Should Brands Send Even More Emails?

December 20, 2013

This article is included in these additional categories:

Digital | Email

AlchemyWorx-Potential-Impact-Sending-More-Emails-Dec2013Recent data released by Experian Marketing Services indicates that brands are sending more and more emails – increasing their volume on a year-over-year basis from Q1 through Q3 this year. Interestingly, during each of those quarters, open rates also rose, suggesting that the increase hasn’t had a negative impact on that level. While research strongly points to email frequency as the chief culprit in unsubscribes, new data from Alchemy Worx indicates that brands might actually be well served by sending an extra email or two.

The company dug into its own data, which it says comprises 2.2 billion emails sent to 40.6 million recipients over the past year.

The research discovered that a single extra email per month sent to a list of 5 million subscribers could result in 1.9 million additional opens (38% of the list) and an additional 175,000 email clicks (3.5% of the list). For its sample, Alchemy Worx determined that this could result in an additional $2.9 million in revenues from email. That last figure is best taken with a grain of salt – not that it’s not useful (it is), but because it would be very dependent on the type of brand(s) sending the emails, the promotions offered in the emails, and other such variables. More important than the actual figure is that it’s a positive one. In other words, brands could theoretically stand to gain from an extra email per month.

Upping the volume slightly more – from 4 to 8 emails per quarter – could result in a $2.1 million revenue gain from a list of 1 million subscribers, per the data. Again, the actual figure is less important than the fact that it is positive. Indeed, the researchers indicate that a far smaller amount ($29,000) is at risk from unsubscribes.

MarketingCharts reached out to Alchemy Worx to get a better handle on how it arrived at those numbers – presumably the additional email could result in lower response rates and higher unsubscribe behavior. The researchers indicated that they calculated the potential unsubscribe rate for those exposed to the increased volume by comparing the rate of subscribers in its database who receive 4 emails (0.4%) against those who receive 8 emails (0.8%). For response rates, it compared the open and click behavior of subscribers who received the median number of emails against those who received an additional one.

While those comparisons might not be perfect – a recipient accustomed to receiving a single email a month might balk at suddenly receiving 2 – the results are intriguing nonetheless. It’s worth noting that transaction rates might differ significantly when consumers receive more emails – which could have a significant impact on the results. So while the conclusions are certainly not definitive – they suggest that brands may at least want to put it up to discussion or conduct some tests of their own.

One more thing – those brands’ emails have to reach the inbox! MailJet recently took a look at the potential lost revenue of marketing emails that ended up in recipients’ mail filters. While (again) one has to be careful with exact figures (especially when arrived at by gathering multiple studies from different sources), here’s the fun fact: in just the EU, the potential revenue loss is estimated to be 19 billion Euros, which MailJet says is roughly what was spent by the Spanish government to bailout Bankia in the biggest bank bailout of the country’s history.

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