Our Channels and the Morgue
Overall, 400,000 e-mail campaigns from the fourth quarter of 2012 were compared to the prior year. The article has some fantastic visuals, and here are some of the most critical findings:
- Consumers read less of the e-mail they received in Q4 2012.
- Average read rates worldwide were less than 17 percent, which is a slight decline from Q4 2011.
- E-mail subscribers read 27 percent of the messages they received from the top 100 retailers in Q4 2012.
- E-mail from social-networking senders was among the least read. The average read rate was 12 percent in 2011, and it declined significantly by almost 50 percent to a read rate of only 6.3 percent in 2012.
It's hard not to be worried about e-mail marketing and its effectiveness and efficiency with metrics like this. I asked one of my colleagues, Patrick Jeber, director of interactive media at Eleventy Marketing Group, if he thought e-mail was dying and if the metrics were indicative of it heading in the wrong direction. Here's his feedback:
"The short answer: In my opinion, there is too much information out there that says otherwise. I think statements like this are used to scare marketers and create chaos. People everywhere use e-mail as the central repository for their digital life.
"Some say social media has cannibalized the e-mail communications industry. But the opposite is true; it has helped it flourish. Show me a social channel that doesn't use e-mail as a way of communicating with its users. There always needs to be a central hub for communicating, and e-mail still plays the part. Plus, e-mail is so ingrained in our daily lives, it couldn't be anywhere near death.
"A recent study asked consumers which channel they prefer for receiving permission-based promotional messages, reports Janelle Johnson in an article at MarketingProfs. A whopping 77 percent said e-mail. No other channel even scored in the double digits. Another study by Good Technology found 50 percent of American respondents admitted to routinely sending work e-mail in bed.
Vice President, Strategy & Development
Eleventy Marketing Group
Angie is ridiculously passionate about EVERYTHING she’s involved in — including the future and success of our nonprofit industry.
Angie is a senior exec with 25 years of experience in direct and relationship marketing. She is a C-suite consultant with experience over the years at both nonprofits and agencies. She currently leads strategy and development for marketing intelligence agency Eleventy Marketing Group. Previously she has worked at the innovative startup DonorVoice and as general manager of Merkle’s Nonprofit Group, as well as serving as that firm’s CRM officer charged with driving change within the industry. She also spent more 14 years leading the marketing, fundraising and CRM areas for two nationwide charities, The Arthritis Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Angie is a thought leader in the industry and is frequent speaker at events, and author of articles and whitepapers on the nonprofit industry. She also has received recognition for innovation and influence over the years.