Analyzing Email Marketing Benchmarks

The MarketingSherpa Email Marketing Benchmark Report provides some revealing insights into the email marketing trends over the last year, and provides insights for potential opportunities in the coming year. At more than 200 slides long however, the information is a little dense.

We encourage you to look at the original report to form your own impressions but to make things easier to manage, we’ve outlined three key insights we feel are the most applicable and beneficial for Business-to-Business organizations.

1. Measure the Right Metrics:

Some responses revealed a disconnect between strategy and tactics when it comes to email metrics. In aggregate, measuring engagement was seen as a higher priority than post-click conversion, but high engagement and high conversion were not always correlated. In fact, one response suggested engagement rates were highest in “knowledge sharing” pieces, while these same pieces also resulted in the lowest conversion of leads to sales.

“The most engaging content for our customers is knowledge sharing, but that tends to produce the least amount of sales leads.”
top-goals-of-email-marketing
What do I do? Ask yourself if the metrics you track are telling you what you want to know. If you want to know how many leads you generate from social media, you have to track more than the number of re-tweets. Remember, impressions do not necessarily equal sales.

2. Quality Content Is King:

Most responders (two thirds!) agreed that delivering quality content is a priority in email marketing, but nearly one third of responders noted that creating this content is presenting a problem. The inability to consistently generate relevant content was one of the biggest challenges faces by Business-to-Business organizations.
barriers-to-email-marketing
Oddly, only a third of responders integrate the company blog (a potentially huge content source) with their email program:
marketing-channel-integration
What do I do? If you can, supplement premium content like white papers or studies with lighter content like thought leadership pieces or guest blogs. This can fill the content gap and also give your subscribers one more point of connection with you, strengthening your relationship.

3. Make the Move to Mobile!

The responses around mobile point out a huge disconnect between what B2B customers want and what their corresponding organizations provide. One in four B2B users report viewing email on a mobile device and yet only 40% of B2B organizations design their emails to render differently and only one out of every six organizations integrates mobile marketing into their email campaign. Talk about a missed opportunity.
mobile-email-open-rates
What do I do? Even if you have already started the move to mobile, further integrating mobile into your email marketing efforts is a surefire investment. The percent of users accessing email through a mobile device increases monthly, so passing up this opportunity is just self-sabotage.

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These insights may seem obvious based on your experience, or they may be completely revelatory. The interesting thing to note was the consistency of answers to the majority of questions. In most cases, for better or worse, there was consistency among B2B organizations in terms of priorities, challenges, goals, strategies, short-comings and even individual metric measurements. In other words, they’re all doing pretty much the same things in the same ways, mistakes and all. But this insight also provides a perfect starting point for correcting that course, outlining a clear path for improvement in B2B email marketing.

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