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Marketing News South Africa

Report: Significant changes in email usage

A report has unveiled distinct correlations between the economy, consumer trends, and other determinative events and how people connected with companies and their email content.

The Everlytic Email Marketing Benchmark Report 2022 analysed data from the more than 10 billion bulk emails sent by customers over 2020 and 2022. Unpacking insights, trends, industry shifts and user behaviours from emails and opens, the research discovered a landscape fundamentally reshaped by the events of the past three years.

Hospitality and travel hard hit

“The data found some interesting parallels between how users engaged with email marketing and specific trends in the industry,” says Louise Krog, executive head of sales and marketing at Everlytic. “There are distinct correlations between what was going on with the economy, consumer trends, and other determinative events and how people connected with companies and their email content.”

Hospitality, tourism, and travel were hard hit by the pandemic with below-average open rates in 2020. Thanks to trends like ‘revenge travel’ and digital nomad working, the sector has since seen a 49% increase in open rates in 2022. Open rates across all sectors surveyed by Everlytic have increased to an all-time high of 29.28%, a 17% increase on 2020. After the travel and hospitality sector, technology had the most significant increase of 43%, followed by property and real estate (26%), and business and consulting services (25%). These upticks in user open rates are aligned with the trends of online shopping, entrepreneurialism, home delivery optimisation and hybrid working.

Business consulting had a 128% increase in click-to-open rates in 2022. This reflects a growing trend towards outsourcing admin and services to streamline costs and improve time management and is very much in line with the hybrid working trend and the need to outsource expertise rather than keep everyone in-house and in the office.

Automative shift

The report also unpacked the trends around unsubscribes and complaints and found that the automotive industry experienced the biggest shift in terms of both. This suggests that recipients may not be receiving messaging that speaks to their needs, or they’re perceiving it as spam.
"Complaints and unsubscribes are an opportunity for companies to unpack why their emails aren’t resonating with their customers,” says Krog.

“The pandemic has changed how people think and feel about certain topics and so companies need to reflect this change in their communications and approaches. They can use the shift in consumer attitudes to redirect them to other email campaigns or targeted communications that allow for them to nurture customers on a different level.”

There has also been a striking change in platform rates – a metric that uses the same technology used to track email opens. According to the report, “Desktop and mobile opens have plummeted across all industries and the use of web apps has skyrocketed.” This is due to the email privacy changes in platforms like Gmail and Apple Mail and their move to give recipients the option to choose how much visibility marketers have on their email engagement.

The report goes on to analyse the metrics, the research, and the data in extensive detail, providing visibility into the opportunities, the trends, the markets and the approaches that have influenced email marketing over 2020 and 2022. With these insights, sectors can refine their communications and ensure relevance, engagement and traction with campaigns that resonate.

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