Brands Send More Email As Consumers Grow More Selective about Opening Messages

Twilio (NYSE: TWLO), the cloud communications platform, has announced the results of the fourth annual Twilio SendGrid Email Benchmark and Engagement Study conducted to analyze the email sending patterns of brands and the engagement preferences of consumer recipients, the company said .

The study includes recommendations for how senders can improve their email programs by carefully considering the critical elements that impact a recipient´s decision to open a message and click on the embedded links.

The study analyzed sending and engagement data from more than 80,000 global Twilio SendGrid customers who send more than 60 billion emails each month. Twilio SendGrid also performed entirely new research for this year´s study, which included both a qualitative ethnographic study of 40 participants from the United States and the United Kingdom, and a quantitative online survey of 1,600 participants from the US and the UK.

Findings included: 97% of survey participants consider email and 85% consider text messages to be the most essential channels for communication between brands and consumers. 84% of survey participants check their email at least once a day and the majority of participants check messages numerous times throughout the day.

Brands increased the number of email messages sent per month in 2019, however email recipient open and click rates dropped, reversing a trend that was developing in prior studies. The average monthly send rate increased from a median 7 emails per month in 2018, to 8.3 in 2019, while aggregate open rates dropped from 18% to 14.5% and aggregate click rates dropped from 2% to 1.6%, respectively.

The recipient´s familiarity with the brand of the sender is the most influential factor for opening an email and 81% of participants shared that this influences their decision to click on the links within an email. Messages sent to recipients that are unaware of a brand, or who have never interacted with it in the past, are likely to be ignored.

Message content and relevance are the second most influential factors for email engagement. Recipients favor a clear descriptive subject line that aligns with the content inside the email, and prefer personalized, curated recommendations and offers based on products from their purchase history, rather than on items they might have only been browsing on a company´s website.

The vast majority of participants, 85% across the US and the UK, indicated they want images in their emails.

In 2019, the number of clicks on mobile vs. desktop devices increased from 55.6% to 61.9%. However, recipients in the ethnography study noted that they frequently switch between mobile and non-mobile devices, and even prefer to look at some messages on desktop over mobile because it provides a better shopping experience.

Millions of developers around the world have used Twilio to unlock the magic of communications to improve any human experience. Twilio has democratized communications channels like voice, text, chat, video and email by virtualizing the world´s communications infrastructure through APIs that are simple enough for any developer to use, yet robust enough to power the world´s most demanding applications. By making communications a part of every software developer´s toolkit, Twilio is enabling innovators across every industry — from emerging leaders to the world´s largest organizations — to reinvent how companies engage with their customers.