Getting Bulk Emails to Perform Like Targeted Campaigns - eMarketer
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Getting Bulk Emails to Perform Like Targeted Campaigns

Friends-and-family emails can bring high performance to whole lists

December 1, 2010

The performance of bulk marketing email campaigns compared with various targeted mailings sent to specific recipients for specific reasons tends to be dismal. Transactional emails, for example, which offer the opportunity for personalized messaging, have higher click rates, open rates and revenues per email than bulk mailings, according to Experian Marketing Services.

Welcome messages provide another opportunity for list segmentation and targeted campaigns, and these messages also perform better across a variety of metrics than bulk mailings.

June 2010 data from Experian indicates marketers can get such results while still sending campaigns to their entire mailing list. The “Spreading the Word Through Friends-and-Family Emails” report describes how friends-and-family campaigns were once targeted toward employees and perhaps a few best customers, creating the impression that they offered better deals than the general public could get. As these offers became popular and viral, marketers began expanding friends-and-family campaigns to entire lists. But they continue to see above-average open and click rates as well as boosted revenues per email.

Email Open and Click Rates for Friends-and-Family Emails vs. General Bulk Mailings, June 2010

“It appears that the perception of friends-and-family offers being ‘special’ continues—going so far as to outperform identical promotions without the friends-and-family messaging on all key metrics,” said the report.

Friends-and-family messages also continue to be more viral than other types of campaigns. They were three times as likely to get a referral and had twice as many unique referrers, according to the study.

Email Referral Rate for Friends-and-Family Emails vs. General Bulk Mailings, June 2010

Email marketers, in addition to formulating targeted and segmented campaigns, should remember that sometimes even a normal bulk mailing can seem special too. For recipients, perception is key, and that perception can significantly increase the return on investment for email marketing.

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Check out today’s other article, “2011 Trends: Content Marketing Is Critical.”


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