Experian Marketing Services: Email volume increased 5 percent in Q4 2012
2012 Q4 email benchmark report reveals revenue per email increased 30 percent;mobile usage is increasing speed of email response time

New York, N.Y., March 7, 2013Experian Marketing Services, a global provider of integrated consumer insight, targeting and cross-channel marketing, reports that overall email volume  increased 5 percent in Q4 2012 versus Q4 2011, according to the Experian Marketing Services 2012 Q4 email benchmark report. The report also found that unique open rates increased 12 percent year over year in Q4 2012.

The revenue per email increased 8 percent in Q4 2012 compared with Q4 2011. The revenue per email increased from 13 cents to 14 cents year over year. The revenue per email in Q4 2012 was 30 percent higher than in Q3 2012; it increased from 11 cents per email to 14 cents.

Other findings include:
• The email volume among different industries shows that travel emails reported the largest increase with 21.4 percent.
• Two-thirds of travel brands increased mailings in Q4 2012.
• Publishers and consumer products and services had double-digit gains in volume in Q4 2012.
• All verticals had some gains in volume in Q4 compared with Q3 2012. Multichannel retailers and consumer products and services verticals led the way with increases of more than 30 percent in Q4 compared with Q3.
• In Q4 2012, total and unique open rates were above the Q4 2011 rates, while click rates matched those seen in 2011.
• Transaction rates were the same as Q4 2011, while revenue per mail and average order rose by 8 percent and 12 percent, respectively.
• Fifty-five percent of brands had statistically significant increases in revenue per email in Q4 2012.

“Overall email volume increased in Q4 and unique open rates increased for the third straight quarter, as more than 56 percent of brands had statistically significant increases in transaction rates for Q4 2012, with Multichannel retailers seeing the largest increase along with Consumer Products,” said Peter DeNunzio, general manager, Experian Marketing Services CheetahMail. “One trend for email marketers to watch is the speed of response time among their customers, especially when it comes to email viewed via mobile devices. Marketers operate in a time and place where it’s more important than ever to continually optimize their marketing campaigns with some sort of testing procedures, especially given the amount of data available today.”

Speed of response
Looking at data from 2010 to 2012, Experian Marketing Services analyzed what percentage of opens and clicks were received at “one day from send” over that time period and noticed that responses to emails are happening more and more quickly. Across this time period, there was a 5 percent to 6 percent increase in the percentage of both open and clicks received in one day. It is likely that the immediacy of mobile is driving this trend, as these increases have occurred at the same time that mobile usage has more than doubled.

When is the best time to email?
Whether it is in search, display, direct mail, email, mobile or social, one would be hard-pressed to find a marketer today who isn’t aware of the concepts and value of A/B or multivariate testing. Experian Marketing Services analyzed data on time of day and day of week results for Q4 2012. The research indicated the “best” time and day to mail varies by industry.

Experian Marketing Services data reveals that Saturday and Sunday had higher open, click and transaction rates but much lower volume. For weekdays, Monday had the highest revenue per email, and Friday had the better click rate. Volume also plays a role in time of day, as 8 p.m. to midnight and midnight to 4 a.m. had higher responses than the more popular 4 a.m. to noon time period. However, as every brand’s customers behave differently, it is most likely the case that the optimal day of the week and time of day for each brand’s email deployments will show a different pattern of performance. To optimize results, it is essential that marketers test the best time and day for their individual brand.

Experian Marketing Services Q4 2012 email benchmark study is available to download. Read about additional digital-marketing trends in our 2013 Digital Marketer Report.

Matt Tatham
Experian Marketing Services Public Relations
1 212 380 2939

About Experian Marketing Services
Experian Marketing Services is a global provider of integrated consumer insight, targeting and cross-channel marketing. We help organizations from around the world intelligently interact with today’s dynamic, empowered and hyperconnected customers. By coordinating seamless interactions across all marketing channels, marketers are able to plan and execute superior brand experiences that deepen customer loyalty, strengthen brand advocacy and maximize profits. For more information, please visit http://www.experian.com/marketingservices.

About Experian
Experian® is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients around the world. The Group helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.

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