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Can you trust your email campaign metrics?


Since the introduction of email marketing, there has been much scepticism over how reliable email marketing metrics are.

“It's a generally accepted metric in the email marketing world that email open rate reporting can be off from anywhere from 11% to 35%.” (Source)

There is a common opinion that open rates are becoming more and more unreliable as a result of a number of external factors.

  • Opening emails on multiple devices

    Research studies and hypotheses ( Source) have been formed to support the idea that when emails are opened on mobile devices, they create inaccurate metrics.
  • Increased efficiency for spam filters

    Many recipients have spam filters that are so rigid that they do not allow generic or unknown email addresses to deliver content to their inbox.
  • What constitutes an ‘open’ or ‘click through’?

    There are growing concerns that email software is acting as a platform for robot-like crawlers that create artificial click-through and open rates.
  • Too much of a good thing

    Inboxes are becoming increasingly crowded, and spam filters more intelligent. As a result your message stands a very good chance of going unopened, being deleted or not even arriving in the inbox.

Disappointing conversion rates and lack of engagement from email campaigns has lead to an increasing demand for increased cut-through. Many email providers provide over-inflated open rates creating false optimism amongst clients who remain underwhelmed by conversion rates as a result of inaccurate open rate and click through metrics.

“ Unfortunately, it's less and less possible to track email open rates correctly, and, increasingly, the metric needs to be used in a relative term.” (Source)

Whilst artificially inflated results have been reported, many email opens are not reported at all as some email platforms only record an open rate depending on whether images within the email have been downloaded -something that is often misinterpreted with emails opened on mobile devices. (Source)

A recent survey from the DMA (Direct Marketing Association) found similar results to that of the last few years, claiming an industry average of 11.5% open rate and 2% click through for email marketing. (Source)

What next?

Symantec have developed a new software tool offering “comprehensive security for cloud-based email" (Source) to improve email security and ensure improper email crawls and similar tools cannot be used, as well as increasing safety and authenticity so that recipients can have peace of mind emails have been correctly filtered from trusted sources.

Parallel to this development to improve email campaign efficiency, we are also are seeing an increase in more traditional forms of marketing as a result in email marketing inaccuracy. Not only is this channel of communication far less crowded, but marketers can gain access to higher volumes of legitimate contact information compared to that of email contacts.

We published an informative blog snail mail is overtaking digital channels outlining further benefits from direct marketing which include:

  • Direct mail attracts more customers

    Numerous studies have indicated that direct mail provides better prospecting results than email marketing. A study by the Direct Marketing Association shows that direct mail is 10 to 30 times more effective than email at attracting new customers.
  • First impressions count

    Printed marketing material provides a great platform to get creative and reach out to your target markets in a unique and original way, allowing you to customise that all important first impression. With direct mail, there are many customizable, built-in cues that signal to the receiver your piece of mail is attractive and worth reading.
  • Direct mail is more likely to get opened or seen

    Direct mail offers are far more likely to be noticed -- and therefore opened -- due to a significant lack of competition in comparison to email marketing. Furthermore, most physical mail boxes don’t come equipped with a spam filter.

Our experience and expertise enable us to have a key insight into marketing trends and effective use of all marketing channels. If you're not getting the conversions you expect from your campaigns, contact us today for a free recommendation on how we can help you generate a greater ROI.

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