Contrary to rumor, email is not dead. Nor is it dying in the wake of social media's rise in popularity. According to our 20 Marketing Trends & Predictions for 2013, email will live on longer than you might think.
Because email is alive and kicking, email marketing is still an incredibly important channel for most businesses. But while email is here to stay, it is also rapidly evolving. The way email is consumed and delivered is not what is used to be, and that means marketers must adapt to meet the demands of finicky subscribers and internet service providers.
To give you a sense of the current state of email, below are 50 facts about the changing world of email marketing. The data is divided up into four categories: email performance, subject lines, email behavior, and deliverability and devices.
2) 59% of new subscribers (who have subscribed within 3 months, and who represent 11% of an email list on average) are not engaged, neither opening nor clicking on emails. (Source: Epsilon) Tweet This Stat
3) Email open rates decreased in Q2, down slightly from 26.2% to 25.6%, the first quarter-over-quarter drop since Q1-Q2 2011.(Source: Epsilon) Tweet This Stat
4) Average email volume per business was down 6.3% quarter over quarter in 2012 and 29.7% year over year (not factoring in triggered email sends). (Source: Epsilon) Tweet This Stat
5) In Q2 of 2012, triggered email (deployed as a result of an action) represented just 2.6% of total email volume, though it was up 22% from Q1.(Source: Epsilon) Tweet This Stat
6) Open rates for triggered emails hit 49.8% in Q2, jumping 8.5% from 45.9% in Q1 -- almost 95% higher than the mass email send rate.(Source: Epsilon) Tweet This Stat
7) The average clickthrough rate for triggered emails is more than double the rate for mass emails. (Source: Epsilon) Tweet This Stat
8) Triggered emails' non-bounce rates remained at 95.2% in Q2 2012, only slightly below mass emails’ rate of 95.9%. (Source: Epsilon) Tweet This Stat
9) Roughly half of an email list will be active – either opening or clicking on emails. (Source: Epsilon) Tweet This Stat
10) Among new subscribers, 16% are dubbed “new clickers” (who have opened and clicked), and 25% are “new openers” (who have opened). (Source: Epsilon) Tweet This Stat
11) “Mature” subscribers represent members who have been on a list for longer than 3 months. Among these, 51% have engaged in some way in the past 12 months, including 26% who have either opened or clicked recently. (Source: Epsilon) Tweet This Stat
12) The retail apparel industry has the highest proportion of active members (39% opened or clicked an email within 3 months), followed by the business publishing/media general (34%), travel/hospitality travel services (31%), and retail general (30%) segments. (Source: Epsilon) Tweet This Stat
13) The consumer services pharmaceutical vertical has the highest average proportion (52%) of dormants (inactive members for the past 12 months), followed by the consumer services general (49%), and business products and services general categories (49%). (Source: Epsilon) Tweet This Stat
22) Discount terms in subject lines generally performed below average. “Sale” was the outlier, above average in opens (14.4%), clicks (76.5%), and click-to-opens (54.3%). Others such as “% off,” “discount,” “free,” “half price,” “save,” “voucher,” “early bird,” and “2 for 1″ all came in below-average in all 3 metrics, save for “voucher,” which had above average opens (6.5%). “Early bird” was the worst performer in terms of clicks (-71.6%) and click-to-opens (-67.6%). (Source: Adestra July 2012 Report)Tweet This Stat
23) News-related terms in subject lines perform fair but better than discount-related terms. “News” (16.2%), “update” (4.9%), “breaking” (33.5%), “alert” (25.9%), and “bulletin” (12.5%) all saw better than average click-to-open rates (as well as clicks and opens), with “newsletter” being the only term to perform below average in each metric. “Alert” saw the best differential for clicks (78.3%), while “news” did best for opens (30.9%). (Source: Adestra July 2012 Report) Tweet This Stat
24) Some content terms perform better than others in subject lines. “Issue” (8.5%) and “top stories” (5.9%) were the only to perform above average in click-to-opens. “Research,” “interview,” and “video” scored above average for opens, but below average for clicks and click-to-opens. (Source: Adestra July 2012 Report) Tweet This Stat
25) “Latest” was the only benefit-related term to see above average clicks (8.8%) and click-to-opens (9%), while “special,” “exclusive,” and “innovate” -- while performing about average in opens -- fared far more poorly in clicks and click-to-opens. (Source: Adestra July 2012 Report)Tweet This Stat
26) Personalized subject lines are 22.2% more likely to be opened. However, personalized emails had a clickthrough rate 16.5% lower than the average, and a click-to-open rate 31.7% below the average. (Source: Adestra July 2012 Report)Tweet This Stat
29) “Snappy” subject lines of 1-2 words easily performed best in each of the metrics, while those with more than 14 words also performed above average. All other word count groups skewed closely to the average. (Source: Adestra July 2012 Report) Tweet This Stat
32) 61% of people state that "not being interested in an email" was the most common reason for not opening an email, followed by "getting too many emails" (45%). (Source: Chadwick Martin Bailey, 2012) Tweet This Stat
35) 8 in 10 people say the marketing emails they receive go mainly into their primary personal email account, displayed alongside their personal emails. Just 8% have a separate account specifically for receiving marketing emails.(Source: 2012 Blue Kangaroo Survey on Marketing Emails) Tweet This Stat
42) 84% of respondents use desktops or laptops to access email; however, two-thirds of those under 30 use their smartphones or cell phones to access their email. (Source: Chadwick Martin Bailey, 2012) Tweet This Stat