2014 Association Marketing. Benchmark Report.

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1 2014 Association Marketing Benchmark Report

2 Table of Contents 03 Benchmarking Data for Strategic Marketing 04 The Details about the Data 05 Key Marketing Metrics 06 Key Themes 07 The Data 08 Overall Metrics 09 Results by Country of Sender 10 Results by Client Type 11 Results by Number of Links 12 Results by Number of Recipients 13 Results by Time of Day 14 Results by Day of Week 15 Results by Subject Line Length 16 Open Duration Results 17 Mobile Opens vs. Desktop Opens for Weekdays 18 Mobile and Desktop Open Duration Comparison 19 Client Preference and Open Rate 20 Open Results by Client (Detailed) 21 Refining your Marketing Strategy using Benchmark Data 22 About Informz 2

3 Benchmarking Data for Strategic Marketing If you obsess over data, metrics, and marketing strategy, welcome! You re among friends. At Informz, we are numbers people. We eat, breathe, and sleep all things marketing, and reporting is a huge, huge part of that. Open rates, click rates, conversion rates, open duration and client reports the list of reports available goes on and on. marketing affords you the opportunity to gather complex data about how subscribers interact with your communications. But the data isn t the most important part of reporting it s what you do with the data that matters. Comparing benchmark numbers to your own metrics allows you to accurately evaluate your marketing program s performance, and make educated plans for the future. Data analysis is the basis for strategic marketing. This is the fourth consecutive year we ve shared benchmark data and the fifth association marketing benchmark report we ve produced. 3

4 The Details about the Data The Data We ve performed a study on our association client base to provide marketers from associations benchmarking information for their marketing programs. This report includes a summary of marketing metrics from over 1 billion s sent in 2013 by associations located in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United Kingdom. How to Use This Report This report is designed for marketers from associations. The data shared will help you understand what metrics to analyze, what goals to set, and how your marketing program is performing in comparison to your peers. Always keep in mind that these are averages from your peers. We will provide additional tips and resources at the end to help you improve your metrics. 4

5 Key Marketing Metrics Four key metrics are used in this report: delivery, open, click and unsubscribe rates. Delivery Rate is the percentage of s that were not reported back to Informz as bounced or blocked. Open Rate is the percentage of delivered s that were reported back to Informz as having been opened. If the text version of an is read, it is not counted. Likewise, if an HTML is read with the images turned off, it is not counted. However, if an is opened with images off, but a link is clicked, the is counted as being opened. Open rate only includes unique subscribers. Multiple opens by one subscriber only count once. Click Rate is the percentage of opened s clicked by the recipient. Clicking a link in a text is not counted as a click. Click rate only includes unique subscribers. Multiple clicks by one subscriber only count once. Unsubscribe Rate is the percentage of recipients who unsubscribed from a particular mailing. 5

6 Key Themes Among all of the data analyzed, three key themes stood out. Mobile continues to dominate for usage. For years usage has been tied to a desktop computer. This is clearly not the case anymore. Mobile readership continues to surpass desktop readership, with 44.70% of opens occurring on a mobile device. Mobile subscribers tend to read s throughout the day, with off hours, or non-work hours, being peak times for mobile opens. Over 36% of mobile subscribers are using iphones or ipads to view , and 34% of subscribers only use mobile devices to view s; it s uncommon for them to jump from mobile to desktop and back again. Understanding how many mobile subscribers you have, when they re engaging with your s, and what devices they re using to do so is absolutely critical to your campaigns success. readers think (and act) fast. Open duration results revealed that 63.30% of s opened were classified as being read, meaning that subscribers spent more than 10 seconds viewing the . Even on mobile devices, the number of opens that fall into the read category is greater than that of skimmed (opened for 3 10 seconds) or simply opened (less than three seconds). That s incredible, and that s great news for associations. Results also show that smaller s, which tend to be more targeted, have the highest open and click rates. The moral of the story? They might be thinking fast about whether or not they want to open your , but once they do, make it engaging so they stick around longer and take the actions you want them to take. Engaging provides better performance. Your message is competing for your subscriber s attention with a lot of factors outside of the inbox. Phone calls, meetings, family time, leisure time they re all potential distractions. When checking their , they have seconds to decide 1) whether or not they want to open your and 2) what they want to do once they open it. Subject lines need to be short, sweet, and engaging. Subject lines with fewer than 10 characters had 49.73% open rates. Once they ve opened, provide plenty of opportunities to take action. s containing more hyperlinks, even to the same destination, had higher click rates. 6

7 2014 Association Marketing Benchmark Report The Data 7

8 Overall Metrics The average metrics for associations include a 98.28% delivery rate, 34.04% open rate, and 18.03% click rate. Overall Metrics % % % 0 Delivery Rate Open Rate Click Rate 8

9 Results by Country of Sender 50 Average open rates ranged from 29.29% in New Zealand to 42.94% in the United Kingdom. Click rates were lower in the US and Australia and highest in the United Kingdom. Results by Country of Sender 42.94% % 36.63% 34.01% % 23.97% % 20.75% 18.07% 14.95% 10 0 Australia Canada New Zealand United Kingdom United States Open Rate Click Rate 9

10 Results by Client Type Mobile readership continues to surpass desktop readership (and by a large margin) % of all opens occurred on a mobile device. Results by Client Type 8.52% Other 14.82% Web Client 44.70% Mobile 31.96% Desktop 10

11 Results by Number of Links s containing more links, even if all to the same destination, boast higher click-thru rates, especially those containing more than 30 links. Results by Number of Links % % Number of Links % % % % % % > % Click Rate (%) 11

12 Results by Number of Recipients s sent to people had the highest open and click rates. s sent to smaller groups, which tend to be more targeted, have higher engagement rates. Results by Number of Recipients Number of Recipients < K 1K 5K 5K 50K 50K 100K 100K 250K >250K 7.23% 3.43% 13.36% 11.34% 11.73% 16.13% 16.78% 12.22% 22.74% 22.18% 20.32% 21.23% 20.28% 25.04% 25.16% 29.33% 33.54% 37.22% 42.41% Open Rate Click Rate 47.73%

13 Results by Time of Day Messages sent at night had the highest open rates. Late afternoon had the highest click rates. Results by Time of Day % 34.38% 34.81% 35.30% % 18.15% 18.46% 17.49% Morning Mid-Day Late Afternoon Evening Open Rate Click Rate 13

14 Results by Day of Week Open and click rates had very little variation Monday through Thursday, but rose slightly on Friday. Saturday and Sunday had higher open rates and lower click rates.* Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Results by Day of Week 16.06% 17.59% 17.79% 18.41% 18.39% 18.51% 36.20% 33.70% 33.35% 33.88% 33.24% 35.20% Saturday 39.74% 15.29% Open Rate Click Rate *Volume was much lower on weekends, but this information was included for informational purposes. 14

15 Results by Subject Line Length Shorter subject lines outperform longer subject lines. Subject lines with fewer than 10 characters had 49.73% open rates. Results by Subject Line Length < % % Number of Characters % 35.45% 33.12% 32.72% % > Open Rate 29.83% 15

16 Open Duration Results Most recipients that open s are spending more than three seconds reading them. Almost 2/3 of opens were read for more than 10 seconds. 80 Open Duration Results % % % 10 0 Read Open Rate (Greater than 10 seconds) Skim Open Rate (3 10 seconds) Open Open Rate (Less than 3 seconds) 16

17 Mobile Opens vs. Desktop Opens for Weekdays Mobile opens peaked at the end of the traditional work day and later in the evenings Mobile Opens vs. Desktop Opens for Weekdays Desktop Open Rate Mobile Open Rate am 2am 4am 6am 8am 10am 12pm 2pm 4pm 6pm 8pm 10pm 17

18 Mobile and Desktop Open Duration Comparison Desktop readers spend more time reading s. Mobile readers are more likely to open and skim messages % Open (> 10 seconds) Skim (3 10 seconds) Read (< 3 seconds) 57.62% % 15.71% 25.27% 17.11% 10 0 Desktop Mobile 18

19 Client Preference and Open Rate Most readers are creatures of habit % of readers use just their mobile device to view , surpassing just desktop and just web-based. Combinations of the three had significantly smaller rates. Client Client Preference Preference 50 Open Rate by Client Preference Open Rate by Client Preference Just Desktop 20.62% Just Mobile Just Web-Based Desktop and Mobile 7.34% 26.15% 34.70% Open Rate % 38.97% 40.34% 33.96% Mobile and Web-Based 8.33% 20 Desktop and Web-Based 1.73% 10 Desktop, Mobile, and Web-Based 1.14% Mobile Only Desktop Only Web-Based Only Combination Client 19

20 Open Results by Client (Detailed) Highest Usage Apple devices dominated mobile device usage, Outlook was the most-used desktop client, and Gmail the most-used Web mail client. Know the clients most frequently used by your readers and tailor design for best results. Highest Usage: Mobile Mobile % % % % % 0 iphone/ ipad Outlook 0 iphone ipad Android Highest Usage: Web % Highest Usage: Usage: Desktop Desktop 10.00% % % 5.40% 2.70% % 2.20% % 0 AOL Gmail Hotmail Yahoo 0 Outlook 2010 Outlook 2013 Outlook 2007 Outlook 2000/2003 Apple Mail 20

21 Refining your Marketing Strategy using Benchmark Data The results from this study should provide a baseline to compare your current marketing metrics. Use this data in combination with your organizations marketing campaign results for the most comprehensive analysis. If you re looking to improve results, here are our recommendations for where to start. Mobile optimization opportunities are abundant. If your mobile readership is on par with benchmark numbers (or higher), try responsive design. Responsive design will instantly shrink, expand, or reformat an s design to fit the device it s being viewed on, creating a seamless experience for subscribers on all devices. The downside? It can require technical resources and coding experience. If you re not ready to make the jump to responsive design yet, making minor, mobile-friendly tweaks to s like adding more white space, using larger links and font sizes, and changing your layout to one column will create a better experience for mobile readers. Design for the multi-tasker on her way to a meeting. We know that once an gets opened, odds are in your favor that you ll get more than 10 seconds of attention from the reader. The trick is getting that opened. Write short, descriptive subject lines that get right to the point. Don t dance around what s inside; most of the s with the highest open rates are quite frankly a little lackluster, but they tell the reader exactly what to expect. You can even try using a preheader as an extension as your subject line so you can keep the subject line short. Once opened, provide clear calls to action, directing the recipient to take the exact action you want them to. Focus on relevancy to achieve optimal engagement. Relevancy is the key to engaging marketing. True relevancy is achieved when what you want to say overlaps with what your readers are really interested in. Segment messaging so that every delivered provides information that recipients truly care about. Results have shown that targeted messaging trumps design. Even if something is rendering strangely or an image isn t showing up, or your subject line isn t the greatest if your readers know that you regularly send relevant information that they re interested in, they ll open and read your regardless of formatting. 21

22 Marketing Our easy-to-use, web-based platform will help you create highly targeted, high-performing s. Professional Services Whether it s outsourced marketing services or new marketing templates you need, we can help. Mobile Event App Engage members before, during, and after an event with a premium mobile event app experience. Informz is a leading provider of digital marketing solutions that helps associations and nonprofits to easily and efficiently engage their members. Over 1,100 organizations worldwide have chosen Informz and consistently rank us #1 in client satisfaction. Request a demo today to discover the power of Informz. Stay Connected! x5 REQUEST A DEMO 22

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