The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) have recently published their bi-annual ‘National Email Benchmarking Report‘, covering the state of email marketing in the UK during the second half of 2012. The report provides benchmarks for DMA members like us and our clients to measure against, as well as provoking discussion that helps move the industry forward.
The below table should provide a benchmark for your own metrics, and a summary of the report, which can be downloaded on the DMA website, follows.
|Average number of segments per campaign||2 – 3|
|Average emails per address, per month per ESP||2.27|
|Percentage of marketers using personalisation||77%|
|Percentage of marketers using data to drive content||43%|
|Average unique open rate||32.7%|
|Average unique click-through rate||8.7%|
|Average click to open rate||14.7%|
|Average delivery rate||90.3%|
|Average opt-out rate||1.1%|
|Average hard bounce rate||2.1%|
Are budgets increasing?
According to the IPA’s benchmarks, marketing budgets are looking positive, with almost a quarter of their respondents reporting an upward lift:
What about email?
29% of the DMA’s respondents said that their budgets for email had been increased and 13% said that budgets decreased, marginally less than the previous half.
Are marketers sending more?
Yes. The busy second half of 2012 included the Olympic and Paralympic Games, always expected to be the first ‘digital’ Games, and the US Presidential Election, which email played a significant role in so an email volume high was expected globally. Volume grew throughout the whole year, peaking at an all time high during the first half. In the second half, 25% more emails were sent than the same period in 2011, although there was a bigger jump in volume from 2010 – 2011, so it has slowed a little.
Are customers getting more?
The frequency per contact averaged at 2.27 per address per month – still not as high as it was in 2010, but on an incline.
In terms of sectors, the biggest sectors in terms of volume were retail, followed by finance, travel and publishing. Naturally, B2C marketers send more emails, but the gap closed by around 6% to 40% more in the fourth quarter of the year, which is surprising given it includes Christmas.
Trends in sends
One of the headline findings was that the role of seasonality is in decline, whilst the number of highly targeted campaigns increases.
The DMA note that US benchmarks have seen a 73% rise in volume of triggered messages sent. There is a huge decline in marketers for whom the primary driver of email volume was seasonality, dropping from 41% in 2010 to 17%. It seems that the primary driver of sends is return on investment, the number one factor for 42% of marketers. Quoting the report:
“…recognition of email’s effectiveness has been given a boost by the DMA’s National client report, which provided the first-ever estimate of average ROI for UK email marketing.”
According to that report:
Where’s the focus?
Email service providers were asked where their clients are focusing. More than ever, they are focusing on:
- Volume, and
With fewer marketers concerned with budget and deliverability.
Social media integration is more common than ever too, with 58% of marketers sharing their emails on social networks, finally social media is being used as data capture resource.
One respondent describes how they use social as a list growth resource:
I won’t labour the point on mobile email marketing, as we’ve covered it in depth before, but as a benchmark, the DMA are reporting just over 40% of opens being mobile opens:
So what trends are you seeing in your own reports? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this, and as DMA members, we can feed back any comments to the DMA on your behalf. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below , or via Twitter, using @dotMailer.