18 Fun and Handy Facts About Email Marketing


I have the hardest time getting my teenagers to use email. It's a generational thing that all parents probably contend with, and for marketers, it points to the growing importance of social media and mobile apps in the marketing mix. But unless teenagers comprise your largest target market, there's one enduring fact about email you should bear in mind:

Email still matters. A lot.

My son not using email
My son not using email

Email matters because it remains the most common form of business communications.

It's very versatile, allowing you to attach files and embed links, and there are time-stamps and other important functions that give it enduring value. For my kids, they simply need to know that it's the preferred channel for their teachers, bosses and other adults (such as their parents). For communicating with most anyone over the age of 25, especially business decision-makers and influencers, email remains important.

My daughter definitely not using email
My daughter definitely not using email

With that thought in mind, I stopped by the booth of Emma, a company dedicated to email and survey communications, at a recent Content Marketing World. I was immediately taken by one of their hand-outs, enticingly titled: 18 Email Stats to Know, Love, and Quote at Parties. Their booklet includes the caveat, "Please don't quote these at parties," but nowhere did it warn me to refrain from blogging about these email stats.

So, after asking Content Marketing Strategist Jamie Bradley if I could blog about these statistics, I happily present them to you verbatim from their great handout.
  • The average open rate for welcome emails is a whopping 50%, making them 86% more effective then email newsletters. So, an automated welcome is a no-brainer. (Source: MarketingSherpa)
  • 51% of all email is opened on a mobile device. So, design for the smallest screen first, and use responsive design templates to ensure your emails look great on any screen size. (Source: Litmus)
  • 80% of people are only scanning your email. Capture the big idea of your email with a bold image and strong headline. (Source: Nielsen Norman Group)
  • Relevant emails drive 18X more revenue than broadcast emails. Use data you've collected to segment your subscribers, and create targeted, personalized emails. (Source: Jupiter Research)
  • Nurtured emails make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. Create an automated series that delivers your best content to subscribers over time, and it'll pay off. (Source: The Annultas Group)
  • The human fingertip is around 46px squared, so size your buttons accordingly to make tapping easy for mobile readers. (Source: Apple)
  • 58% of adults check email first thing in the morning. Knowing that, try sending your emails early in the day -- you might see an uptick in opens. (Source: Enzaga)
  • Our brains process images 60,000 times faster than text. So, change up your text-to-images ratio, and take the time to choose images that tell your story. (Source: 3M Corporation)
  • People check their mobile phone up to 150x a day. Use email and social together to reinforce your message in all the places people visit on their phones. (Source: kpcb.com)
  • iPhones will cut off a subject line over 32 characters. Put the most important words of your subject line first. (Source: Harland Clarke Digital)
  • Surrounding text with a more significant amount of white space improves comprehension by 20%, so don't pack your content too tightly. (Source: Crazy Egg)
  • Subscribers that receive a welcome note show 33% more long-term brand engagement. Extend the life of your list by making a warm, friendly first impression. (Source: Chiefmarketer.com)
  • Eye-tracking data shows that viewers look to the same part of the screen where images of people are looking. Seems like a pretty good place to put your call to action, eh? (Source: The Brain Lady Blog)
  • Receiving too many emails is the #1 reason people unsubscribe. Use automated emails that arrive just at the right time instead of blasting (ick) everyone with every piece of news. (Source: Chadwick Martin Bailey)
  • Adding video to your email campaigns can increase click rates by 300%. Host your video online and create a thumbnail play button for your email. (Source: Wistia)
  • Email conversion rates are 40x that of Facebook and Twitter. Promote email signup opportunities on social media, and then use email to convert. (Source: Kissmetrics)
  • Personalized emails improve clickthrough rates by 14% and conversion rates by 10%. But don't stop at the first-name greeting: Personalize the delivery of your emails with automation. (Source: Aberdeen Group)
  • 100% of people will high-five you for sharing a smart email marketing statistic. Take these stats on the go at myemma.com/stats - they look great on your phone. (Source: Emma)

In addition to being a nice mix of fun and helpful, what struck me about these email facts was how some of the recurring themes across many posts in this blog showed up in the advice they served up with each one. The most prominent one is the idea that we need to stop annoying our customers with email. We do that by paying attention to the relevance of our message, but also taking care to optimize our interactions so channel, frequency, and other factors make sense to our customers and we're also confident we have the best combination of offers and recipients in our marketing.

I hope you find this useful and thought-provoking. One other fun little something I'll share from Emma is the Our People page on their website. Move your cursor around on that page over each person's picture and you'll get a fun surprise and a little glimpse into their corporate culture.

Let me know what you think, and as always, thank you for following!

John Balla, Customer Intelligence Marketer

John Balla is the team lead for customer intelligence field marketing at SAS. He has a background in marketing, which spans his own startups to Fortune 100 global corporations. He has lived and worked on three continents and says he has a fluent command of Portuguese, Spanish, Hungarian, and (sometimes) English. John loves the beach, snow skiing, cooking, and gardening. He tries to handle stress with humor and puts the 'X' in extrovert.

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Re: Ending up in 'Promotions' folder
  • 4/27/2016 6:42:17 AM
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@Pierre I've tested HTML email layouts on smartphones, and even that is a pain. There are too many mail clients and mobile browsers to deal with. On the other hand, I've received plain text emails from marketers who write like they're talking to me. Those are the emails I don't mind opening. If we'd only channel the manhours we spend on the tech and invest in basic relationship-building, things wouldn't be so complicated.

Not to mention HTML screams mass email.

Re: Ending up in 'Promotions' folder
  • 4/10/2016 5:16:54 PM
NO RATINGS

Hi Pierre, I would love to see a link to that report, or any other good intel you have on email marketing for that matter. No digital marketing mode seems to work as well, yet carry such a bad connotation, as does it.

Re: Ending up in 'Promotions' folder
  • 4/10/2016 9:19:21 AM
NO RATINGS

I agree with your point about the email - in fact I have seen one report that came out in 2016 that suggest simple text has traction. I think it's about understanding your customers' mobile device access. Not everyone is on a smartphone.

Re: Ending up in 'Promotions' folder
  • 1/18/2016 9:15:33 AM
NO RATINGS

@kq4ym. Great question about year-round targeted marketing rather than such an intense focus on the Christmas season. If anything, marketers and retailers have become more focused on Christmas, rather than spreading out their resources. I understand the whole thing about Black Friday, etc., but even consider how many other times in the years when consumers are in "buy" mode. There's Valentines Day, spring projects, birthdays, anniversaries, summer vacation, back to school. Sure, there is shotgun style marketing around a lot of those timeframes, but little in the way of targeted marketing. Missed opportunities?

 

Re: Ending up in 'Promotions' folder
  • 1/18/2016 8:00:20 AM
NO RATINGS

And just as the holiday season has left us for another year, the marketing emails have dwindled at my email box to a slow stream compared to the rushing flood river of the last month. I wonder why marketers don't hone their lists and try to A/B marketing during the non-holiday seasons. Could the amount of marketing during the season be hurting consumer receptivity, and consumers aren't ready to wade through emails until next November? I doubt it.

Re: Finger tip
  • 12/30/2015 9:46:23 AM
NO RATINGS

I have noticed lately some embedded videos in email that look like YouTube video but on inspection they actually link to another address. This seems to be happening on the "too good to be true" offers in the financial or health businesses. I don't think most readers are going to be mindful of what they click on in email links and may regret that click in the long run. 

Re: Ending up in 'Promotions' folder
  • 12/29/2015 1:16:49 AM
NO RATINGS

I agree that being dumped into the Promotions folder is about as useful as being classified as spam, save for one thing: spam blacklists. It's dirty business having to get out of them. That's not an issue for the intended audience (spammers) but there are users who opt in and then flag succeeding email as spam. That's really unfair for legitimate email marketers. I'd rather these users have the option to move the emails to the Promotions folder rather than mark them as spam.

Re: Ending up in 'Promotions' folder
  • 12/29/2015 1:03:29 AM
NO RATINGS

@Maryam indeed, and that's why it'd be better to just link to a YouTube video and allow the recipient to open it in an app. Designing HTML email that'll look decent in most email clients is hard enough—adding video compatibility just makes the process more complicated.

Re: Finger tip
  • 12/29/2015 12:46:24 AM
NO RATINGS

I have no problems with video per se. But if it's embedded in an email that came from email marketing software, there's a great chance that I'd treat it as spam. I'd rather watch the video on a reputable website. Get me to click on a link to the video, hosted on YouTube or even Vimeo.

Re: Ending up in 'Promotions' folder
  • 12/13/2015 5:30:51 PM
NO RATINGS

Broadway, being overly repeaticious with messages don't attract curiosity and interest. So fresh content with imaginative presentation is the way to rise from the pack.

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