One of my mentors in the marketing world once stated his amazement around how marketing professionals too frequently base their marketing strategies on assumptions that have little correlation to actual marketing results. Having worked in the industry now for over 15 years, I have come to the inescapable conclusion that my mentor was in fact right in that much of the dogma we adhere to is predicated on faulty assumptions, leading marketers to routinely make costly mistakes. Assumption marketing is a thing of the past. Today, we need to apply marketing strategies that are based on strong analytics that lead to predictive insights based on the actions of our consumers.

With the digital marketing transformation that we are a part of, marketers need to remember data is key. Epsilon looked across more-than 40 clients to get a handle on some basic marketing facts, and here’s the first installment of “Data Points All Marketers Should Know.”

1. What percentage of consumers “activate” within the first 30 days after the consumer registers via email with the brand?

Answer: 21.8% of all email registrants show a click or an open within the first 30 days of registering on a marketers list. With only 43.63% of registrants ever clicking or opening a marketer’s campaign. Intelligent marketers need to aggressively and intelligently engage consumers within the first days after that consumer subscribes.

Points to consider:

  • More-than 47 MM registrants were reviewed;
  • Companies reviewed covered three verticals, and the verticals included both B2C and B2B.

2. How predictive is last action date in the terms of future action?

Answer: Consumers who opened or clicked on a brand’s email in the three (3) months preceding a campaign’s deployment will typically account for 97% of a campaign’s clicks, suggesting that recently engaged customers provide a gateway of opportunity for smart marketers.

Points to consider:

  • For consumers who clicked on a client campaign four to six months prior to the campaign’s deployment, will only generate 2.17% of the campaign’s clicks;
  • And for consumers who clicked on a campaign seven or more months prior to a campaign’s deployment will deliver an anemic 0.7% of the campaign’s total open and click activity.

3. Once a campaign is deployed, what percentage of the open and clicks come in the first two hours?

Answer:  More-than 48.5% of all clicks and opens come within the first hour of deployment, suggesting the importance of intelligent deployment timing.

Points to consider: 

  • After 24 hours, 86% of all opens and clicks that a campaign will eventually generate are recorded—up from 65% in 2013;
  • After 48 hours, 92.2% of all opens and clicks are recorded.

4. Does time-from-registration to first-engagement impact the expected number of lifetime actions?

Answer:  Regardless of when a consumer engages, marketers who can successfully engage a consumer in the email channel can expect, on average, 3.6 email actions for that customer’s following 30-day period.

5. If consumers fail to engage with a brand’s emails for 30 days, what percentage of those consumers will ever reengage (consumers must have previously recorded at least one open or click)?

Answer:  Brands will lose 25% of all consumers who go just 30 days without an open or click, suggesting that current re-engagement programs start the reactivation process way too late.

6. Are inactive consumers more likely to complain than engaged consumers?

Answer:  Consumers who have not opened, clicked or registered in the last 6 months are 60% as likely to complain as someone who opened, clicked or registered in the last month.

7. How has device of email open changed over the last three years?

Answer:  In the last three years, the percentage of emails opened on desktop computers has dropped from 57% to 44%.  Inversely, the percentage of emails opened on smartphones has increased from 28% to 41%.

Points to consider:

  • Since 2013, both Microsoft and Gmail have begun rendering images by default, impacting desktop open rates;
  • Overall tablet-based consumption of email has remained flat over the time period.

8. What is the peak hour for desktop email engagement?

Answer: The peak desktop engagement times are 11:00 AM EDT during the week and 4:00 PM EDT on the weekend.

9. What is the peak hour for smartphone email engagement?

Answer:  The peak smartphone engagement time is 7 AM EDT during the weekday and 9:00 AM EDT on the weekend.

10. How do click-through rates on smartphones compare to those on desktop devices?

Answer: On average, consumers who open email on desktop computers are 2.1 times more likely to click on a link in the email than when they open that same email on a smartphone.

Points to consider:

  • In 2013, consumers who opened an email on a smartphone were only 33% less likely to click on a link in that email, when compared to their desktop counterparts.  This suggests that consumers are significantly less likely to fully consume email content today than they were just two years ago.

What do you think of these 10 data points and what they mean for your digital marketing strategy? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

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