Study: Personalized Emails Deliver 6X Higher Transaction Rates, But 70% Of Brands Fail To Use Them

Experian Marketing Services has released its 2013 Email Marketing Study, analyzing a wide breadth of email marketing best practices, including personalization, social integration, mobile and customer preferences.

According to the study’s findings, personalized promotional emails were shown to lift transaction rates and revenue per email six times higher than non-personalized emails. Surprisingly, the majority of companies included in Experian’s study requested customer data, but 70 percent of the brands failed to personalize their email messages.

Email Personalization

Not only did personalization prove to lift transaction rates and revenue, Experian claimed personalized promotional mailings had 29 percent higher unique open rates and 41 percent higher unique click rates. For triggered email campaigns, personalization resulted in double the transaction rates compared to non-personalized triggered emails.

Experian’s research showed personalized subject lines delivered 26 percent higher unique open rates overall, with travel companies experiencing the “biggest boost” from personalized subject lines.

Unique Open Rates for Emails with Personalized Subject Lines by Industry:

E-receipts and Confirmed Opt-In Emails

E-receipts and confirmed opt-in (COI) emails also garnered high response rates. Experian’s data confirmed, when compared to bulk email campaigns, e-receipts had double the open rates and resulted in more revenue per email, but failed to deliver as many unique clicks.

E-Receipts Compared to Bulk Emails:

Conversely, COI emails delivered higher unique clicks, but fewer unique opens. Experian found COI sign-up emails delivered 2.7 times higher click rates and COI reactivation emails won 3.3 times higher click rates.

COI Unique Open and Unique Click Rates:

Email Marketing Social Integration

Experian discovered 96 percent of marketers promoted company social profiles in the headers and footers of their marketing emails, with Pinterest and Instagram promotions seeing a significant rise since 2012.

Which social networks do you display or promote in emails?

Beyond promoting social pages in email headers and footers, 33 percent of the brands connected to Experian’s study used “Pin It” buttons in emails, 43 percent included “Like It” buttons, 21 percent included “Tweet This” buttons, and 15 percent offered social sharing opportunities at check-out.

Mobile Marketing

Experian’s mobile data showed that half of all unique email opens occur on a mobile device, with the majority of unique clicks – 39 percent – also happening on mobile. Yet, last year, 24 percent of the brands included in the Experian’s study still did not optimize marketing emails for mobile.

Of the brands leveraging mobile marketing campaigns, 75 percent were sending promotional emails with coupons or discount codes.

What type of mobile campaigns do you currently send?

Experian’s data revealed more than half of the brands in the study are not leveraging SMS or MMS campaigns:

While 71 percent of brands market in the mobile channel, the majority are not optimizing the potential to connect and engage with their customers through a range of different mobile marketing tactics.

Do you currently send SMS or MMS campaigns?

Customer Preferences

One area where brands continue to fail is marketing to customers based on their preferences. Only seven percent of the brands included in Experian’s study use customer preferences to determine marketing channels.

Of the marketers included in the study, only 35 percent ask customers how often they wish to receive emails, while 60 percent do not give customers the option to select the type of emails they want to receive.

Can your customers select the types of emails they want to receive?

About The Author

Amy Gesenhues
Amy Gesenhues is Third Door Media's General Assignment Reporter, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including,, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy's articles.