Email campaigns using the words 'choice' or 'choose' in the subject line are currently driving substantially higher engagement and revenue rates than average, according to research from Experian Marketing Services. This article is copyright 2015 The Best Customer Guide.

As explained in the company's Q2 2015 Email Benchmark Report, these email campaigns drove 22% higher revenue per email, a 46% increase in transaction rates and a 117% increase in transaction-to-click rates.

"Allowing customers to choose their preferred path is a smart and tangible way to increase engagement and ultimately their return on marketing investment," said Spencer Kollas, vice president of global deliverability services at Experian Marketing Services. "Marketers know that consumers are the ones in control of their relationship today. What's interesting about the trend our research uncovered is that consumers are responding to brands that explicitly give them that control; they are engaging and spending with brands that are taking action to empower them."

Value of mobile subscribers
The Q2 2015 Email Benchmark Report features a special section on mobile subscribers that features the results of two analyses of two brands with ongoing SMS (mobile push) and MMS (mobile text) messaging programmes. To conduct the analyses, Experian attributed the brands' transactions to their mobile campaign data on a subscriber level.

In comparing mobile transaction rates to email benchmark data, Experian found that mobile transaction rates were more than 10 times higher than those for email campaigns. Further, SMS push/broadcast campaigns made up more than 95% of the volume, but pull messages provided much stronger transaction results.

Interestingly, the results also showed that dual subscribers (both email and mobile) were 3.9 times more likely to complete transactions than email-only customers.

"While mobile subscriber lists typically are much smaller than email lists, these subscribers form a loyal group of highly engaged customers," said Kollas. "It is the sophisticated marketer that is able to use this type of information to continue to increase brand loyalty and customer engagement across multiple platforms."

Benchmarking
The report details overall email marketing trends for the second quarter of 2015 as well as the key performance indicators (KPIs) that shaped the success of email programmes over the past two years across six major verticals: business products and services, consumer products and services, media and entertainment, multichannel retailers, publishers, and travel.

According to the analysis, email volume rose by 16.1% in Q2 2015 compared to the same period in 2014, yet subscriber response rates remained steady. Consumer products and services and multichannel retailers headed the surge in email volume gains. Two-thirds of the brands in these verticals increased their year-over-year volume in Q2 2015. While publishers and media and entertainment brands had an overall decrease in year-over-year volume in Q2 2015, one-third of brands under those categories actually increased their volume this quarter. Further, all of the industry verticals increased volume in Q2 compared to Q1 in 2015, except for media and entertainment.

In comparing email opens and clicks by platform, Experian found that 52% of total email opens occurred on a mobile phone or tablet during Q2 2015, a slight increase from 51% in Q1. In comparing email opens and clicks by device type, Windows accounted for the largest percentage, with the iPhone receiving the second largest number of clicks. IPhone clicks were particularly strong for media and entertainment and multichannel retailers.