ATLANTA, October 15, 2006 - Making simple changes to creative elements of email messages can boost click rates by 50 percent or more, according to new research conducted by Silverpop.
"Successful and sophisticated email marketers really focus on the creative aspects of their messages, and in particular, on optimizing that creative specifically for the email medium," said Bill Nussey, CEO of Silverpop. "I think the findings from this study will help marketers identify some new creative approaches that can improve both open and click rates."
Silverpop's "Email Creative That Works" study was completed by a team of email marketing analysts that collected, compiled and analyzed data on 612 emails sent by 430 companies. Messages were sent between mid-April and mid-August, 2006. Reports of opens and click rates were evaluated to identify creative elements that work best.
When open rates were evaluated, Silverpop found that emails with branded subject lines generated significantly higher open rates. BtoC emails with the brand or company name in the subject line enjoyed open rates of 29 percent on average, compared to 22 percent without branding. BtoB emails showed even more dramatic results. BtoB emails with the company or brand name in the subject line experienced an average open rate of 32 percent, compared to just 20 percent for messages without branded subject lines. However, only a little more than half (55 percent) of BtoB emails and 46 percent of BtoC messages evaluated included the brand and/or company name in the subject line, which presents a good opportunity for marketers.
Silverpop also evaluated the ratio of images to text and found, not surprisingly, that image-rich emails sent to consumers generated higher click rates. While all-text BtoC messages generated a 4.7 percent click rate on average, those that were mostly image-oriented achieved a 7.1 percent average click rate.
"What was somewhat surprising was that the opposite was true for BtoB emails," Nussey said. "Text-heavy BtoB messages actually achieved much higher click rates than those with fairly equal amounts of text and images."
The study found that all-text BtoB messages received a 5.4 percent click rate, compared to only a 3.5 percent click rate for those that included an equal amount of text and images.
Silverpop's "Email Creative That Works" study also found that layout style can have an impact on click rates. The results indicate that BtoB emails in a postcard-style format received average click rates of 7.9 percent, compared to popular one-column and newsletter formats, which received click rates of 3.4 and 5.4 percent, respectively.
By comparison, BtoC marketers interested in boosting click rates should take a long look at newsletter-style layouts, which generated average click rates of 7.1 percent, compared to average click rates of 6.2 percent for single-image "postcard-style" messages.
"Perhaps postcard-style emails received higher click rates on average for BtoB marketers because of their novelty among business recipients," Nussey said. "Clearly it's important to try new approaches and keep the look of your emails fresh to invite continued readership."
Other elements evaluated in Silverpop's "Email Creative That Works" include the "From" line, location of the logo, number and style of links, presence and location of a navigation bar, feature offers and location of the call-to-action. Free copies of the study are available on the Silverpop Web site at www.silverpop.com.
Silverpop is a leading provider of permission-based email marketing solutions, strategy and services, with offices throughout the United States and in the United Kingdom. For the second year in a row, in 2005 JupiterResearch ranked Silverpop as the email service provider with the highest overall value for emailers with lists of over 150,000 recipients. Jupiter's annual evaluation of email service providers said "Silverpop offers one of the most complete email marketing applications, and together with its very usable interface, makes an excellent value for marketers."