email marketing metrics report + excellence in HTML email

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					                               February, 2009




email marketing metrics report +
excellence in HTML email design
        (Q1 – Q4 2008)




                                                1
Table of content

     Background
     Email marketing metric
     Executive summary
     Open rates
     Click rates
     Open rates by days
     Open rates by subject line length
     Bounce rates
     Stabilization
     Domain distribution
     Excellence in HTML email design

                             2
Background

  This is our 1st Annual Email Marketing Metrics Report – we created this report
  because

     First of all, because we can. Email Marketing is highly measurable and we
     happen to have loads of data at our fingertips

     Secondly, it helps our industry. We enjoy sharing benchmarks that anyone
     can use to gauge and improve their own email marketing results

     Thirdly, and most importantly, it is a service that we provide to our own
     customers. Having access to historical industry averages of open, click,
     and bounce rates gives them an idea of what to expect from their own
     newsletters and campaigns




                                         3
Email marketing metrics

 Tough economy ?

 Email marketing - your most effective customer communication channel

      According to an October 2008 report by the Direct Marketing Association * in the US,
      the return on investment for email was USD45.06 for every USD1 spent, as opposed
      to non-email Internet marketing’s USD19.94. Email provided more than double the
      effectiveness compared to other online marketing methods

      Marketers faced with tightening budgets should increase spending on email
      marketing, but rather explore options to use low cost providers that offer a substantial
      portion of the feature set offered by more expensive providers. This will allow
      organization to save money on their campaigns with increasing actual email
      marketing activities




 * Direct Marketing Association - http://www.the-dma.org


                                                           4
Email marketing metrics

   This report tracks email messages sent through k-matrix eM between
   January 1 and December 31, 2008

   Four industry segments

    1. Education and Publishing

    2. IT and Electronics

    3. Professional/ Financial Services

    4. Retail




                                          5
Executive Summary
  For all email messages sent through k-matrix eM between January 1 and
  December 31, 2008

  How soon do people
                             • Nearly 1/3 of all opens occur within the first 7 hours
  open their emails ?
                             • Increase of 5% during 1st 3 quarters of 2008
       Open rates            • Decrease slightly of 0.4% in the last quarter

                             • Overall click rates declined continuously by 0.4%
       Click rates             from Q2

   Best days to send         • Tuesday and Wednesday hold the crown

                             • Open rates decreases as subject line length
      Subject lines            increases

                             • The overall bounce rates dropped from Q2, more
      Deliverability           messages are getting delivered

        Domain               • Dominated by web mail


                                           6
Open Rates                                                     Q1 to Q4 2008
                                                           Open rates
              Unique open rates
                                                              The overall unique open rate for emails
                                                              sent by customers in all industries in the
                                                              first nine months of 2008 increased,
                                                              about 5% and slightly drop by 0.4% in the
                                                              last 3 months
             25.2% 24.8%
 20.3% 22.5%
                                                              Why have open rates increased in 2008 ?

                                                               –   Email marketers are more
    Q1        Q2          Q3          Q4                           professional. They use consistent
                                                                   “from” sender names which are
                                                                   easily recognized
 Definition                                                    –   Email marketers offer choices to
                                                                   audiences. It means they send
     Unique opens are calculated as the number of                  emails in various types; e.g.
     addresses which were tracked as having viewed a               Newsletter with Tips, Promotional
     message divided by the total number of HTML                   Emails or Events Invitation, so as to
     messages sent                                                 arouse audiences’ interests
     Each address, even if it opened the message
     more than once; hence, showing unique opens
                                                              All industries experienced an increase in
                                                              open rates, as the next page shows

                                                       7
Open rate by Industry                                                                           Q1 to Q4 2008
 45.0%
                                                                                                       Open Rate by Industry
                                                                                               39.8%
 40.0%                                                                   38.6%
                                                 37.3%

 35.0%                                                                                                    The industry which earned
                         29.3%
                                                                                                          the highest unique open
 30.0%                                                           28.0%
                                        25.9%
                                                                                                          rates in 2008 was Retail
                                    25.2%                25.2%      25.4%         24.8%
 25.0%                                                      22.7%                     23.5% 23.7%
              19.8%              22.5%                                                    22.2%
                                           21.6%
         20.3%
 20.0%
                  19.2%
                      17.8%
                                                                                                          Professional and IT had
                                                                                                          recorded decrease in open
 15.0%                                                                                                    rate while Retail and
 10.0%                                                                                                    Education increase in open
                                                                                                          from Q3
 5.0%

 0.0%
                  Q1                     Q2                      Q3                      Q4

                       Overall     Education       IT    Professional       Retail
                                                                                                       Tips
                                                                                                           Recipients will not open
                                                                                                           emails which sent from
  Industry                Q1             Q2 vs Q1                Q3 vs Q2              Q4 vs Q3            unrecognized brand or
                                                                                                           sender. Remember to
   Overall               20.3%                  +2.2%                 +2.7%                -0.4%           include your company name
  Education              19.8%                  +5.4%                 -2.5%                +0.8%           in the subject line and use
      IT                 19.2%                  +6.7%                 +2.1%                 5.8%           consistent “Sender Name”
                                                                                                           which can be easily
 Professional            17.8%                  +3.8%                 +3.8%                -1.7%
                                                                                                           remembered
    Retail               29.3%                   +8%                  +1.3%                +1.2%


                                                                              8
Click Rates                                                                  Q1 to Q4 2008
 4.6%                                                                   Click Rates
 4.4%
                                                                           Click rates record how many times the
 4.2%
                                                                           links in an email message were clicked. It
 4.0%                                                                      included clicks from both text and HTML
                          4.5%          4.4%                               versions of a message
 3.8%
                                                      4.1%
 3.6%       3.8%                                                           In 2008, overall click rates increased by
 3.4%                                                                      0.7% in Q2 while declined continuously
                                                                           by 0.4% from Q2
               Q1           Q2            Q3            Q4


                                                                         Tips
  Definition                                                                 Marketers include too many links in the
        Click rates are defined as the total number of unique                email. Just keep the options down to 1-2
        clicks (i.e. the first time a person click on a link)                handful and prominent links
        divided by the total number of opportunities to click. It
        is calculated as follows : the total number of unique                Guide your recipients to the exact path they
        clicks divided by the product of the number of links in              want to. For example, if your subject line
        each message and the number of total recipients                      states,” Get the E-coupon and redeem free
        For instance, a message sent to 100 people with 5                    drinks”, then the links in the emails should
        unique links in it that get 10 unqie clicks would have               be landing exactly on the page for
        10/(100*5) = 2% click rate                                           downloading the E-coupon but NOT generic
                                                                             home page


                                                                    9
Click Rates by Industry                                                                 Q1 to Q4 2008
 12.0%
                                 11.0%                                                         Click Rates by Industry
             9.8%
 10.0%                                                                       9.6%
                                                                                                  Education ranked top in
                                                      7.9%                                        click rates in 2008 followed
 8.0%
                                                                                                  by Retail and Professional
                                                                                        5.9%
 6.0%                                                              5.3%
                                             4.9%                                                 Click rates of all industries
                               4.5%                 4.4%
                                                                          4.1%                    increased during Q2 2008
         3.8%          3.6%
 4.0%
                                                                                     3.1%
                                         2.8%                2.8%
                    2.1%
 2.0%
                                                                                                  In Q3, click rates of Retail
                                      0.9%
                                                           0.6%                  0.7%             keep on increasing while
                0.1%                                                                              Professional remains
 0.0%
                                                                                                  unchanged; IT and
                Q1                    Q2                   Q3                    Q4
                                                                                                  Education drop mildly
                     Overall    Education     IT    Professional    Retail

                                                                                                  Click rates of all industries
  Industry             Q1             Q2 vs Q1             Q3 vs Q2              Q4 vs Q3         increased during Q4 2008
   Overall             3.8%                 +0.7%            -0.1%                  -0.3%
  Education            9.8%                 +1.2%            -3.1%                  +1.7%
      IT               0.1%                 +0.8%            -0.3%                  +0.1%
 Professional          2.1%                 +0.7%             0%                    +0.3%
    Retail             3.6%                 +1.3%            +0.4%                  +0.6%


                                                                     10
Open Rates by Day                                                          Q1 to Q4 2008
                         Open rates by day                                              Best days to send :
  30.0%                                                                                  Tuesdays and
  25.0%                                                                                  Wednesdays
  20.0%
  15.0%
                                                                                           Email sent middle in the
                                                                                           working week like Tuesday
  10.0%                                                                                    or Wednesday generated
   5.0%                                                                                    the highest open rates in
   0.0%                                                                                    2008. It appears that many
            Sun       Mon        Tue      Wed        Thu         Fri     Sat               people check email in the
    Q1     16.4%     20.9%     19.4%     21.3%     23.2%        19.6%   17.1%              middle of the working week
    Q2     22.3%     18.0%     23.3%     23.9%     24.8%        21.3%   20.8%
    Q3     21.3%     25.9%     25.5%     26.1%     22.4%        27.6%   24.8%
    Q4     23.1%     25.4%     27.4%     24.5%     21.8%        25.9%   24.1%
    Q1-4   21.0%     23.7%     24.4%     24.3%     23.0%        23.9%   21.8%


 Tips
    Send emails to different target segments on different days. For example , if you are sending emails to B2B audience,
    obviously they check their working emails on weekdays; but if you are sending emails to B2C audience, they tend to
    check emails on weekend
    Testing is the best way to know your audiences’ preferences. Spilt the email list in half and then send emails to one
    group on weekday and another on weekend. Do it conversely for the 2 nd campaign. Compare the campaign results
    and see which day is the best to send to your audience


                                                           11
Open Rates by Day (by Industry)                                                       Q1 to Q4 2008
                Open rates by day                                   Open rates by day
                   Education                                               IT
  35.0%                                               60.0%
  30.0%                                               50.0%
  25.0%                                               40.0%
  20.0%
                                                      30.0%
  15.0%
  10.0%                                               20.0%
   5.0%                                               10.0%
   0.0%                                                0.0%
          Sun   Mon   Tue   Wed     Thu   Fri   Sat           Sun   Mon   Tue   Wed     Thu   Fri   Sat
     Q1 20.6% 19.9% 21.7% 19.0% 17.4% 19.3% 19.6%        Q1 34.0% 20.6% 17.1% 21.0% 19.8% 7.3% 12.0%
     Q2 22.8% 20.1% 20.0% 22.7% 17.0% 20.9% 23.7%        Q2 35.2% 23.1% 30.2% 23.6% 21.6% 49.9% 14.1%
     Q3 18.6% 20.4% 22.0% 24.2% 20.5% 32.8% 29.4%        Q3 45.0% 26.0% 45.0% 29.9% 26.5% 22.3% 10.3%
     Q4 21.0% 21.4% 27.8% 24.2% 24.2% 24.2% 17.1%        Q4 38.0% 27.0% 20.6% 15.7% 23.3% 23.5% 19.7%



                Open rates by day                                   Open rates by day
                  Professional                                           Retail
  30.0%                                               60.0%
  25.0%                                               50.0%
  20.0%                                               40.0%
  15.0%                                               30.0%
  10.0%                                               20.0%
   5.0%                                               10.0%
   0.0%                                                0.0%
          Sun   Mon   Tue   Wed     Thu   Fri   Sat           Sun   Mon   Tue   Wed     Thu   Fri   Sat
     Q1 14.4% 19.2% 18.1% 18.8% 21.2% 17.1% 15.6%        Q1 31.2% 33.3% 24.8% 26.9% 30.8% 27.6% 31.1%
     Q2 14.9% 18.4% 24.5% 23.8% 22.3% 18.7% 20.3%        Q2 35.2% 28.5% 41.2% 36.7% 39.6% 35.8% 35.2%
     Q3 13.6% 26.6% 25.9% 24.7% 26.8% 23.9% 22.6%        Q3 34.2% 47.7% 43.2% 42.6% 28.0% 39.5% 31.9%
     Q4 20.2% 22.4% 26.3% 25.4% 22.3% 22.7% 20.0%        Q4 56.7% 45.5% 37.3% 38.8% 36.9% 39.6% 36.0%




                                                       12
Open Rates by Subject Line Length                                          Q1 to Q4 2008

               Open rates by subject line length                      Shorter subject lines result
              20 characters or less     Over 20 characters
                                                                         in higher open rates
                                      28.2%
                    26.3%                            26.3%               The results are : in 2008 as a
                                           24.2%           24.5%
                                                                         whole, open rates decreases
   20.4%20.2%             21.2%                                          as subject line length
                                                                         increases

                                                                         During Q4, shorter subject
                                                                         lines result in dramatic
                                                                         increase (by 14.1%) in open
                                                                         rate in Education Industry

                                                                         Open rates are very closely
         Q1              Q2               Q3             Q4
                                                                         tied to subject lines. Write
                                                                         your subject lines in brief.
                                                                         “Telling” your audiences
  Tips                                                                   what’s inside the email
     Keep your subject line to 20 characters or less                     instead of “Selling”
     Keep your subject line straightforward and avoid using splashy
     promotional phrases, CAPS or exclamation marks


                                                   13
Open Rates by Subject Line Length                                                Q1 to Q4 2008
      Open rates by subject line length                           Open rates by subject line length
                 Education                                                       IT
      20 characters or less     Over 20 characters             20 characters or less     Over 20 characters

                                          40.8%
                                                                            27.2%          29.2%
                              26.7%                        20.9%        21.6%          22.8%       22.9%
                                                                                                       22.1%
  23.6%       21.7%
                  20.5%           21.2%       23.1%            18.0%
      19.6%




     Q1            Q2            Q3          Q4               Q1            Q2            Q3          Q4


      Open rates by subject line length                           Open rates by subject line length
               Professional                                                    Retail
      20 characters or less     Over 20 characters             20 characters or less     Over 20 characters
                                                                        45.3%          43.3%       42.7%
                              30.1%                                                        37.9%       39.5%
              26.2%                                           33.0%         35.4%
                                  23.4%   25.7%
  22.3%                                       22.8%
      17.4%       19.7%

                                                           9.2%


     Q1            Q2            Q3          Q4               Q1            Q2            Q3          Q4


                                                      14
Bounce Rates                                                         Q1 to Q4 2008
 20.0%                                                         More messages are getting delivered

 15.0%                                                            In 2008, overall bounce rates increased by
                                                                  1.4% in Q2 while declined continuously by
 10.0%                                                            6.2% from Q2
         16.8%        18.2%
                                   13.8%        12.0%
 5.0%                                                             Retail and IT industries recorded decline in
                                                                  bounce back rate in the first 3 quarters while
 0.0%                                                              increase in Q4
            Q1           Q2           Q3          Q4
                                                                  Education and Professional industries
                                                                  recorded increase in bounce back rate in Q2
                                                                  and decrease continuously from Q2 onwards
  Tips
     Too many hard bounce is a sign of an stale list.             All email campaigns result in a percent of
     People change email addresses frequently. Keep in
                                                                  messages that are undeliverable; i.e.
     touch with your list regularly so they can keep
     subscribed to your list                                      Bounce Back. Bounce Back is classified into
                                                                  “hard bounce” (email permanently
     Soft bounces mean the recipient is “temporarily              unavailable) or “soft bounce” (email
     unavailable” Maybe they are on vacation or their             temporarily unavailable)
     mailbox is full. Keep those emails and re-try them
     later
                                                                  k-matrix eM auto-cleans soft bounces after 5
                                                                  failed campaigns
                                                          15
Bounce Rates by Industry                                            Q1 to Q4 2008
 16.0%            Bounce rates by industry          20.0%           Bounce rates by industry
                        Education                   18.0%                      IT
 14.0%
                                                    16.0%
 12.0%
                                                    14.0%
 10.0%                                              12.0%
  8.0%                                              10.0%
          13.8%     14.4%                            8.0%   17.8%                     16.0%
  6.0%                        12.0%
                                                     6.0%           12.8%    12.3%
  4.0%                                  7.5%         4.0%
  2.0%                                               2.0%
  0.0%                                               0.0%
           Q1         Q2        Q3       Q4                  Q1       Q2       Q3        Q4


  25.0%             Bounce rates by industry        18.0%           Bounce rates by industry
                         Professional               16.0%                    Retail
  20.0%                                             14.0%
                                                    12.0%
  15.0%
                                                    10.0%

  10.0%   19.6%      21.3%                          8.0%                              16.0%
                                                    6.0%
                              14.5%    12.3%
  5.0%                                              4.0%    8.5%    8.2%
                                                    2.0%                      5.5%
  0.0%                                              0.0%
            Q1         Q2       Q3       Q4                  Q1       Q2       Q3        Q4


                                               16
Stabilization                                                                                  Q1 to Q4 2008
        33.54%
                                       Cumulative Open Rate By Hour                                          Stabilization of Open
                                                                                                                      Rates
                        100.00%

                                                                                                              How soon do recipients
                        90.00%
                                                                                                              open emails ?
                        80.00%
                                                                                                              In general, nearly one-
                        70.00%                                                                                third, 33.54% to be exact,
 Cumulative Open Rate




                        61.44%                                                                                of all opens occur within
                        60.00%                                                                                first 7 hours in 2008
                                                                                               1st Quarter
                        50.00%
                                                                                               2nd Quarter
                                                                                                              61.44% will have opened
                                                                                               3rd Quarter
                        40.00%                                                                                within 1 day in 2008
                                                                                               4th Quarter
                        33.54%                                                                 Full Year
                        30.00%
                                                                                                              Most of your customers
                                                                                                              response within two days
                        20.00%


                        10.00%


                         0.00%
                                  0   24   48   72     96    120      144   168    192   216
                                                Hour After Email Delivery



                                                                              17
Domain Distribution                                                           Q1 to Q4 2008
                 Domain distribution                              Domain distribution

                                                                     Which types of email domains of your customers
    39.9%         39.3%          39.1%           37.6%               are using ?
    13.0%          9.5%          11.1%           8.7%
                                                                     Reviewing 2008, majority of email domains of all
    47.1%         51.1%          49.8%           53.7%               industries are Web mail and Others (e.g.
                                                                     company email domains)

      Q1            Q2            Q3              Q4
                 Web mail     ISP  Others
                                                                     Least people of all industries subscribe e-news
                                                                     by emails provided by ISP

                                                                     k-matrix eM continuously calculate and monitor
 Domain distribution – Q4 2008                                       the optimal mailing frequency for each server
                                                                     and domain through iMTA (Intelligence Mail
                                                                     Transfer Agent)
   Industry        Web Mail              ISP             Others
    Overall           53.7%              8.7%             37.6%
   Education          66.7%              3.6%             29.7%
       IT             8.8%               6.9%             84.3%
  Professional        67.8%              7.5%             24.7%
     Retail           60.9%              24.3%            14.8%



                                                              18
               Excellence in HTML email design
            Technical – HTML Email Coding Guideline

Use a good, “pure” HTML/Text editor, like BBEdit, or NoteTab Pro to
code HTML emails. Recommended not to Export HTML email by
Microsoft Word or WYSIWYGs as they do not generate “clean code”

Recommended HTML email width to be set to 500-600 pixels

Most email applications garble up email, so make sure you keep your
HTML email layout simple. Chopping complex tables up into
separate tables and do not use “COLSPANS” to code the tables

Most anti-virus applications blocked JavaScript, ActiveX, background
music files. In addition, no embedded Flash movies

                                 19
               Excellence in HTML email design
            Technical – HTML Email Coding Guideline


Use CSS for only simple font formatting and colors in HTML email. CSS
is with limited support
 - Do not use CSS positioning
 - Do not use DIVs
 - Do not begin HTML code with a period or otherwise your email will
get stripped
 - Do not link CSS file
 - Embed CSS below the BODY tag
 - Gmail does not fully support CSS, fonts and font color defaulting to
Arial, and black in color


                                 20
                Excellence in HTML email design
               Design – HTML Email Design Guideline

Write precise and descriptive subject line to persuade recipients to
continue reading
Do not design HTML emails with only one image without any texts. All
email applications turn off images by default and thus easily being
filtered as spam
Design a shorter newsletter, includes a hyperlink and drives readers
back to your website for deeper understanding. This approach enables
you to get valuable clickthrough reports that show the level of interest in
a topic
Incorporate your brand logos, colors, and fonts. Pull that style and
format into your email so that it corresponds with your website and
provides your readers with a consistent brand experience


                                   21
               Excellence in HTML email design
              Design – HTML Email Design Guideline

Provide instantly recognizable contact information like mailing address,
phone number, etc. , This prevents recipients reporting your email as
spam
Provide clear unsubscription links. Respect your recipients if they are
no longer interested in what you send them
Testing in major email clients, for example, Outlook 2003, Outlook
2000, Outlook Express, Mozilla Thunderbird, AOL, Yahoo!Mail,
Google's Gmail, Hotmail, etc… Every email client has different levels of
standards support and most are going to display your campaign slightly
different
Get recipients’ permission before sending them emails. Make sure you
only send to those opt-in subscribers. Recipients normally ignore
emails sending from unknown sender or even reporting spam

                                  22
Enabling excellent in digital marketing communication through
        premier and quality digital intelligence solutions

k-matrix is a digital intelligence solution company based in Hong Kong.
The company sets its objective in enabling and providing the best and
the most cutting edge digital intelligence solutions which assist
companies in adapting the new version of the Internet and gaining the
most digital communication and marketing benefits and insights from
the fast growing e-community

k-matrix has also established a development team in Shenzhen since
2007. The team is currently focusing on software development and
supports both China and Hong Kong customers and partners



                                  23
          One platform, two distribution channel (email & SMS)
             Monthly subscription and zero installation fee

Marketers’ benefits
Direct marketing
   Easy-to-use email creation tool to save your time
   We ensure excellent delivery (i.e. anti-spam management/ system stability) and automate
   bounce back and unsubscribe processing to boost your hit rate
List management
    Lower your workload by automate routine jobs such as data cleanse, follow up campaign
   list, unsubscribe processing and opt-out form generator, etc.
   Save your money and system resources to not sending non-respondents and segments
Reporting and analytics
   Evaluate your email campaign performance to determine what is working and what’s not
   so you can make sure you are sending out the most effective emails to your customers
   and prospects to maximize marketing efficiency


                                             24