Join us at the Bluecore Summit, September 17-18 in NYC

- Register Now
Strategy

Tracking Triggered Email Performance Trends

By Paul Vithayathil

Over the past few years, triggered emails have cemented their role in retail marketers’ communication arsenal.

According to the latest data, nearly ¾ of retailers have adopted three core triggered emails — cart abandonment, product abandonment and search abandonment — and well over ⅓ have expanded their arsenal to include the more advanced new arrivals and price decrease triggered emails.

Given the importance of these emails to most retailers’ marketing programs, it’s essential to understand how the performance of your triggers stacks up to others. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place.

Take a Detailed Look at Triggered Email Performance with Bluecore’s Email Performance Calculator

To provide a detailed look at eCommerce triggered email performance and better understand how performance changes at different times throughout the year, we created our Email Performance Calculator.

The Email Performance Calculator is a unique, interactive tool that allows you to input basic information about your eCommerce business (your retail vertical, whether your average order value is over or under $100 and whether your site has over or under 300,000 monthly unique visitors) and see triggered email performance metrics from retailers whose businesses are most similar to yours.

Since we initially launched the Email Performance Calculator in April 2017, we have refreshed the data each quarter to reflect the latest performance trends. Going forward, we will continue to update the data on a quarterly basis so that a rolling year’s worth of triggered emails feed the performance metrics.

Along the way, we’ve dug into different trends in the data to track the increasing maturity of triggered email programs and offer advice on how to use the data to improve the performance of your own emails. Today, we’ll offer yet another perspective on what the data reveals.

Reviewing Year-Over-Year Changes in Triggered Email Performance

Now that we’re starting on our second year’s worth of data for the Email Performance Calculator, we not only have the ability to determine how seasonality affects triggered email performance, but we can also make year-over-year comparisons.

In comparing the first quarter of 2018 with the first quarter of 2017, three trends stand out as particularly interesting:

1) Send Volumes and Number of Trigger Campaigns Are Up

First, the send volume for trigger campaigns has increased anywhere from 26-43% for retailers across the board. While send volume itself isn’t something we typically call out in relation to performance metrics for emails, it does impact the metrics we do measure since open, click and conversion rates are all a function of send volume. That means as the send volume increases, you need to engage more email recipients in order to hit the same percentages for open, click and conversion rates.

Not only has send volume increased significantly, but so too has the number of different triggered email campaigns that retailers run.

These trends indicate that retailers are continuing to expand their triggered email programs in order to send relevant emails to more customers. One of the most common ways we’ve seen retailers grow their triggered email programs is by introducing more advanced types of emails that trigger based off changes in product assortment.

2) Engagement Rates Decrease Slightly, Likely Due to Send Volume Increases

Second, we see a slight dip in year-over-year engagement rates for opens, clicks and conversions. This dip is not surprising given the increase in send volume noted above.

Recognizing the fact that the significant increase in send volume will likely lead to lower open, click and conversion rates makes the fact that these metrics only experienced a slight decrease impressive. And the fact that two groups of retailers increased conversion rates even while sending more emails becomes extremely noteworthy.

3) Unsubscribe Rates Decline

Finally, we found that the already low unsubscribe rates for triggered emails (which we can attribute to the relevance of these emails) declined even further at the start of 2018 compared to the same time last year.

This decrease is likely due to improved personalization efforts as retailers continue to hone the content of their triggered emails to ensure relevance for each recipient. One of the best ways we’ve seen retailers accomplish this personalization is through predictive models that identify customers’ likelihood to take certain actions such as open or unsubscribe from emails. By using these filters, marketers can prevent emails from going to customers who are likely to unsubscribe to keep those shoppers in the fold.

How Does Your Triggered Email Performance Stack Up?

How does your triggered email performance compare to that of retailers like you? Head on over to our Email Performance Calculator to find out.

Paul Vithayathil

Paul Vithayathil

Paul joined the Bluecore team in 2017 with 4+ years of analytics experience in the industry. As the Data Analytics Manager at Bluecore, he is responsible for understanding and analyzing the rich retail data that Bluecore gathers to help retailers solve different business challenges, whether that is through building custom reports, developing retail-specific models or help test different marketing strategies.