Silverpop Study Reveals Relevancy Key to Engaging Customers through Email

Report Emphasizes Opportunities for Marketers to Enhance Their Email Marketing Programs

ATLANTA, June 10, 2014 - SilverpopTM, an IBM company and leading provider of digital marketing software that enables personalized experiences, today announces the findings of its 2014 Email Marketing Benchmarks Study, which revealed that timely and automated personalized marketing messages were far more successful for businesses in engaging customers than emails generated manually by marketers without consideration of recent recipient actions. 

The report studied emails sent by nearly 3,000 brands across 40 countries throughout 2013.

Silverpop examined traditional customer engagement benchmarks and, for the first time, compared the performance of transactional versus non-transactional messages and automated versus manual messages. The study found that automated messages achieved an open rate nearly 15 percent higher and click-through rate nearly 79 percent higher than their manual counterparts, on average (median), indicating today's buyers are most likely to engage with individualized messages delivered when it's most relevant to them.  

"The study results confirm that in today's customer-driven world, highly relevant, individualized messages are what drive buyers to engage with marketing emails," said Loren McDonald, VP of Industry Relations at Silverpop. In order to achieve this level of true one-to-one engagement, marketers must adopt marketing automation technology, sending messages with personally relevant content based on the customer's timeframe, not the marketing department's." 

The report aims to help marketers enhance their email marketing programs, increasing customer engagement and marketing ROI. It includes analysis on customer engagement metrics (multiple open and click metrics) and list churn (hard bounces, unsubscribes and complaints). The metrics go beyond standard "average" (mean) benchmarks and include breakdowns of data by top-quartile, median and bottom-quartile performers in addition to analysis by industry and geography, allowing marketers to see how their email programs compare to the best of their peers and what goals they need to set to achieve these superior results.

"The ‘human' element is more important than ever in marketing messages," said Dan Pingree, VP of Marketing at Moosejaw Mountaineering. "At Moosejaw, we pride ourselves on making every customer interaction a fun and meaningful one. We take an individualized approach with both our automated and transactional messages, which engage our customers and encourage repeat purchases. This year's survey results confirm what we have discovered at Moosejaw - that digital marketing with automation at the center is the key driver to great customer experiences and overall marketing success."

Among the notable findings were:  

  • Transactional messages (emails triggered automatically by behaviors like purchases or account activity) sent by companies with results in the top-quartile have open rates four times higher than median open rates for non-transactional messages
  • Transactional messages also achieved a median click-through rate of 4.2 percent and click-to-open rate of 15.1 percent, compared to nontransactional messages at 1.5 and 9.9 percent, respectively
  • The overall median hard-bounce rate was just under 0.04 percent, indicating email marketers made list hygiene a top priority in 2013
  • Top quartile performers' automated messages achieved click-through rates nearly 60 percent higher than manual sends and open rates more than double the median and five to 22 times higher than bottom-quartile performers 

"Typical email marketing benchmark studies only include ‘average' metrics," continued McDonald. "In today's marketplace, however, ‘average' is no longer acceptable. We encourage all email marketers to set their sights higher, aiming to be among the top-quartile performers. By taking a step back and examining your marketing objectives, and ensuring that you are putting your customers at the center, you will be able to set attainable goals to make sure your buyers are receiving the awesome experience they deserve." 

The full report is available here

About Silverpop

Silverpop, an IBM company, is a digital marketing software company focused on helping marketers transform the customer experience- increasing engagement and driving revenue. Silverpop makes this possible by using customer data and each individual's behaviors to inform and drive every interaction in real time. Silverpop uniquely enables marketers to automate these highly-personalized interactions at scale. Silverpop's top-ranked email marketing and marketing automation tools serve the needs of B2C and B2B marketers from a wide range of industries. Silverpop is trusted by more than 5,000 brands around the globe.  For more information visit