Earlier this month we participated in Emarsys’s virtual event, Retail Renaissance, where we took the virtual stage with Steve Henderson, the company’s Head of Global Deliverability. When it comes to topics like deliverability, data quality, and compliance, he’s one of the smartest people I know. We had a great conversation about the relationship between better data, better engagement, and better return on investment (ROI), which included how, on average, Validity’s Certification program, the industry’s most powerful allow-listing and sending practices program, showed a 35% improvement in delivery for Emarsys.
In order to reach the pinnacle where all three pieces in the data relationship are working in sync, we determined companies need to:
- Define service levels, both internal and external;
- Ensure data quality is a function of correctness and completeness;
- Create a virtuous circle in the relationship between data quality and consumer trust; and
- Improve cross-functional ownership in order to raise data quality to C-suite consciousness.
Better data has driven a post-GDPR “halo effect” for email marketing performance and data quality and is the foundation for email effectiveness, delivering 11% of global retail website traffic, while also being three times more cost effective than social media, paid search, and display advertising, according to Validity’s own research. Even so, these metrics still underplay email’s effectiveness – as surprising as that sounds.
According to the UK’s DMA’s Consumer Email Tracker 2020 report, awareness created by email also results in alternative actions, such as visits to the sender’s social media page; making contact with call centers; and going to a brick and mortar location, the impact of which is around twice that reported by click-throughs alone.
The Benefits of Certification
While data quality is vital for driving subscriber engagement and click-through traffic, Steve and I discussed it’s not the only factor. As Steve put it, “Marketers today have to be experts across a wide range of technology and channels, as well as compete with AI and evolving technology to filter and protect the inbox. Many will benefit from a helping hand.”
For thousands of email marketers, that helping hand arrives in the form of Validity’s Certification, which Emarsys uses for its email programs. Being a data-centric and compliance-focused person, I worked with Steve to analyze how Emarsys has benefitted from our Certification.
In 2019, Emarsys certified 20 email programs spanning three continents. The analysis was done over a six-month timeframe, during which three months of pre- and post-Certification performances were compared, with a focus on click rates, given the strong correlation between clicks and conversions.
They also used factors such as recipient type, content, and strategy to construct a “Best Fit” profile.
While Steve and I anticipated a positive outcome, even we were impressed by the findings, which are outlined below:
Average open rates across all 20 senders increased by 27% during the three-month period following activation of Certification, while average click-through rates increased by 35%.
For “Best Fit” senders, the ones anticipated to benefit most based on Steve’s data profiling, the results were even more impressive.
Their average open rates increased 45% during the three-month period following activation of Certification, while average click-through rates increased by a phenomenal 74%.
Performance uplifts like this mean big financial benefits, too. In the UK, the customer lifetime value (CLV) of an email address is £34.56. Using average time on list and average contact frequency we can derive a revenue per email sent figure of ± 7.5p.
“Not all programs need a complete overhaul, but many can benefit from the extra support,” noted Steve. “Certification provides the edge companies need not only to reach the inbox, but to positively affect their bottom line. Something all organizations can get behind.”
Want to hear more? You can access a recording of our presentation here. We will be reviewing these findings in more detail on our webinar on October 15, so keep an eye on our upcoming webinar page for more details coming soon.
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