Email campaigns in B2B: what to expect?

According to a recent study published in BtoB Magazine (2013), email campaigns account for 15% of online marketing budgets.

Here at Exo, through repeated email marketing campaigns for our clients, we’ve noticed that certain figures reappear systematically, such as the open, click, subscription cancellation and, sometimes, spam rates. In B2B, what should you expect?

What does the success of your campaign depend on?

The success of an email marketing campaign depends on several factors:

• The quality of the email itself:

o Is the title catchy? Does it interest your audience?

o Can it be easily read on diverse platforms? Mobile internet users should be considered as they’ll want to consult your email on their tablet or smart phone.

o Respect certain rules, such as the Bill C-28, which should soon become law.

• The quality of your mailing list:

o If you send your email to potential clients that you met last week, you might have a click rate that is much higher than the norm.

o Properly targeting your audience is key!

And the expected results?

If you’ve followed the above-mentioned points, here are the results you should expect to get according to Silverpop. The results of Silverpop and Exo are very close:

Open rate: corresponds to the percentage of people who opened your email.

o You should get 24.2%. With lead lists that are still “hot,” we’ve already reached 40% and even 45%!

Click rate: corresponds to the percentage of people who opened your email and who clicked on one of your calls-to-action (call-to-what? In your marketing emails, you should encourage people to act. This means putting a link towards one of the pages of your website, or better yet, towards a page created specifically for your email campaign (also known as “landing page”)).

o According to Silverpop, you should get 24.2%. However, the median is 11.2%. Thus, this average is not very representative. Even at Exo, we have a large variance from one campaign to another: some have rates that reach 40%, while others only reach 6.5%.

Subscription cancellation rate: people who request to be unsubscribed from your mailing list.

o The average should be 0.21%, which is normal for subscription cancellations.

Hard bounce rate: these are non-valid email addresses (a technical error or the address no longer exists).

o The average should reach 1.9%. This strongly depends on the quality of your mailing list.

Complaints about spam: not to be confused with the famous 1937 brand Hormal Foods which launched the product spam (for “Spiced Ham”). During the Second World War, American soldiers received a lot of spam… eat. Unwanted emails are called spam today after the popular Monty Python skit.

o This should be as low as possible, as spam can hurt your reputation. According to Silverpop, your average should be 0.06%. Fortunately for Exo, spam is very rare. In fact, very rarely our emails will go into an addressee’s spam account.

It’s important to note that results vary from one industry to another. And I’ll bet that your open and click rates will be higher if you’re a lingerie supplier than a mechanical parts supplier.

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