Remember the old story about the copywriter who, arguing about the length of a piece, told his boss, “I can make you read a really long ad.” The copywriter then added a headline across the top of the page: “This Copy is All About You.” The boss read it.
The same principle may apply with email today. Not the length part, so much, as the transactional part. If an email recipient believes the mail could be about him, for him, relevant to him only — it’s got a better than average chance of being read. Even better, it can lead to new searches and purchases.
The 2014 Silverpop Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study confirms that transactional emails — the ones thanking consumers for the purchase or that the order has shipped — can lead to searches or additional purchases.
As multichannel attribution becomes more prevalent, marketers might find it’s the casual glances at billboards or unopened emails on desktops or mobile phones that have prompted searches on Google, Yahoo, or Bing.
The 2014 Silverpop Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study examined messages sent by nearly 3,000 brands in 2013 using a variety of measurements to establish benchmarks on customer engagement via multiple open and click metrics and list churn hard bounces, unsubscribes, and complaints.
The study suggests that transactional email messages like “the order has been shipped” or “the order has been processed” or “thank you for your purchase” can serve as a reminder of the brand or retailer. Silverpop’s study indicates open rates are four times higher than median open rates for non-transactional messages.
“Not enough marketers do it,” said Loren McDonald, VP of Industry Relations at Silverpop.
McDonald believes these “all about you” emails are undervalued by many companies, especially those that use a homegrown email system without HTML and who tend not to monitor open and click-through rates (and send a follow-up email after consumers make a purchase).
Transactional messages also achieved a median click-through rate of 4.2 percent and click-to-open rate of 15.1 percent, compared with nontransactional messages at 1.5 percent and 9.9 percent, respectively.
Even automated emails — if they are transactional –achieved an open rate nearly 15 percent higher and a click-through rate nearly 79 percent higher than their manual counterparts.
There’s incentive, say Silverpop execs, for businesses to try harder. When the company analyzed its top performers, it discovered that automated messages achieved click-through rates nearly 60 percent higher than manual sends and open rates more than double the median.