5 Learnings from the DDMA Email Benchmark edition 2019

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21, June 2019

Last Thursday, 20 June, the DDMA Email Benchmark was again presented during the Email Summit. This benchmark is unique in every way: six different ESPs supply Dutch data and in no other country do we see various ESPs work together in this manner.

Just like last year, we have this year naturally also taken an immediate look at the figures and set out for you the five most important conclusions. So you don’t have to sift through the entire document, just before your holidays 😉

1: The content has become more interesting for the recipient

The opening percentage of emails this year is the same as the previous year (38%), but the CTO (Click To Open Rate) has risen for the first time since 2011. At Webpower we have been seeing for a number of years now that customers are giving increasingly more attention to content that has greater relevance for the recipients.

More frequent use is made of conditional content, so that the content management better matches the profile of the recipient. The greater the number of click-throughs (and so the higher the CTO), the more relevant the content. The figures this year therefore show that ever more attention is being given to content. As a result, the entire sector is performing better, and that is a fine development.

2: A segmented campaign continues to perform better

The benchmark confirms this year once more that the smaller your campaign – therefore the better the campaign is segmented – the better your results. An example: a campaign that is sent to between 500 and 1,000 recipients is opened on average twice as much as a campaign sent to more than 50,000 recipients.

In practice we also see that companies are increasingly emailing on the basis of behaviour; making the email moments per person different as well. A mail that my colleague may receive today may only be sent to me tomorrow, or even not at all, because I display a different behaviour.

The fact that companies recognise the strength of segmented (smaller) campaigns, and as a result are carrying out “smaller mailings”, can also be seen from the fact that the participating ESPs have jointly sent out more emails for customers, but have supplied a lower volume of mails for the study.

This means that there are more campaigns below the lower limit (500 mails per campaign) of the study and that, for example, Webpower customers have sent more smaller campaigns than in 2017.

3: Dare to vary from the times you currently send mailings

8 a.m. and 4 p.m. are the busiest times of the day when it comes to sending B2C mailings. For B2B these are 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. For both sectors the most emails are sent on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

What else do we see? Mails that are sent at 2 p.m. 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. are on average opened the most, and mails sent at noon and 9 p.m. have on average the highest click-through percentage compared to other times of the day. Emails that are sent on Mondays and Tuesdays are opened the most, and on Mondays and Fridays we on average see more clicking in the mails.

The figures therefore show that the busiest times of sending mailings are not also the times with the highest open rate. We advise that you test at some point sending mails later in the evening as well as seeing what sending on Sundays does for you.

When it comes to the open rate, Sunday is “the third-best day” and practically no one sends out emails then. This therefore offers good prospects!

4: Summer is not necessarily the silly season

This year was the first time that an analysis was carried out of the sending months and the influence on the behaviour of the recipient. If we look at the sent email volumes; we see that for many years now organisations have been mailing less in the summer months than in the other months.

This year we will be able to see for the first time whether this is actually wise. If we look at the figures from 2017 & 2018, we indeed see that as of May emails are less frequently opened (up to – 1.7% below average). On the other hand, we do see an average click behaviour.

In other words: your campaign that is sent to 1000 people is perhaps read by 17 fewer people, but those 363 who do read the mail do not respond any differently in the summer months. Our advice: therefore do not forget the summer months!

5: Business emails are read less on mobile telephone

Whereas 45% of the consumer emails are opened on the mobile phone (the figures are practically the same as for the previous year), within the B2B sector this is only 20%. This decline has continued from 25% (2017) through 24% to 20%, which is a total reduction of 20%.

We believe this development is related to the increasing attention being given to reducing the work pressure of employees. Checking one’s email 24 hours a day is fortunately becoming less and less common. This is why ever fewer people are deliberately opting not to receive business emails on their mobile phones.

What do the figures say about how well I am performing?

We can imagine that you are asking yourself how you should interpret these figures regarding your own figures. How well are you performing and is it a good idea to measure your figures against this Benchmark?

Our advice: the Benchmark generally gives a very good picture of the Dutch market and so it is a good idea to compare your figures against this. Always aim for ratios that are above the average of your sector. An open ratio of 38% may be excellent for one sector but a disaster for another.

I wish you every success for the coming email year. Until next time!

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Sean Barten

​Client Service Director +31 85 773 99 90