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Q3 2012 North America Email Trend Results: More Brands Rely on Triggered Messaging

Triggered Message Usage Increases 10.3% Over 2011, Outperforming Business As Usual Messaging Across Key Metrics

Dallas, TX — December 10, 2012 — Epsilon, the global leader in delivering direct-to-consumer connections that drive business performance, and Email Institute, the Epsilon-powered email best practices destination, today released the Q3 2012 North America Email Trends and Benchmarks report. The report shows growth in the use of triggered messaging, up 10.3% year over year. Triggered messages yielded 75.1% higher open rates and 114.8% higher click rates compared to Business As Usual (BAU) messages in Q3 2012.

"It's no surprise that triggered messaging improves customer engagement, builds loyalty and drives sales," said Judy Loschen, Vice President of Digital Analytics at Epsilon. "The challenge is the integration of triggered message systems, as with other real time systems, can be an overwhelming and often lengthy process that requires significant investment to yield the pay-off. Over the past year we've seen many marketers investing in the implementation of triggered message systems because the return on investment is significant and the results are immediate."

Business As Usual (BAU) Email Trends
The quarterly analysis is compiled from 6.4 billion emails sent by Epsilon in July, August and September 2012 across multiple industries and approximately 170 participating clients. The analysis combines data from Epsilon's proprietary platforms.

BAU Highlights:

  • Non-Bounce rate remained strong at 96.1%.
  • Open rates increased both quarter over quarter (+6.5%) and year over year (+14.6%), resulting in an overall open rate of 27.2%.
  • Click rates increased 0.1 percentage point (2.7% overall) from Q212 to 4.5%.

Triggered Messages Email Trends
Triggered message benchmarks are compiled from over 166 million triggered emails sent by Epsilon in Q3 2012 across multiple industries. Results track campaigns deployed as a result of an action or trigger such as Welcome, Abandon Shopping Cart, Thank You and Anniversary.

Triggered Highlights:

  • Triggered messages accounted for 2.6% of total volume, 10.3% higher than Q311 (2.3%).
  • Triggered open rates were 75.1% higher than for Business as Usual messages.
  • Triggered click rates continued to perform well, reporting 114.8% higher than BAU. Q311 triggered click rates showed a 108.6% lift over BAU.

Email Activity Segment Evaluation (EASE)
These metrics are compiled from over 741 million non-bounced and opted-in email addresses that were contacted from October 1, 2011 to September 30, 2012, across multiple industries and approximately 150 clients. The EASE analysis, which includes behavioral segments, examined the overall performance of the average email file.

EASE Highlights:

  • Nearly half of an average email file (49%) had at least one open or click during the 12-month study period.
  • 66% of new subscribers in an average list had no opens or clicks.
  • Approximately 28% of subscribers in an average email file had opened or clicked in the most recent three months.

"It's also important to note that our EASE analysis found that over half of an average email list is unengaged. This highlights a significant opportunity for marketers to reactivate this dormant asset. Email marketers should view subscriber engagement as a strategy — not a one-off campaign — and focus on segmentation strategies to provide relevant and timely messages at the proper cadence to create a more meaningful dialogue and reestablish their relationship with consumers," said Loschen.

For more information and industry-specific benchmarks, the Q3 2012 Email Trends and Benchmark report is available at www.epsilon.com/pr/Q312emailbenchmarks.