Marketing emails promoting discounts appear to be increasing, but L2 research suggests that they might not be that effective. Brands in L2’s Department Stores Index collectively sent 25% more emails in the past year compared to the year before– and 32% of all the messages promoted a discount. While it might be tempting to think that offering consumers a savings will results in better open rates, L2 research found that discount emails were fourth in performance. With an average open rate of 22%, loyalty emails performed noticeably better than discount emails.

Loyalty and event emails present an opportunity to increase engagement, because despite their successful open rates they collectively account for just 15% of all emails sent by brands in L2’s Department Store Index. Next and Farfetch do this well, with a high volume of gift and VIP invitation emails that yield open rates 20 and 18 points above the average respectively. La Rinascente also generates an open rate 10 points above average with invitations to in-store events.

Overall, brands to be taking notice, as event and loyalty emails have increased by 30% year-over-year as of March.

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