribe rates, and email click rates. If your customer segments are highly unique and continue to grow, marketing automation can help you send those emails and save time.

Personalized emails are the real deal

Take this scenario, for example. Every week, an online bag shop sends an “email blast” offering a bunch of randomly picked designs. The business owner assumes that subscribers look at the entire catalog. After all, their business is hitting monthly sales targets. 

One day, the owner asks subscribers to fill out a form about their favorite types and colors as well as how they would like to receive promotions. As it turns out, everyone has a unique set of preferences both for bags and emails. The owner divides their mailing list into segments and sends a more customized list for each group, resulting in a massive sales and engagement boost.

We can’t emphasize personalization enough. Today’s customers want to feel known, not just as a source of revenue, but as individuals with varying and evolving needs. Because of this, almost 1 in 2 businesses have chosen to tailor their communications around customer segments. In fact, 8 in 10 believe that personalization will bring in the money in the coming year.

Check out how Hawthorne uses email marketing to request information from customers, so they can receive more relevant and personalized content:

Source: Really Good Emails

Use email marketing to let your customers know that, more than anyone else out there, you place their needs at the forefront of your business. Here are some more data-backed personalization strategies:

Make an impression

The subject line is the first thing your subscribers see, so make sure that it stands out in a flood of unread emails. A study by Experian shows that personalized subject lines can increase unique open rates by as high as 37%. 

Remember special days

Send a birthday greeting along with a discount or freebie—it’s one of the most effective emails you can send. Holidays and season specials are a big deal, too.

Offer relevant products

If you bug your subscribers with products that are not their cup of tea, chances are, your emails will go straight to the bin. On the other hand, click-through rates will shoot up if you use relevant and interesting content.

See this email from Chewy. It provides the customer with a list of their top picks along with a small discount. The customer doesn’t need to look for their purchase history on the website—it gets delivered straight to their inbox just in case they want to order again. 

Source: Really Good Emails

Wrap up

In a data landscape that is ever-expanding, your business can get ahead by knowing exactly where to look.

Industry benchmarks are a great place to start. It’s important to check how businesses like yours are doing with their email marketing campaigns, and where you stand in comparison to them.

However, we think that it is even more important to know what makes your relationship with your customers unique. What works for another business might not work for you, especially if you are in different stages of business growth.

There’s one feedback loop you can trust as you figure all these out: Leverage customer intelligence to develop your next email marketing campaign and use your next email marketing campaign to further improve what you know about your customers. Rinse, repeat.

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