Conversion Rate for Email Marketing by Industry

Getting a high open rate on a holiday email is very satisfying, but converting those visitors into paying subscribers is a much more challenging task. That’s why you should put in the time to analyze the data and figure out what is going on.

There are a lot of different factors that could be affecting your open rate and determining whether or not your email campaign is successful. The goal of this blog post is to help you figure out where you are losing traction and what you can do to improve.

The Good News

First of all, you should take some time to be grateful for what you have accomplished. Your open rate for a holiday email is, without a doubt, an impressive feat and something to be proud of. But that doesn’t mean that it is already over. Your goals are still far from being achieved because, for some reason or other, not everyone is choosing to subscribe.

You should use this opportunity to learn why some are choosing not to subscribe and what you can do to change that. You can start by analyzing the data to see what is going on, as well as reaching out to stakeholders, such as the CMO and marketing director, to get their opinion.

The Bad News

Now, let’s be honest, you aren’t just sending out a holiday email. You are trying to grow your email list as much as possible because, one day, you hope to use that list to send out an email campaign that will allow you to earn a living. So, there is always going to be some level of “focus” involved when you are doing this. But, you should find a way to still detach yourself from the task at hand and take a step back to analyze what is going on.

In terms of the open rate for your holiday email, you can break it down as follows:

  • 43.3% – your open rate
  • 28.4% – your click-through rate
  • 22.7% – your conversion rate
  • 10%+ – your unsubscribe rate

Let’s look at each of these items in more detail.

Your Open Rate

Your open rate, as mentioned before, is the percentage of people who chose to open your email message. One of the most effective ways to increase your open rate is by using a call-to-action (CTA). A call-to-action is where you directly ask the reader to take a specific action – such as subscribing or signing up for a product review – in order to continue reading your email message. You can use multiple CTAs in one message in order to increase the chances of your message being opened.

One of the best examples of a high-quality holiday email with a lot of CTAs is the one from Betterment, an investment firm that offers a cash deposit account. They used the following structure in their email:

  • Hello & welcome. (0.2 seconds)
  • An open CTA. (0.3 seconds)
  • Three more open CTAs. (1 second)
  • A close CTA.

These four simple words – ‘Hello,’ ‘welcome,’ ‘an open CTA,’ ‘three more open CTAs,’ and ‘a close CTA’ – composed of only six words, took 0.8 seconds to appear on a mobile phone screen. However, it cost the company $750 to send that email to 1,000 people.

Your Click-Through Rate

Your click-through rate, or the percentage of people who clicked on a CTA, is also a key number to work on. According to HubSpot Blogs research, 40% of people leave mobile web pages without clicking on anything.

The key take away from this is that, if you want people to take an action – such as subscribing to your email list – you need to make sure that they know what that action is and how to do it.

Your Conversion Rate

Your conversion rate, or the percentage of people who opted-in to receive future communications from you, is another important number to work on. Getting a high conversion rate on a holiday email is very challenging because, typically, people aren’t exactly sure what you are offering and can easily unsubscribe or simply ignore your message. In the example below, a company called Hello Fresh used a series of creative triggers to get their customers to take action.

First, they used a shortcode that appeared on the image of a fresh fruit salad. Second, they used the word ‘free’ in the subject line – “free gift,” for example – to encourage people to open the email.

Finally, they used a cleverly crafted offer to get their customers to convert. The offer was a $10 discount for a fresh fruit salad, which is probably a lot more appealing than the usual deal with free shipping.

In the world of digital marketing, you will always hear the term ‘micro-commitments’. These are small actions – such as taking out a piece of paper and pen, or clicking on a button – that you make to encourage a larger action. When executed well, micro-commitments can increase your conversion rate by as much as 20%.

Your Subscription Rate

Your subscription rate, or the percentage of people who opted-in to receive regular emails from you, is yet another important number to work on. Just like the previous item, getting a high subscription rate is very challenging because people can so easily unsubscribe or ignore your messages. To get around this, you can try to engage with your audience with something other than just your content.

In the example below, Stella & Steering used a funny meme to encourage curiosity about what they have to offer. As a result, they saw a 41% increase in their subscription rate from 29% to 43%.

An even better approach would be to try to get people to subscribe to a product or service that they already know, like, or use. The more you can personalize the offer, the more likely you are to get them to respond. For example, a furniture company could send a personalized email to someone who has purchased one of their items, saying, “hey, we know that your perfect couch was a great fit for our store. Would you like to know which one of our salespeople was able to help you choose the perfect couch that fits perfectly into your home?”

If you execute all of these numbers well, you will see a significant increase in the percentage of people who choose to subscribe to your email list.

Lets Get Analytical

One of the most important things you can do in terms of analysis is to look at the numbers and find the underlying causes. You can start by breaking down the open rate of your holiday email (43.3%) by industry. Let’s take a look:

  • 36.4% in the Real Estate and Travel industry
  • 50% in the Gaming and Entertainment industry
  • 23.3% in the Retail industry
  • 20.8% in the Professional and Business services industry
  • 33.3% in the Health and Fitness industry
  • 22.2% in the Education industry

Now that you have more data, you can perform a more detailed analysis of the open rate for each industry segment. This will give you a clearer picture of which segment you should be working on to increase your open rate.

The Final Takeaway

Getting a high open rate on a holiday email is very satisfying, but converting those visitors into paying subscribers is a much more challenging task. That’s why you should put in the time to analyze the data and figure out what is going on.

In terms of the open rate for your holiday email, you can break it down as follows:

  • 43.3% – your open rate
  • 28.4% – your click-through rate
  • 22.7% – your conversion rate
  • 10%+ – your unsubscribe rate

Let’s look at each of these items in more detail.

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