The power of email marketing

By Tom Stevens

With over 61 percent of online adults accessing their emails daily, email marketing is a hugely profitable market. Indeed, every £1 spent on it returned an average of £21.48 according to the UK’s Direct Marketing Association’s recent National Email Client Report, giving it one of the highest return on investment figures of any form of marketing.

While email marketing is one of the most cost-effective communication tools, many marketers are arguably throwing money away by focusing solely on the content of the email, giving little or no thought to the email’s subject line. In this time conscious age, where increasing customers are fast consumers, emails can be easily overlooked. While marketers cannot control whether their emails are read or not, they can increase the chances by writing a targeted, effective subject line to entice the recipient to open and engage with the content.

Email marketing provider Adestra recently published a report that analysed the trends of keywords and phrases in the subject lines of around 2.2 billion emails. This consisted of 90,000 email campaigns with a minimum of 5,000 recipients. The key trends looked at were the open-rate variance vs. average, the click-rate variance vs. average, the click-to-open-rate variance vs. average and the unsubscribe rate-variance vs. average for each phrase or keyword.

The trends pointed towards a society that is affected by exciting, new and most importantly concise, targeted content.

Words that suggest immediacy such as ‘alert’ were generally well received, as well as those that suggest change such as ‘new’. Emails with the words ‘daily’ and ‘weekly’ were perhaps surprisingly successful, although ‘monthly’ should be avoided, suggesting we are susceptible to opening consistent and regular emails. Unsurprisingly, subject lines that offer savings were successful, with ‘free delivery’, ‘win’ and ‘sale’ having a high open-rate variance vs. average. Finally, it seems as if online customers are not interested in lengthy pieces of information, with subject lines containing the word ‘report’ being opened 23.7 percent less than average.

The results show the importance of carefully wording subject lines, and reveal just how important using or avoiding certain keywords can be. Even unopened emails are a key branding tool, and can help to form the recipient’s long-term perception of a company.

Even the most successful companies will often have a high percentage of their commercial emails ignored, but the subject line is the best and easiest way to alter the chances of it being read.

Perhaps online marketers will think twice before emailing you their ‘monthly report’ in the future.

If you want more information on how you can utilize this low-cost, high return medium, give us a call on 01603 252555.