March 8, 2013, 1:59 PM

E-mail produces 7% more sales per message in Q4

Revenue per e-mail sent increased year over year to 14 cents, Experian says.

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An e-mail marketing message earned an average of 7.6% more revenue in the fourth quarter of 2012 than during the same period in 2011. And the travel industry boosted the number of e-mails it sent by 21.4% year over year during the last three months of 2012, leading other industries.

Those are among the findings from Experian Marketing Service’s new report about e-mail trends, entitled “Q4 2012 Quarterly Benchmark Study.” The findings are based on all the e-mails sent by Experian CheetahMail clients, 81 of which are in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, with seven more in the Second 500. Experian would not disclose the number of e-mails sent.

During the fourth quarter, revenue per e-mail sent increased year over year to 14 cents from 13 cents, the report says. The average order value for e-mail marketing messages in the fourth quarter increased 12.0%, to $180.25 from $160.99.

Other year-over-year statistics show that across all industries:

• E-mail volume increased 5.4% in the fourth quarter.

• The total open rate increased 15.3%, to 23.6%.

• The total click rate declined 1.1%, to 3.5%.

• The unsubscribe rate declined 17.1%, to 0.13%.

The report says that by industry, travel led the year-over-year increase in e-mail volume in the fourth quarter, at 21.4%. Other industries, and their year-over-year changes, include:

• Publishers, 14.3%

• Consumer products and services, 10.4%

• Multichannel retailers, 5.7% (Experian says this includes web-only retailers)

• Catalogers, 2.2%

• Business products and services, -11.1%

• Media and entertainment, -17.0%

Also across all industries, Experian found that e-mails sent on Saturdays and Sundays had the highest open, unique click and transaction rates, as well as the highest revenue per e-mail. Those e-mails, though, had the lowest volume compared with the rest of the week.

For weekdays, meanwhile, e-mails on Monday had the highest revenue per message, with Friday having the highest click rate. In general, “e-mails sent between 8 p.m. and 11:59 p.m., and from midnight to 4 a.m., had the highest response rates in all areas, yet also had the lowest percent of e-mail volume,” the report says.

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