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Two New (Very Good) Email Marketing Reports

Marketing Sherpa and EmailLabs both released email marketing reports yesterday chock full of good info for marketers looking to improve their results.
The Marketing Sherpa Email Marketing Benchmark Guide 2006, according to the executive summary, reveals campaign segmentation efforts are achieving dramatically higher results than those with no segmentation at all, and that even if your list is as small as 5000 names, it can be well worth the effort.

A few more highlights include:
* Pictures add reader interest, resulting in longer time reading your text.
* Be sure to reward your readers with relevance, as they are more interested and respond better to content than high end design.
* Newbies to your list respond well, but their response rate declines rapidly at 30 days, then again at 60 days, after which for most lists it seems to level off.
* There is a huge lack of concern among email marketers for email inbox filters, as many simply rely on their ESP. This should be of particular concern to B-B marketers and those with business addresses in their file, as businesses are twice as likely to have filtres installed on their mail server. Only 12% of B-B marketers and 18% of B-C marketers invest in a deliverability service, though that number is expected to double in 2006.
Over all, this year’s report is stuffed to the gills with stats, and based on past reports worth the price — I certainly intend to invest in a copy.
The EmailLabs study is much smaller and free, focused on B-B newsletters and specifically on the preview pane and image blocking. The principal learning is really not that new: you need to pay attention to what your subscribers see in the preview pane, because a significant portion don’t open your message, they scroll via the preview pane, and 60% are now not seeing images by default, so pay more attention to text.
A copy of the survey results is available via registration. Generally I find Email Labs provides solid information to those on their mailing list, though you can choose not to receive any future mailings.
As Marketing Sherpa stated clearly in their summary, you just can’t get complacent with your email marketing. Whether it’s addressing deliverability issues or testing new offers and creative, constant efforts to improve do pay off.