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Email Experian

How much is your email address worth?


By Richard Jenkings, Lead Consultant, Experian Marketing Services

April 4, 2012 | 5 min read

It’s is easy to see why an email address is often referred to as our ‘passport’ on the Internet - it is the key to connecting people and unlocking content. Customers can access a wealth of content online just by inputting an email address. As such, an email address is extremely valuable to customers, but what is the email address actually worth to a brand over time?

The answer to that question is £84.50.

To calculate this, Experian CheetahMail conducted some analysis of client email data; taking into consideration aspects such as the following:

• the standard life cycle of an email (a four-year period)

• the average email address received eight communications a month from any given brand

• the average number of mailings received in any given campaign

• the average number of mailings sent per client/month

• the average transaction amount per email.

£84.50 is a cross-industry average and we do see a great deal of variation of the lifetime value across different vertical sectors; the lifetime value of a travel email currently stands at £236, whereas an email within the retail sector comes in significantly lower at £79.

While this difference can be linked to the type of typical purchases in these sectors, we looked at the different customer bases in detail to see how they vary. We found that mailing lists for travel companies are usually smaller and more refined, consisting of customers who have made previous purchases and are likely to buy again. In the retail sector, brands tend to have larger mailing lists that include high numbers of inactive or low frequency customers that in turn reduces the value of each individual email address.

This cross-vertical variation of value demonstrates that £84.50 is very fluid and can most certainly be influenced by the strategy and detail behind email marketing campaigns. The more you put into it, the more you stand to get out of it.

So what steps can marketers across all sectors take to increase the value of an email address?

Marketers need to look closely at the detail. Does the content of your email correctly reflect the interests of your target customer? Is your email reaching the right customers at the right time? By making sure these simple yet crucial areas of your email marketing campaign are addressed, brands can effectively look to increase the lifetime value of an email.

Timing - The time that an email reaches a customer’s inbox is crucial. They may be more inclined to open and read an email newsletter in the morning or out of work hours, and more likely to click through retail emails around lunchtime. Timing is everything, and by testing different deployment times and analysing results from previous campaigns, marketers can optimise results and see higher open and CTR.

Frequency - Frequency also plays a key role in the success of emails being read. If a customer is receiving a large number of emails daily from a particular brand, the likelihood is that a number of these emails will remain unread. Don’t overfill your customer’s inbox, and address the frequency of your email - you will have more success sending one interesting, relevant email a week rather than bombarding customers with multiple emails about the same topic.

Inboxes as individuals, not machines - Successful email marketing campaigns are the ones that address customers as individuals, so make sure you look at your customer preferences, and fine tune your emails accordingly. To encourage continued engagement, recipients need to be treated in a personal manner, and not just as a member of a mailing list. Making sure your emails are personalised to each end user will again ensure continued engagement with your campaigns.

Subject Line - With most email providers, the subject line is the only thing between a recipient clicking on your email, or instantly deleting it. A subject line provides the recipient with a taste of what the email holds so it needs to be punchy, engaging and relevant. By thoroughly planning email campaigns based on data insights as well as creative content, marketers will ensure greater success, higher click-through rates and larger conversion figures.

Email image from Shutterstock

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