The AML Blog

Email Marketing & ROI

Falling inbox placement rates sets new challenges of engagement for marketers.

Readers of The List Report will know that we offer a wide range of email databases that can be used for customer acquisition campaigns. These databases are permission based and offer the marketer an opportunity to cost effectively deliver their offer to an audience that has opted-in to receive messages from third parties.

These days we see almost 80% of the briefs asking for a primary contact to be via email. And to that end, we are launching a whole new portfolio of email and on-line media opportunities in the New Year. But, is this as good as it sounds and does the prospect of emailing people that don’t know who you are really generate a worthwhile response. The short answer is “maybe”.

Return Path has recently released their Q3 Email Intelligence Report (you can get your own copy by clicking here) and this highlights the many challenges facing email marketing – even when permission has been established and confirmed.

The key findings that struck a chord with me are:

Marketers face a continuing battle to reach a consumer’s inbox and having their messages read. I challenge you to view your own metrics and to record them over a period of time. Are you noticing declines? While email continues to be the king of ROI, there are increasing problems with engagement and relevancy. You cannot become complacent about this and with the tools that are available to marketers, it is more critical now than ever, that relevancy and personalisation driven out of your database is used to maximise the opportunity for your message to be read and understood. Consumers continue to want to receive their email newsletters and many prefer this method of communication (my wife is testimony to this – she loves her emails from her favourite brands) but they are increasingly being immediately dismissive of messages that have no relevancy to the past buying behaviour or their demographics. Spam reporting has become a fall back option rather than an unsubscribe process especially where the unsubscribe functionality is bothersome.

Be careful what you measure. You will need to think about inbox penetration rates as part of the metric mix and work with your developers, designers and email deployment bureau to maximise this rate. Delivery metrics will only usually advise that a message can be delivered and has been, whether it made it to the inbox or the junk folder or be sitting quarantine is another. As reported, placement rates have dropped by 4% in Australia in the past 12 months. This may have a significant impact on your ROI metrics. Any work done to increase you inbox placement has to improve the performance of your email marketing.