7 Insights For Email Marketing


Based on a study of over nearly 750 companies representing 3,000 brands in 40 countries, the email benchmark study done by IBM, and Experian’s Q2 2016 Benchmark report , here are 7 insights for Email Marketing.

Social Media

Open rates during the holiday season are lower, making it important for retailers to increase the frequency during the holiday season. At the same time targeting email subscribers on Social Media  has a higher CTOR (Click To Open Rates). According to Experian, Targeting email subscribers based on their interest in social media can lead to high email engagement for brands. For example, welcome emails sent to subscribers who engaged via Facebook had an 11 percent higher click-to-open rate than other welcome emails from the same brand (22 percent for Facebook welcomes compared with 19.9 percent for other welcome emails).


Key Takeaway : Increase the frequency of emails during the holiday season. Target email subscribers on Social Media to achieve a higher Click To Open rate for your campaign.

Click-Through Rate

Mean click-through rates are 0.80 percentage points lower at 28.6 percent during the holiday season.


Key Takeaway : Marketers need to factor in lower click-through rates, to achieve their KPIs, despite the increased frequency of emails.


Engagement, often called “read rate,” measures how long a recipient reads an email at three different time intervals: “read”(eight or more seconds); “skimmed” (two to less than eight seconds) and “glanced/deleted” (less than two seconds).
Overall, more than half – 53 percent of emails tracked were classified as read, followed by glanced 26 percent and skimmed 22 percent.


Key Takeaway : With high read rates, emails make for an effective engagement marketing tactic. If the goal of the brand is to engage customers then email should be in your marketing plan.

Transactional Messages

Behavior triggered emails have a better performance rate. Transactional messages have been seen to be a powerful customer contact moment and these statistics bear out the point.


Key Takeaway : Transactional messages present a new opportunity for brands to engage readers with promotional offers.

Creative Content

Email creative that has a sense of urgency built into it for Holiday campaigns saw better performance. According to Experian, use of a Countdown clock in 2015, saw a higher Click To Open Rate.  Marketing campaigns that included a dynamic countdown clock had a 41 percent higher click-to-open rate and more than double the transaction rate of other holiday mailings from the same brands.

Key Takeaway : Customize your content with tools that create a sense of urgency.

Email personalization

Personalization can help boost the performance of promotional emails. Based on data from April 2015 to March 2016, brands that included personalized subject lines experienced 27 percent higher unique click rates, 11 percent higher click-to-open rates and more than double the transaction rate compared with other promotional mailings.

Key Takeaway : Personalize your message for Holiday Season.

POS Subscribers

For the time period between April 2015 and March 2016, welcome mailings to POS subscribers had a 32 percent higher click-to-open rate than for subscribers obtained from other sources (23.2 percent for POS compared with 17.5 percent from other sources). For online customers offer a chance to subscribe to brand’s emails at the time of checkout.

Key Takeaway : Collect data at POS location that is validated and improve the quality of email data.

Online Sales Predicted to Grow by Over 14 Percent


Mobile IBM predicts online sales will grow by more than 14.5 percent over 2014. Led by mobile shopping, consumers indicate the Apple Watch, Samsung, Sony and LG TVs, Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and more are at the top of their shopping lists, according to the IBM Watson Trend App.

Traffic from Mobile Devices exceeds the 54 percent mark for early Black Friday deals with Average Order Value exceeding USD 141 in the early morning hours of Black Friday . Smartphones are the more popular devices with iOS being the preferred operating system among the online shoppers, according to IBM Live Benchmark data. Mobile traffic in 2014 accounted for 52 percent of all online traffic, an increase of 22.4 percent year-over-year, and mobile sales were 32.3 percent of all online sales, an increase of 25.4 percent, according to the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark report. Apple iOS is leading the way in mobile shopping this holiday season, outpacing Android in online sales.

ConversionAccording to Internet Retailer, Online sales were up 24 percent on Thanksgiving morning, reaching the half-billion-dollar mark, as shoppers jumped on early holiday deals, even though the discounts weren’t as steep as last year’s, according to data from Adobe Digital Index.

Shoppers on smartphones and tablets drove 52 percent of the traffic, with the smartphone share of mobile purchases growing 30 percentage, to 17 percent this Thanksgiving from 13 percent during the same period in 2014, according to the Adobe Inc. data that tracks visits to more than 4,500 U.S. retail websites. The share of sales coming from shoppers using tablets stood at 14%, down from 16% in 2014, the Adobe data shows.

Between midnight and 10 a.m. Central Time, U.S. consumers purchased USD 500 million online, or USD 100 million more than during the same period last year, Adobe says.

Scot Wingo, executive chairman of ChannelAdvisor, an e-commerce services provider that helps retailers sell through online marketplaces. “To put this in perspective, last year we saw 19% growth for mid-day Thanksgiving and we ended Thanksgiving up 20%.”

The e-commerce trend is staying strong after IBM reported online sales up 35 percent Wednesday over the same day last year and up 21 percent Tuesday over the prior year

According to IBM Watson, Live Predictions, the top-selling products for Black Friday are likely to be:

  • Beats by Dre: Beats headphones, earbuds, and speakers have been wildly popular since first appearing in 2008. Watson finds growing chatter around the Beats Solo2 Wired On-Ear headphones as well as the release of Dr. Dre’s unheard tracks on Apple’s Beats 1 streaming music channel. Additional trending headphones include Sennheiser, Bose, Skullcandy and Sure.
  • Jordan Shoes: Known best for its original Air Jordan line of basketball sneakers, Jordan Brand has released a new line of performance running shoes. Watson finds that the line is being lauded for both their aesthetics and foot support and is gaining popularity among consumers who sported the original sneakers in the 1990s.
  • Nintendo Super Smash Bros: Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros for Wii U is generating significant buzz and Watson knows why. While the game features popular Nintendo characters such as Mario, Donkey Kong and Pokémon, it’s the “unprecedented” addition of Final Fantasy’s Cloud Strife that has gamers buzzing with excitement.
  • MeccaNoid Personal Robots: Personal robots including those from Star Wars are popular this year but many parents are also looking to more “edutainment” focused gifts. Watson reports that many parents are looking at MeccaNoid, which teaches kids from ages 8 to 12 how to create, learn and code so they can ultimately build their own robot.


IBM has also identified the fastest trending products. These are based on the impact (size of the conversation) and the momentum (the rate of growth of the conversation):

  • Toshiba Satellite Laptops
  • Disney Princess Legos
  • NordicTrack Treadmills
  • Klipsch Speakers
  • Asus Zenbook Laptop