A report from Yes Marketing has identified a number of surprising marketing opportunities for strong all-year-round engagement, despite recent global drops in the numbers of new and active email subscribers. Apparently, "unconventional" email themes such as 'National Dog Day' and 'Tax Day' have been used to great effect throughout the year to drive significant engagement outside of the conventional Q4 holiday season. This article is copyright 2018 The Best Customer Guide.

In the newly released, 'Email Benchmark Report: Competing in the Age of Amazon' Yes Marketing analyzed over 6 billion emails sent in Q3 2018 through its cross-channel communication platform Yesmail360i, revealing trends in subscriber tenure, unconventional holiday themes, mobile engagement and email performance across various industries. For example, emails with non-traditional themes like Groundhog Day generated five times the average conversion rate of 3.8%.

Leveraging unconventional email themes succeeded in entertaining subscribers and driving them to consistently open and click through emails. Tax Day, for example, drove an impressive 14.3% click-to-open (CTO) rate compared to the 9.2% average, and National Dog Day drove a conversion rate of 18.6%, more than 4 times the average, indicating an opportunity for marketers to generate stronger engagement throughout the year with off-season promotions and sales.

"We've seen the retail landscape change with the emergence of unconventional holidays and sales events such as Amazon Prime Day, which generated more than $4 billion in sales this year," said Jim Sturm, president of Yes Marketing. "Marketers are harnessing the momentum of such unconventional holidays to stand out in subscribers' inboxes and drive stronger engagement and better revenue throughout the year."

The study also identified a decline in the number of new and active subscribers in marketers' databases. The share of new subscribers fell by 24% from Q2 to Q3, while the number of active subscribers in marketers' databases declined by 16.7% over the same period. This decline indicated a gap in marketers' strategies both when it comes to enticing new subscribers and engaging them long-term after they sign up.

Additional findings from the report included:

  • Average order value (AOV) increased by 14.2% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) and by almost 25% year-over-year (YoY).
  • In Q3 2018, the mobile CTO rate was 31% higher than its desktop counterpart (14.0% vs. 10.7%).
  • The insurance and entertainment sectors generated the highest mobile CTO rates (74.5% and 38.6% respectively), along with the steepest QoQ growth across industries.

"The current marketing landscape reveals a gap between what consumers expect and what many marketers deliver," said Michael Iaccarino, president of Infogroup, parent company of Yes Marketing. "With the right partner, the right services and the right technology, this gap can be an opportunity to improve a brand's engagement strategies by tapping into world class data that helps marketers deliver personalized customer experiences which translate into revenue."