Email, SMS & push message marketing: Report shows increasing influence on consumer purchasing decisions - ClickZ

30-second summary:

  • Email marketing conversions continue to climb: Email marketing’s performance continues to strengthen. In Q3 2020 alone, the conversion rate for promotional emails increased by 169% year-over-year. The metrics for automated emails are even more impressive.
  • Marketing automation is a must for ecommerce brands: Email marketing automation drove 32% of email conversions while accounting for less than 2% of total email sends. Brands wanting to increase revenue should look to automate revenue-driving messages.
  • SMS marketing is accelerating quickly: In Q3, there was a 237% lift in SMS messages sent over the same period in 2019, accompanied by a significant increase in both click and conversion rates. Expect SMS to increase in usage even more during the holiday shopping season.
  • Push message marketing: While still in the early stages, push message marketing is showing signs of increased adoption by online stores. Year-over-year, we saw a nearly 1700% increase in messages sent. Sporting a 30% conversion rate, retailers who begin experimenting with this channel may be able to drive incremental revenue and stay ahead of the competition.

The holiday season is here, and  for retailers and consumers alike, increased attention on online channels has created a more crowded and competitive marketing space. For online businesses, finding opportunities to maximize revenue from digital marketing channels is a top priority for not only the holiday season but also in 2021. But which channels provide this opportunity?Omnisend, an email, SMS, and web push message marketing platform, analyzed data for over three billion emails, and nine million SMS and push messages sent from their marketing platform during Q3 2020.

Their report looked at sends, (Read more...) clicks, and conversions metrics, further breaking them down by promotional and automated messages and year-over-year performance.

Here’s what the report showed and ways ecommerce businesses can use that information to increase future sales now.

Email marketing drives sales and consumers look for it

Email marketing continues to be one of the go-to channels for retailers. This became more evident as we inched closer to the holiday season, with sends increasing each month compared to the same period in 2019.

In September alone, there was a 93% year-over-year increase in promotional emails sent by online businesses. For the entire third quarter, the year-over-year lift in sends was 72%.

However, more than sends alone, consumers were actively engaging with brand emails.

Open rates for promotional emails increased 22% over the same period in 2019, while the conversion rate for promotional email campaigns was an astounding 7.66%—a 169% lift year-over-year and a 43% lift over Q2 2020. Not only are retailers sending more emails but subscribers are actively opening and shopping from them.

For consumers, email marketing is a trusted, opt-in marketing channel. Online retailers should look at these engagement and purchasing trends with opt-in channels and continue to invest in not only growing their email list but also the tools to help maximize sales.

Automated email marketing is extremely powerful

Automated email marketing traditionally outperforms promotional sends due to their relevant nature, and in Q3, this became even more evident. With an average open rate of 34%, click rate of 19%, and conversion rate of 34%, the performance of these messages removed what little, if any, doubt remained of their value for online businesses’ sales growth.

The open, click, and conversion rate of automated messages all improved compared to the same period last year. Maybe the most astonishing proof of how valuable automated messages can be for ecommerce businesses is that 32% of all email conversions during Q2 came from automated messages, while the total sends of those messages was less than 2%.

Retailers focused on maximizing their email marketing sales should look no further than revenue-driving automation such as welcome messages, cart abandonment, and browse and product abandonment messages. These three messages made up 69% of automated message conversions in Q3, boasting conversion rates as high as 42%. They’re simply too powerful to ignore.

SMS and web push message marketing is on the rise

While email garners the majority of attention, SMS and push messages are two channels increasingly being adopted by both consumers and retailers, with SMS taking the biggest leap. After all, SMS is now a standard, if not the standard, communication channel for most people on a daily basis.

In Q3, Omnisend sent 237% more SMS messages compared to the same period in 2019, and 97% more than than last quarter. In addition to the increase in sends, both click and conversion rates saw year-over-year increases, realizing a 19% and 98% lift respectively—illustrating the high level of consumer engagement with messages via the channel.

Like with email, SMS should be viewed as a trusted marketing channel. As email engagement increased since  the pandemic settled in, so too did the reliance on SMS marketing for ecommerce brands. SMS not only continued to increase in sends each month leading up to the holidays but year-over-year conversion rates are consistently higher.

With web push marketing messages, the channel is still in its early days—but it is growing rapidly. Year-over-year sends increased by nearly 1700%, sporting a 54% view rate and a 30% conversion rate.

These are both incredible numbers. And while some retailers are still figuring out how to best use them, INGLOT Canada earns a monstrous 4798% lift in revenue per message when using them in their abandoned cart strategy.

Companies should be actively collecting mobile numbers and web push permissions to begin testing the waters—especially during the holidays. Because SMS and push messages can work both in tandem with email and as stand-alone channels, companies should also find a marketing provider that can support all channels in conjunction with one another.

Increase sales, not the workload

Email is a proven revenue-driver, and it is showing no signs of slowing down—but it’s no longer a one-channel show. The performance of automated emails, combined with the emergence of SMS and push message marketing, demonstrates just how much opportunity still exists for online DTC brands to increase sales across a variety of channels.

Online brands who achieve the most success will be those who maximize their marketing automation and incorporate other trusted channels into their marketing mix, giving consumers exactly what they signed up for.

Key takeaways:

  • With promotional email conversion rates nearing a whopping 8% and welcome message conversion rates at over 50%, brands should aggressively collect email subscribers and automate welcome messaging to their new subscribers.
  • Marketing automation is how brands will increase online email sales. With automated emails driving 32% of email conversions with less than 2% of total email sends, brands who fail to implement key revenue-driving messages (welcome, and cart, browse and product abandonment messages) will find themselves playing catch up in 2021.
  • SMS marketing is quickly becoming a must-have channel for brands. Sends increased 97% from Q2 2020 and 237% in Q3 year-over-year, and conversion rates increased 10% and 169% respectively. Brands should aggressively collect mobile numbers as they do email addresses and begin their SMS marketing activities immediately.
  • Begin experimenting with web push messaging automation. These messages generated a 30% conversion rate in Q3, showing that these timely messages hold significant influence in consumer purchasing decisions.

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