Monday, March 24, 2008

E-Mail Tactics Help Determine Winners

MARCH 19, 2008

Personalization helps.

The workhorse of digital marketing has been through some muddy terrain.

E-mail, a tactical mainstay of many campaigns, saw open rates dip worldwide during the second half of 2007, according to data from e-mail list management company MailerMailer.

Overall open rates for messages sent through the company fell by several percentage points from the rates seen in the first half of 2007.

Still, some e-mail tactics performed better than others.

Looking at personalization, the company said that e-mails that had only the subject line personalized did worse than those with no personalization at all, probably because spammers often gear their subject lines toward recipients.

MailerMailer found that open rates were highest on Mondays, Tuesdays, and the weekends. The company also said that e-mails with shorter subject lines significantly outperformed e-mails with longer subject lines.

As for click-through, the more links the better. E-mails with 20 or more links got about twice as many clicks as those with fewer links in the MailerMailer study.

The open rates in the MailerMailer worldwide study were below those for US campaigns measured in Harte-Hanks' last "Postfuture Index," which focused specifically on opt-in campaigns.

Harte-Hanks told eMarketer that when it conducted the 2006 measurement, the formula used to calculate open rates included total opens (multiple opens by the same person for the same message), which led to a higher number of open rates—sometimes exceeding 100%.

The company said that it now counts only unique opens (only counting a recipient once for the same message), in line with industry norms. Based on unique opens, the open rate is 20.4% across its client base, in line with MailerMailer's findings.

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