Our “2010 Digital Marketer” Shows Who’s Boss (Hint: It’s You)

Today, Experian Marketing Services is proud to release our latest report, the 2010 Digital marketer: Benchmark and trend report. Looking at the data contained within the report, there is certainly a lot of information for email marketers to chew on.

For our loyal readers, I thought I’d add some of my thoughts on the report and explain what these data points mean for the email industry at-large and the state of email marketing.

Let’s jump right in and have a look at what the report tells us:

Time Magazine was right

Way back in December 2006, a number of people (myself included) had a good laugh at the expense of Time Magazine, who named “You” as Person of the Year. At the time, the decision seemed like something of a cop-out and also bit out-of-touch with technology.

But looking at the data from our 2010 Digital marketer: Benchmark and trend report, I couldn’t help but think about Time Magazine and say to myself that they were right — maybe prematurely, but still correct nonetheless. Email marketing today, much like the rest of the Internet, is about you, sometimes even literally. Consider these points from our report:

  • Four out of five industries (business products and services, consumer products and services, multichannel retail, travel and entertainment) used the word “you/your” more than any other word in their email subject lines. The fifth industry (catalogers) actually uses the terms “you/your” more than the other four industries (24% of the time), but they also happen to use the terms “free” and “ship” slightly more than that.
  • The words “you/your” appear in 19.94% of all email marketing subject lines.
  • According to the report, “The increase in usage of the term ‘you/your’ illustrates increased emphasis on businesses building more personal relationships with customers by addressing them directly.”
  • According to the report, ”The top term — ‘you/your’ — indicates a clear connection between consumer product and service businesses and their individual customers. The percentages of any ‘top’ word are lower given the wide mix of businesses and product types in this vertical.”

Viral/WOM marketing is now a reality

Beyond these literal connections with “you, the customer,” the report also touches on the significant power shift in media today. The ability to empower consumers to act as marketers on your behalf — the phenomenon more commonly known as viral or word-of-mouth marketing — is no longer just a marketing pipe dream.

  • The report illustrates that consumers themselves are embracing the concept of viral marketing and actually enjoy acting on behalf of the companies that they know and love; “consumers are increasingly likely to pass those deals on. The share of online adults who say that they are either likely or very likely to forward emails containing promotions or discounts on to others rose to 30 percent in 2009 from 28 percent in 2008.”

Email is key to driving website traffic

For all of the Internet proclamations pronouncing email to be a dead technology, the numbers say that on the contrary email is alive and well. In addition to providing direct, measurable revenue streams, email is also driving business website traffic in general. In the coming weeks we’ll look at how these numbers compare to traffic generated via social networking sites, but in the meantime we can see some impressive numbers from the report.

  • “For most retailers, email messages are an important driver for return visits to their Websites. For example, in November 2009, 11 percent of the traffic to Overstock.com was referred from email, and 62 percent were returning visitors who had not visited the Website in the past 30 days.”

For more insights like these, as well as extensive coverage on related topics such as consumer insight, digital advertising, mobile marketing, and multichannel marketing, download a copy of the 2010 Digital marketer: Benchmark and trend report from Experian.com. And remember, it’s all about “you,” folks!