Email marketing is a go-to for many businesses, but recently, the rise of the one-line slogan, “Email is dead” has caused some to doubt its future. After analysing more than 10-billion emails sent by South African businesses through Everlytic’s platform for our latest Email Marketing Benchmarks Report, we can affirm with confidence that email remains a powerful marketing medium – and it’s projected to grow too. At the end of May 2023, our team embarked on our 2023 Everlytic Roadshow to share our fascinating findings with industry professionals across the country.

Roadshow Affirms Email Is a Serious Medium with Huge Growth Potential_Everlytic Blog_News_People Attending an Event

‘Your Inbox Is the Backbone of How You Govern Your Life’

Our 2023 Roadshow was comprised of three events held in Johannesburg, Cape Town and on a webinar respectively. Everlytic’s Executive Head of Sales and Marketing, Louise Krog, and Head of Direct Sales, David Sepulveda, led the attendees through our insights into email marketing, and they shared some fun anecdotes and predictions too.

Louise kicked off the proceedings by pointing to numbers released by data gathering and visualisation company, Statista, that show the global email marketing market was valued at $7.5 billion in 2020 and is projected to increase to $17.9 billion by 2027. “Email is definitely a serious medium. It’s a medium that’s going to continue to expand and grow. Just look at email in your own life, your inbox is the backbone of how you govern your daily life,” said Louise.

“You are going to see a lot more AI activity going on and I do think we’re going to see huge sophistication when it comes to segmentation, how to govern data in big data lakes, and how to slice and dice it to make sure that what your customers see in their inbox is so custom-fit for them … both in design as well as content, plus the way you reach out to them.”

Using different bulk email types strategically can boost your engagement. This is why we’re sharing seven types of emails and how to use them successfully. Click here to read more.

Email Open, Click-Through & Click-to-Open Rates Are Up

Everlytic has been analysing email marketing engagement since 2014, and so Louise presented the open rate findings from then up until 2022. Homing in on the findings between 2020 and 2022, she showed how engagement started to increase in 2020 when people were huddled in their houses during the pandemic. The open rate increased across every industry and reached an all-time high in 2022. “It’s a very exciting space to be in,” she said.

Louise described the 2022 open rate data as “amazing”. “We were very surprised as we were thinking that it was maybe going to slow down but it hasn’t. It has absolutely increased,” she explained.

“If you look at the average open rate across all the emails that were sent, it has increased 17% between 2020 and 2022 to 29.28%. It’s very cool to see the industry with the highest open rate being hospitality at 35.31%, and they’ve also had the biggest jump since 2020 with 49%. This is massive.”

The data further revealed that while the open rates for the hospitality industry were high, the click-through rate was low. Louise explained our assumption is that customers are shopping and looking but they aren’t engaging with the content.

Overall, click-through rates have increased by 1% since 2020, with the business and consulting services industry leading the pack. Louise explained much of the legal and financial advisory content provided by this industry involved enticing readers to click by providing information that would assist and guide them with financial or legal matters.

The click-to-open rate – which Louise noted as “a very important one for us” – is calculated by dividing the number of contacts who clicked a link in an email by the number of contacts who opened that email. “It helps you to measure the content again on how you enticed action from the audience, and it is considered by many as the best way to measure and track the effectiveness. We are going to understand this way of measuring and tracking even more going forward because it’s linked to email security.”

Your emails need to compel your recipients to open, click-through, and support your brand. To do this successfully, you need to ensure you are using the right language. Get our Guide for Top Language Tips for Better Emails here. It’s especially useful if you are in the financial services industry.

How to Navigate New Changes in Email Privacy

Our research found a very high upward trend in the use of webmail applications, and David noted there could be many grounds for this. “One reason could be recipients are using more web-based communication such as Gmail, Apple Mail, or Office 365. Or it could involve Mail Privacy Protection,” he explained.

“It’s a new protection policy where the host servers cache the content before the recipient opens [the mail]. If the content is cached, then on our side, it appears it has been opened. So, what does that mean for you? It means we need to change the strategy in order to identify how to improve or adjust our communication.”

David advised three different ways to adjust to the new email privacy changes. “One of the strategies can be to use our analytics to do an assessment to see what people are mostly engaging with involving your content. Another one would be prioritising clicks, or by prioritising your calls to action – make it engaging for your audience to interact with your content,” advised David.

Roadshow Affirms Email Is a Serious Medium with Huge Growth Potential_Everlytic Blog_News_David Presenting at the Roadshow

8 Ways You Can Reduce Unsubscribe Rates & Complaints

David cautioned that while talking about unsubscribe rates and complaints may have a negative sentiment, understanding them helps to better engage with those who want to receive your communication.

“Very happy to report that we are seeing a downward trend overall from 2020 to 2022. We can see we are on a current unsubscribe rate of 24%, the lowest being our financial institutions and our educational. The biggest jump we’ve had so far is the automotive industry.”

He detailed the following eight ways to reduce unsubscribe rates:

  • Don’t send unsolicited emails.
  • Don’t send emails too frequently.
  • Stick to a consistent sending schedule.
  • Avoid spam triggers and irrelevant content.
  • Manage expectations.
  • Stay screen responsive.
  • Send snackable content.
  • Personalise your emails.

For a straightforward guide on how to personalise your emails effectively, check out our Step-by-Step Guide to Message Personalisation here.

Questions, Comments & Way to Maximise Your Messaging

The industry professionals who attended the Roadshow engaged enthusiastically with our team, raising questions, dissecting the data, and commenting on the trends they were finding in their own email campaigns.

Some of the pertinent points raised involved email marketing for internal communication, the best time of day for sending emails, and advice for building and maintaining databases. Our team enjoyed engaging with the attendees and shared a lot of tips, tricks, and tangible insights.

One stand-out question was whether there are any exciting developments to anticipate in the email communication space – and the answer is yes! David let the attendees in on our new upcoming programme called the Everlytic Growth Journey that will help you to maximise your messaging with a step-by-step guide.

Roadshow Affirms Email Is a Serious Medium with Huge Growth Potential_Everlytic Blog_News_Louise & Wilene Presenting at the Roadshow

Use Our Email Benchmarks to Innovate Your Campaigns

We’ve been compiling our Email Marketing Benchmarks Reports for many years now, and the findings always fascinate and surprise us. Our latest report was no different – and seeing how email marketing soared during the Covid-19 pandemic was especially insightful. If one thing’s for certain, our results show there is certainly no evidence to the phrase, “Email is dead”. In fact, quite the opposite is true.

Our Roadshow was a wonderful opportunity for us to walk through the findings with our clients and industry professionals so we can all learn and innovate our campaigns to make them stand out. While our Roadshow is over, our benchmarks report is easy to download from our website, and our Webinar is available for you to view too.

Download Our Latest Benchmarks Report

Compiling our latest Email Marketing Benchmarks Report was no mean feat – we analysed the more than 10 billion emails. There’s so much more nitty-gritty and insightful data in the report tailored for every industry that’s sure to help you compile catchy, engaging, and clickable email campaigns going forward.