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New research shows the impact of email for retailers during lockdown

New research from Validity, has revealed the role of email in guiding retailers journeys through the COVID-19 lockdown.

Over April and May 2020, email marketing correspondence has driven 16% of all visits to UK retailers’ websites, an increase of 18% compared to April and May 2019. Compared to other marketing channels (social, direct, organic search, paid search and display and referral) visitors through email were not only more engaged, but far more likely to return. Across Europe, email visitors viewed on average 5.8 pages on the site before leaving, compared to 4.7 pages for the other channels. Almost three quarters of site visitors from email return to the site, compared to only half from any other channel.

Steve Lunniss, Head of CRM at Wowcher says since the Pandemic struck, Wowcher “has seen an increase in engagement. More people are coming to the site, more people are engaging with emails, presumably because more people have been at home and it’s hard to go out shopping right now. Online retailers like us are benefiting from that. Interestingly, up until the pandemic, we predominantly had people opening on mobile, but desktop has come back in a very strong way.”

Despite this, only 3% of digital marketing spend in 2020 is being spent on email (Forrester). If retailers were to spend 1% more of marketing budget on email, they’d get over three times the return on increasing site visits –  4.1% uplift in site visits versus under 1% in Paid, Social and Display. In fact, if budgets were across channels, email would provide seven times more visits than paid search, 11 times more than social and 23 times more than display.

Magnus Eén, Deliverability Manager at international homewares retailer, Westwing Home & Living, said email is the core of the company’s marketing strategy: “We use Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, all types of media. However, email remains the core in what we do. It’s by far the most important channel. We are around or even above 50% [for website visits from email]. We are heavily relying on email being one of the things that engage customers the most. Due to that we have a very strong focus on deliverability and email performance. I think engagement is one of the most important aspects of deliverability. It’s a win for your customers, it’s a win for the mailbox service providers and a win for us.”