Continuing Monday’s theme of things in Marketing we are not particularly fond of, here is another look at Big Data, the meme that keeps on meming (see here and here for our earlier knocks on this dopey topic).
Back in April of this year, Epsilon released another of its quarterly reports, highlighting email stats assembled from its proprietary data set (official name = North America Email Trends and Benchmarks Results). At that time it included, for the first time ever, data related to “triggered email messages” – emails sent as a consequence of a time trigger (e.g., customer birthday) or behavioral trigger (e.g., customer applied for a loan).
Epsilon found that triggered email messages comprised less than 3% of all emails sent during Q4 2011. Not surprising, given the “spray and pray” mentality of email marketers.
But the next bit of data was a big surprise: triggered email “had 96% higher open rates and 125% higher click rates” than all other email message types.
That should have caused a riot, but as usual in the marketing industry – since it had nothing to do with social media – NOBODY NOTICED. Imagine if someone told your financial planner that there was a way to double his clients’ return, yet he did nothing. You’d fire him.
What an opportunity for “Big Data.” And really not that “big” a task. Example: for every person who abandons an online shopping cart – which still happens most of the time someone starts filling one – an email should automatically be triggered, with a tailored message and offer. This would require just two data bases, and one person’s time for about 23 minutes a day.
What an easy proof point for “integrated real-time blah blah blah” data-driven marketing. But the Big Data folks are too busy with Big Talk. The Etailing Group found that "abandoned cart emails" are actually being sent LESS frequently than ever. And Epsilon’s latest benchmark report shows triggered emails still account for LESS THAN 3% of all emails.