Acoustic, the largest independent marketing cloud with a total focus on the marketer, released its 2019 Marketing Benchmark Report that details the latest trends in email and mobile marketing based off of 2018 data. The study reveals that consumer engagement with email campaigns is increasing as a result of shifting marketing strategies influenced by privacy regulations, among other year-over-year email and mobile marketing trends.
Regulations that limit how data can be used and shared are rapidly changing the marketing landscape, as they force brands to find new ways to drive loyalty without jeopardizing the privacy of consumers. The 2019 Marketing Benchmark Report shows that email open rates and click-through rates have increased steadily (by 19% and 14% respectively since 2014), signaling that privacy regulations are pushing brands to have an increased focus on list hygiene and higher-quality subscribers, in turn improving campaign targeting and increasing success rates.
“Marketers were initially skeptical of privacy and data regulations like GDPR in the UK and CASL in Canada since they restrict how brands may gain access to and use customer data,” said Loren McDonald, Program Director of Market Research, Acoustic. “But our data shows that these regulations are actually improving results by driving change within marketing organizations, many of which are becoming more focused on consumer trust and the customer experience. In addition to improving permission and data management practices, brands are increasingly using AI to personalize emails, dissect and analyze big data, and detect when campaigns aren’t performing well.”
The Report analyzes email and mobile marketing messages distributed in 2018 by thousands of brands spanning numerous industries and more than 40 countries. This is Acoustic’s debut report based on proprietary data since it separated from IBM in July 2019 becoming the only independent, full-scale marketing cloud entirely dedicated to marketers’ needs.
Additional key findings and analyses include:
- Mobile Engagement Declines: The percentage of consumers opening emails on mobile devices declined to approximately 44% in 2018 from 49% in 2017. During the same time period, the percentage of email recipients opening webmail increased to 40% from 33%, and the percentage of consumers opening emails on desktop declined to nearly 16% from 18%.
- U.S. Click-Through Rates Jump: All major regions experienced increases in click-through rates between 2018 and 2017, but the U.S. saw an impressive 20% year-over-year increase to 3.6% from 3.0%. A greater focus on content optimization for mobile devices is a probable contributing factor to this growth.
- Transactional Messages are Top Performers: Transactional emails that are triggered by a customer’s behavior, like order confirmations and shipping notices, have average (mean) open rates of nearly 44% — 20 percentage points higher than non-transactional emails such as promotional offers or newsletters.
- Automotive and Energy & Environmental Lead the Pack: The Automotive and the Energy & Environmental industries have the highest average email open rates, at approximately 48% and 41% respectively.
- Mobile App Inbox Messages Outperform Push Notifications: Consumers open simple mobile push notifications about 5% of the time while mobile app inbox messages see average (mean) open rates of more than 22%. Push notifications have relatively low open rates because their content — such as a flight delay, package shipping status, or breaking news — often doesn’t require further action from the recipient.
To celebrate the Report’s 10th anniversary as an essential guide for brands across industries looking to improve email and mobile marketing performance, Acoustic’s 2019 Marketing Benchmark Report features a new design and additional insights to help brand marketers find new ways to resonate with their customers and generate loyalty and trust.
For the first time, the Report includes historic trend charts that depict year-over-year data across verticals and geographies. Additionally, Acoustic will be launching an interactive tool that lets marketers instantly compare their click-through and open rates to industry benchmarks and learn how to boost their metrics.
The release of the Marketing Benchmark Report comes amidst a period of rapid momentum for Acoustic. Since the marketing cloud debuted as a standalone company in July 2019, it has unveiled a new brand identity that is singularly focused on the needs of marketers, rebranded its full-scale suite of advanced marketing tech services, announced plans to continue to roll out enhancements to its purpose-built solutions, and bolstered its executive leadership team.
The Report demonstrates the practical applications of Acoustic’s AI-driven, purpose-built open platform technology that 3,500 brands around the world, including Fortune 500 companies, rely on to eliminate friction and give marketers the information they need to do their most brilliant work.