Without a doubt, the most common request we receive from email marketers is for triggered email marketing benchmarks. While it is certainly important to benchmark your program against industry standards, doing so can sometimes result in comparing apples to oranges.
eCommerce marketers market products that fall within an incredibly wide range of price points and order values. Consumers looking to make a $100 purchase and consumers looking to make a $10,000 purchase shop differently, and as a result, may respond just as differently to triggered emails.
Bluecore’s customer base reflects this wide spectrum. We send triggered emails for retailers with products that range from dish towels to diamonds and target shoppers who range from making purchases weekly to annually. In an effort to improve benchmark accuracy (and offer apple-to-apple comparisons), we decided to break down triggered email benchmarks by average order value.
To do this, we pulled data from over 250 of Bluecore’s eCommerce brands which collectively send hundreds of millions of triggered emails per year. We found the average order value by dividing a customer’s total triggered email attributed revenue by the total number of conversions over a full year of data. As an example, if a customer had $1,000 of attributed revenue from 10 conversions, the average order value would be $100. Here’s what we found:
[For more insights, download our 2016 Triggered Email Benchmark Report]
Larger Order Values Have Highest Revenue Per Email
Starting with probably the most obvious insight, we found that retailers with larger average order values overwhelmingly have a much higher revenue per email. The consistent correlation between the increase in average revenue per email with the increase in average order value highlights the importance of segmenting out triggered email benchmark metrics this way. Just imagine the discouragement if retailers with an average order value of $25 compared their average revenue per email to retailers in the $1,000+ order value range.
Average revenue per email by order value
Larger Order Values Also Have Highest Unsubscribe Rate
Sometimes you can’t have the yin without the yang. Although the highest order value sees the highest average revenue per email by significant margin, it also sees the highest unsubscribe rate. Because of this, retailers with large average order values need to be particularly careful when they think about how many marketing touches a shopper will receive throughout the purchase funnel.
Average unsubscribe rate by order value
Large Order Values Have Highest Average Open Rate and Click Rate
Generally speaking, open rates and click rates tend to improve as order value increases. This could be due to a number of reasons. Larger orders typically have longer sales cycles as they warrant more thought and consideration prior to purchase. Shoppers in this price range are more likely to do comparison shopping and view product pages a number of times.
Average click rate by order value
At the same time, smaller purchases may fall into impulse or necessity categories. A $10 order could be an impulse accessory, like a headband, or a necessity, like socks. Because these order values don’t require much consideration, if the shopper decided against purchasing, they’re probably less likely to be convinced otherwise later on. For retailers that fall within these lower average order values, be sure to look at how many views will result in your highest chance for conversion to optimize your triggered email program accordingly.
Average open rate by order value
Conversion Metrics Peak at $50 – $100 Order Value
Finally, when it comes to metrics that email marketers probably care about most, conversion rates perform the strongest within the $50 – $100 order value. This may be due to the fact that orders in the $50 – $100 range fall within a sweet spot between affordable impulse or necessity purchases and expensive luxury or investment buys. These mid range purchases require some consideration and an additional triggered email touch is enough to push a conversion.
Average conversion rate by order value
Overall, conversion metrics seem to decrease as order values increase. This could be because the eligible audience who can afford to make the purchases gets smaller and smaller as price tags gets bigger and bigger. It could also be due to these having a quality over quantity shopping mindset and simply purchasing less frequently.
Average click-to-conversion rate by order value
Benchmark Your Program by Order Value to Optimize Appropriately
Although every triggered email marketing program is different, benchmarking your program against retailers with similar average order values will help you gain more accurate insights into your program’s performance. However regardless of where your program falls, the best way to measure and optimize your triggered email program is to measure against yourself and try to improve your metrics month over month. For more information on triggered email marketing measurement and optimization, check out our Ultimate Guide to Triggered Email for eCommerce. It’s everything you need to know, all in one guide.