Email is 3.4 times more effective than any other digital channel when it comes to driving retailers’ website traffic, according to new Validity Inc. research. While it often accounts for a small portion of digital marketing budgets, it has the biggest impact on revenue.

Compared to other marketing channels such as social, direct, organic and paid search, display and referral, website visitors through email are more engaged and far more likely to return. Further, if retailers spent just 1% more of their marketing budget on email, they would see a 4.1% uplift in site visits versus under 1% in paid, social and display.

“Australian retailers have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, but in some welcome news for the industry, new research by Validity has shown that email — one of the most accessible and best value digital marketing channels — is the most effective tool for driving much-needed website traffic for retailers during this time,” Validity Inc. vice president for customer engagement, Guy Hanson, told Retailbiz.

The research has also shown that Australian senders are leading the way for email to be a strong performing channel with the average inbox placement rate in Australia is 88%, which is 5 percentage points higher than the global benchmark and on par with the world’s best performing countries.

“Specific to the retail sector, email is driving 18.9% of retailers’ website traffic (up 12% year on year) compared to just 11% in the rest of the world, while email signups are up 80% year on year. These increased sign ups and traffic are driving results, with online retail activity up 115% and revenue for purely e-commerce businesses up 100%, according to Emarsys insights.

“Given online sales have grown so significantly as a result of COVID-19, it will be interesting to see if traditional bricks and mortar stores still hold appeal for shoppers post COVID-19.”

However, Hanson warns that a major challenge for Australian retailers lies in trust levels when it comes to how personal data will be used for personalised marketing and services, with only 22% of consumers trusting retailers, compared with 48% for finance/banking, and 46% for restaurants, a Cheetah Digital report has shown.

“While the future remains uncertain for Australian retailers as the coronavirus situation continues to evolve, one thing is for certain — retailers that adapt and amplify their email programs during this time will reap the benefits,” Hanson said.

This article was first published on Retailbiz.

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