Email Trends in Canada 2012 – Where are We?
Little acclaim was made last year about email’s 40th anniversary, but its impact on communications and marketing is undeniable. Each year that goes by people try to say “email is dying” or “email is no longer relevant”, but this is not the case at all. In fact, with the help of smartphones, email is more accessible and impactful than it’s ever been. The challenge for digital marketers is to adapt their email strategies to take advantage of mobile readership.
Email open rates in Canada rose from 18.8% in 2011 to 20.7% in 2012 for B2C clients across a variety of industry sectors. U.S. open rates were slightly higher at 21.3%; however, this may be partially due to differences in how open rates are measured. A survey by the Email Experience Council (EEC) noted that there is a wide variety of methodologies for measuring email metrics, making it difficult to be certain that the metrics were measured the same way.
Click-through rates and unique clicks both declined slightly, dropping to 5.5% and 4.2%, respectively (compared to 5.7% and 4.3% in 2011) which is in line with U.S. metrics over the same time-frame. As marketers, it is normal for us to ask the question “why we are seeing these trends?” To help answer this question we examined the major trends of 2012 and arrived at the following list:
The Major Trends
1. Mobile’s Impact
With the continued growth of mobile device email readership, timeliness, personalization and relevancy are in high demand from consumers. Digital marketers must focus on mobile as part of their content and contact strategies.
2. Social Media’s Erosion of Email
There’s no doubt that social media is impacting various areas of marketing, and email marketing is not immune. The overall decline in open rates over the past 5 years could in part be attributed to social media’s impact on how people want to receive communications. Leading digital marketers will leverage their email campaigns and integrate social channels in their digital direct messaging plans.
3. Importance of List Hygiene
Bounce rates decreased again in 2012, continuing a downward trend that has reduced them by almost half since 2008. Canadian marketers seem to be taking a more diligent approach to list hygiene and implementing stricter opt-in processes and monitoring feedback loops more closely.
With all of the competition for consumers’ attention, email deliverability is more critical than ever. With an average Inbox Placement Rate (IPR) of 79% in Canada, it’s clear that digital marketers must learn more about deliverability best practices and develop a plan focused on improving and maintaining high deliverability rates.
Email has evolved greatly since its inception and will continue to do so. Consumers are more demanding and want relevant, personalized content and want to select when and how they receive their messages. Email marketers must embrace these demands and develop messages that suit individual consumers. With age comes wisdom and as email is the oldest digital direct messaging channel – it should also be the smartest.
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