Study: Email subscribers on the rise, post-engagement lags

New subscribers are bolstering marketers’ subscription bases by leaps and bounds, yet click rates continue to decline.
New subscribers make up an average of 6% of marketers' subscriber bases. This is an 8% increase year-over-year (YoY), and 30% jump over the last three years, according to “Q1 2017 Email Marketing Compass: The New Age of Email Marketing,” a report from Yes Lifecycle Marketing
Subscriber motivation to open brand emails has also increased. Open rates grew 4% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) and 9% YoY to reach 16.1%, the highest it's been in the last four years.
However, click rates have consistently declined over time. In Q1 2017, the average click-to-open (CTO) rate decreased by 13% YoY and 22% over the last two years, indicating that brands are not giving consumers what they're looking for in the long run, the study revealed.
"Our findings show that, contrary to what some may believe, consumers actually want to receive marketing emails," said Michael Fisher, president of Yes Lifecycle Marketing. 
"At the same time, however, the decline in click rates shows that marketers' content isn't meeting subscribers' expectations,” he said. “To maintain an engaged subscriber base, marketers need to offer valuable, relevant, and personalized information at every stage of their customers' lifecycles.”
According to the report, one of the best ways for marketers to combat engagement challenges is by implementing triggered campaigns. While triggers are growing in adoption, they made up less than 7% of total emails sent in the first quarter of 2017. Yet, they generated almost five times the click rate, almost double the open rate, and nearly triple the CTO rate of business-as-usual emails.
Other findings include:
• The average order value for triggered retail messages was $61.54 compared to $56.34 for non-triggered messages, a 9% increase.
• The average click to open rate was 8.9%, which remained about the same QoQ and decreased 13% YoY.
• With the exception of Q4 2016, Saturday emails have been the best for conversions three out of the last four quarters.
"It's evident that marketers are working toward mastering subscriber acquisition, but they still struggle to create engaging, long-lasting relationships with their customers," said Michael Iaccarino, CEO and chairman of Infogroup, parent company of Yes Lifecycle Marketing. "Marketers need to communicate faster, smarter, and better at every step of the customer journey.”
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