With so much noise cluttering the average consumer's email inbox, personalization has become critical for brands that wish to be heard. Yet, while the proliferation of customer data allows companies to obtain insight into consumer behaviors and preferences, many marketers neglect to employ this information in ways that will preserve brand relevance and encourage increased loyalty.
Experian Marketing Services' "2013 Email Market Study" explores precisely how today's email marketers are connecting, engaging, and inspiring their customers, with special emphasis on the significance of personalization in today's increasingly automated world. The survey, which polled marketers across nine different verticals, examines how companies are balancing campaign efforts with the evolving consumer expectations. Specifically, the study highlights that personalized emails generate six times higher transaction rates and revenue per message than non-personalized emails, indicating that, while few are putting the data they collect to good use, it's imperative to do so as customers grow accustomed to interacting with brands across various devices and channels.
The following statistics reveal which initiatives email marketers have embraced and their primary strategies for creating a more integrated, customer-centric approach:
- Despite the fact that the majority of marketers ask customers for data, 70 percent of brands aren't personalizing emails sent to subscribers. However, emails with personalized subject lines have 26 percent higher open rates that non-personalized messages.
- Of those marketers polled, 60 percent don't give customers the option to select the types of emails they'd like to receive, and only 35 percent allow their customers to decide how often they receive mailings and marketing messages.
- Brands that send second abandoned cart reminders earn an average 54 percent lift in customer reengagement as compared to those companies that send only one abandoned cart message. Those that send browse emails based on previously searched products or categories typically attain a 3.4x increase in revenue as compared to other promotions.
- Forty-five percent of marketers currently use pop-up windows on their websites to collect email addresses, a 107 percent increase over 2012. Eighty percent of retail brands collect email address via point of sale (POS) system entered by the sales associates, increasing the potential for error.
- While 83 percent of marketers segment their email campaign audiences by past activity data (opens and clicks), 72 percent segment by demographics (age, gender, and location), and 70 percent segment based upon past transactions.
- Though only 34 percent of the U.S. population can be defined as brand loyalists, 80 percent of those consumers claim they don't purchase from unknown brands simply to save money.
Key takeaway: If companies want to be heard, they also have to listen. However, only 7 percent of the brands polled market to consumers based on their communication preferences. From past behaviors to consumer surveys, customers are constantly offering insight into how they wish to interact with their favorite companies, yet these very brands fail to use this incoming information in ways that demonstrate this data has a purpose. Inevitably, churn will become an issue as consumers begin to realize that the insight they've willingly provided leads nowhere, resulting in loss of trust and growth in attrition. In today's market, business is personal. Consumers want to be treated as people, not profits, and the simple act of personalizing email marketing campaigns sends the message that the company cares for the individual's worth. So, instead of referring to each recipient as a "valued customer" on various mailings, prove it's true through personalization.