Digital Marketer & email data: learnings from sending 58M emails

Digital Marketer has shared email data insights from sending out 58 million emails. They send out a lot of email from their own brand name as well as from Idea Incubater, Absolute rights and Free Digital reads. Next to that, they send out a lot of email for clients as well.
The first thing noted by Hannah Senter on the email data is that open and click rates for sends to general lists are much lower than to segmented lists. Sometimes there’s even a 10-fold difference! The total number of people reached with the general lists were 260,000 and 350,000, so no small numbers there.
When it comes to subject line open rates, these were the top performing subject lines of 2013:

  1. Warning: SMS Marketing is Now “Illegal” – 7.5% Open Rate
  2. 4 Ways to Maximize Your Google Analytics – 6.6% Open Rate
  3. Product and Domain Name generator (Free Resource 2 of 3) – 6.5% Open Rate

The takeaway here is that subject lines that contain urgency and a threat or promise (for instance, the warning + illegal at #1) work best.
Clickthroughs from the emails themselves turned out to be higher when both multiple links were supplied, and some extra value is offered in the email. Here’s the example that Hannah posted:
An example email which was very similar to the one above but had more text received a lower clickthrough rate: 27.8% vs 32.2% for the example shown above.
The content and subject lines above were all for the free content on the website. Hannah also dives into the email data results of the promotional content emails. The best performing subject lines there were:

  1. I feel kinda sorry for you… 8.2%
  2. Facebook closing down? – 8.0%
  3. BREAKING NEWS…  7.6%

Personal subject lines that ‘hit’ the reader emotionally work best, as the #1 result shows.
As with the free content emails, similar results were found in the email data when it came to clickthroughs from the email content. The shorter the email, the better. However, that’s not always the case: in an email that’s a bit longer but shows what value is offered behind the links, the clickthroughs were higher. See the example below:
As you can see, the above email is longer than the previous example, but got a respectable 29,1% clickthroughs. Showing value about the offer (in this case, a book) and an endorsement in an email will help lift the clickthroughs, even for ‘simple’ text based emails with no graphics.
As always, be sure to test and see what works for you, as the above email data shows. What works for one company and list of contacts may not work (as effectively) for another.
Be sure to check out the whole article on Digital Marketer here.

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