Coupons boost e-mail revenue in Q4

E-mail campaigns that included coupons had higher open, click-through and transaction rates in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to a new report from Experian.

Amy Dusto

Electronic coupons are the way to a shopper’s heart—or, wallet—at least in recent months.

In Q4 2013, e-mail campaigns that included coupons generated 43% more revenue than e-mails without coupons, or about $0.10 versus $0.07 per e-mail, according to the Q4 2013 E-mail Benchmark Study from Experian Marketing Services. Additionally, 50% more e-mail campaigns in the 2013 holiday season included coupons than in the same period last year, Experian says.

The digital marketing firm tracked the performance of all e-mail campaigns sent by more than 50 brands during October and November 2013.

Compared with other types of e-mails, those with coupons had a 14% higher open rates, 34% higher click-through rates and 27% higher transaction rates. In welcome e-mail campaigns specifically, messages that included coupons had 2.5 times the transaction rates of welcome messages without them, Experian adds.

80% of the Q4 e-mail coupons were available for in-store redemption and 70% were available for online redemption (some coupons could be redeemed in stores and online). Of the in-store coupons, 21% encouraged shoppers to display the coupons on their mobile devices rather than print them out, the report says.

To determine how much coupons contributed to click-through rates in Q4 e-mails, the Experian analysis measured the percentage of clicks on coupon links versus other links in the messages. Following is each type of coupon with the percentage of all clicks in the message that it drew:

Coupons don’t have to be enormous to entice more response from consumers than other promotional messaging. The most popular of the “dollar off” coupons was for $10 off, Experian says. That offer had a click-through rate of 2.8%, or 87% higher than the average for other promotional mailings. Meanwhile, coupons for $5 off had the highest transaction rates, 0.12%, or twice the average for non-coupon e-mails, the report found.

Among “percentage off” coupons, 20% off was the most popular, with a click-through rate of 2.5%, or 66% higher than the average for other e-mails, Experian says. Yet again, a slightly smaller deal—15% off in this case—garnered the highest transaction rate, 0.13%, also about twice the average for non-coupon messages.

Experian comes in first among e-mail marketing providers in Internet Retailer’s Top Tech 2014 Guide, which ranks vendors by the combined annual web sales of their e-retailer clients.  76 retailers in the 2013 Top 500 Guide and 11 in the Second 500 report using its services.




coupons, e-mail marketing, Experian, holiday shopping