Marketo Data Tells Us: What’s the Truth Behind the Two Biggest Email Volume Myths?

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Author: Johnny Cheng

I hear this question from email marketers all the time: Does the size of my email send affect the performance?

To answer this question, we’re going to play MythBusters!

Email Myth #1

“The larger your email sends, the higher your unsubscribe rate”.

Hypothesis:

This one seems reasonable. I feel like if you’re doing huge email size sends, your messaging is probably going to seem “spammy”, and so a larger percentage of recipients will unsubscribe due to irrelevance.

Data and Analysis:

unsubscribe rate

Here, you’ll see email send size against unsubscribe rate. Each dot represents an email send from a customer. I’ve cut off the data at 1M emails because everything above that becomes a special case.

There is no significant correlation here. In fact, you can see there’s actually a slightly negative correlation. Larger email sends actually have lower unsubscribe rates. This could be a result of companies with larger databases having more well-known brand names so they are more careful with their email campaigns. But, I think the opposite is true in that there are many “experimental” small email sends that are sent to “unknown” contacts.

Results:

Myth busted! Email send size does not affect unsubscribe rate.

Wow, this one wasn’t that intuitive. I assumed large email sends mimicked spam email which would warrant higher unsubscribes. But the data shows that email volume size doesn’t affect unsubscribe rate. However, it’s important to note that several other factors such as frequency, content, and relevance do. Take a moment and think about your every-day email behavior: if could be seen as annoying or irrelevant, you’re probably going to take the extra effort to unsubscribe.

Email Myth #2

“The larger your email sends, the lower your click-to-open rate”.

Hypothesis:

Just like the first myth, this one looks plausible. Huge email sends dilute the messaging so I would imagine email performance would suffer. It’s hard to imagine one email would be relevant to millions of people, at least not relevant enough for them to click through.

Data and Analysis:

click-to-open rate.png

Here, you’ll see email send size against click-to-open rate. Each dot represents an email send from a customer. I’ve cut off the data at 1M emails because everything above that becomes a special case.

There’s a very strong correlation here. If I were to sketch out the natural curves, it would look like a sideways funnel with a huge drop-off at around 20,000 to 50,000. Email sizes above that rarely reach higher than 20% click-t0-open. This makes a lot of sense if you think of content relevance. More segmented email sends, with more targeted messaging, get more clicks.

And for all you inquisitive minds out there, if you’re wondering about just click rate, yes, the exact same phenomenon as click-to-open rate occurs.

Results:

Myth confirmed! Email send size is directly tied to performance.

I love science! We proved an industry-old myth with data! But if you really think about this one, it makes a lot of sense. Open rate is tied to your subject line and sender info. Click rate is tied to your content and offering, which equals relevance. The larger your email sizes, the harder it is to stay relevant and have a compelling call-to-action that appeals to that audience. Especially after the email send size exceeds 20,000—where the average click-to-open band narrows to 3-18%. It’s very rare to escape that band.

What We’ve Learned

The main takeaway here is to find a good balance between the granularity of your segments and the relevance of your content or offering. If you have the resources, segment your email campaigns based on the audience persona (industry, demographic, geography, etc.) and behavior (e.g. looked at your product webpages). As a general “guideline,” the email size sweet spot is around 5,000. However, as long as your message is relevant and resonates with the recipients, you’ll get good email performance. It’s just very difficult to stay relevant beyond a certain audience size.

Notice something in the data that stood out to you? Leave your comments below.

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Marketo Data Tells Us: What’s the Truth Behind the Two Biggest Email Volume Myths? was posted at Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership. | http://blog.marketo.com

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7 Advanced Email Tools to Pump up the Volume on Your Marketing

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Creating an effective email full of engaging content for your readers is crucial for achieving a good open rate, strong inbox placement, and generating business, too. But how can you take your emails from good to great? Here, we’ve listed some advanced email tools you can use in conjunction with your VerticalResponse account to turn up the volume on your marketing:

1. Popup Domination 
Once you have an email sign up form set up on your website, how do you get your visitors to take notice? A pop-up form! Yes, pop-ups may have been huge annoyances in the past, but they’ve come a long way. Popup Domination allows you to determine the amount of time a visitor is on your site before they see the sign up form, and how often. They also offer analytics, testing, and provide a variety other cool features. You get all these features and a guarantee that your list will grow for a one-time fee.

2. COLOURlovers Photocopa
Add a little oomph to your email or website design by creating a color palette based on any image. Colourlovers is a free service. Simply, upload your own photo from anywhere on the web and add it to the gallery for others to use as inspiration or keep it private for only your use. 

7 Advanced Email Tools to Pump Up the Volume on Your Marketing

3. Litmus Scope

Have you ever received an email that you loved and wished you could recreate it? Litmus Scope can help you out. Currently it’s only integrated with Gmail, so if you don’t have a Gmail account, you’ll need to set one up. Litmus Scope requires that you either know HTML (to make edits) or that you use the Canvas tool in VerticalResponse Classic. Below, a screenshot from our VerticalResponse newsletter illustrates what Litmus Scope does. The left side is the scoped email and the right side shows is HTML code for it.

7 Advanced Email Tools to Pump Up the Volume on Your Marketing 7 Advanced Email Tools to Take Your Marketing to the Next Level 

 

 

 

 

4. Premailer
If you want your emails to match your website, meet Premailer. Just paste in your website URL and Premailer will create inline CSS to use in the HTML of your email. For your email to work best on all email programs, your CSS should be inline, and a lot of websites use External Style sheets. This works fine for websites, but if a browser-based email program is in the mix, all your hard work will be ignored. Premailer is a free program, and they give you the code you need to use without having to set up an account.

5. Email Spam Test
Here at VerticalResponse, we work hard to ensure your email gets safely delivered to your subscribers’ inboxes. However, if your content and HTML aren’t up to snuff, it can cause delivery issues. Email Spam Test can help you identify any issues before you send your email. To use Email Spam Test, you’ll need access to your email’s HTML. Once you’ve run a test, you’ll receive a score and a report of things that may need to be changed. Here’s an example below:

7 Advanced Email Tools to Take Your Marketing to the Next Level

6. Dasheroo
Your VerticalResponse account provides reporting on the emails and social posts that you create. But, if you want to dig deeper and track email reports over time, or track other social accounts like LinkedIn, check out Dasheroo. It enables you to track the following:

  • Performance of your most recent emails (subject line, date, sent, opens, clicks, bounces and unsubs)
  • List size
  • Engagement (trending open and click rates for past 30 emails)
  • Trending Bounce and Unsub rates for past 30 emails.

The best part? Being able to see all this next to your Google Analytics, Adwords, Facebook, Twitter and other apps all in one place – for free. Find Dasheroo in our VerticalResponse Integrations Marketplace

7 Advanced Email Tools to Pump Up the Volume on Your Marketing

7. VerticalResponse
We couldn’t write a blog post about email tools with out mentioning some of our own features, of course. You need a sign up form to grow your email lists, and you want something easy to use. No sweat, use your VerticalResponse account to create a sign up form. Embed it on your website, or use a hosted version with various templates. You can share your sign up form on Facebook, Twitter, or anywhere you can share a URL. There are just a few steps to set it up and it is customizable, so you can add any fields you want to collect. The best part? It’s free to set up and use.

These seven tools should help you pump up the volume on your marketing for little to no cost. What other products do you like to add to your email tools? Let us know in the comments.

Be sure to visit the VerticalResponse Integrations Marketplace for other cool tools that play nice with VerticalResponse

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