Email campaigns can be a crucial tool for retailers, but many brands fail to use them effectively. L2’s Email report divides brands into four categories, according to both the number of emails they send and the percentage of recipients who open them.
Brands in the top half of the quadrant boast above-average open rates, indicating that they have figured out how to effectively engage consumers. Brands in the top right quadrant frequently reach out to customers to keep them engaged, while those in the top left manage to keep engagement high with relatively few emails. For example, Best Buy sends comparatively fewer emails than competitors but personalizes subject lines, pitches its rewards program, and aggressively retargets customers who abandon their orders to encourage them to return.
Laggards have low engagement, but this can be explained by the fact that they send few emails – an easy fix. In contrast, brands in the “email fatigue” quadrant are in a tougher position: they send a ton of emails, but relatively few people open them. Bloomingdale’s sent 93 commercial campaigns during the study period, but only had a 15% open rate – an issue that the study suggests could be attributed to the diversity of the brand’s inventory. As a department store, Bloomingdale’s sells products across a range of categories, so few emails would be relevant to more than a handful of customers. However, the average Bloomingdale’s email goes to 26% of the brand’s list.
The study advises brands like Bloomingdale’s to increase segmentation, targeting messages to a smaller percentage of relevant recipients. Email campaigns sent to less than a quarter of a brand’s total list boast an average open rate of 25%, compared to just 21% for campaigns sent to larger segments.