Post-purchase emails, which contain information of completed purchases (order confirmation, receipts, etc) has proven to produce better ROI for marketers.

The finding comes from a report into the effectiveness of various marketing email types by data performance company Return Path, as email marketing remains one of the most used communication channels by marketers to connect with their target audience, with an average ROI of $38 for every $1 spent.

By analysing data consisting of more than 3,000 commercial senders, one million panelists and more than 600,000 commercial emails sent to users on Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and AOL, the research uncovered the benefits and shortfalls of a number of email campaign types when trying to successfully engage with the consumer.

Post-purchase emails on top

Post-purchase emails, which contain information of completed purchases (order confirmation, receipts, etc), outperformed every other email campaign type on inbox placement (98%), high read-rate (44%) and low deletion (7%). Meanwhile, promotional emails, which highlight a product, service or sale, accounted for more than 70% of all messages.

Promotional emails, however, fell short compared to other email types with a read-rate of just 19%. Welcome emails also had the lowest placement rate (84%) and the highest complaint rate (0.62%) of any email campaign type.

Impact on marketers

Although findings are mixed, it’s fair to say that email marketing is still effective if marketers can get it right. However, in order to achieve the best possible performance and ROI it is important for marketers to connect with the right email products or services to the audience that fits to the customer’s needs at the right time.

In addition, with newer technologies being introduced it’s likely email marketers will be trying out new methods to create more deeper and meaningful campaigns.

When it comes to improving on the shortfalls spotted by Return Path, Vivek Sharma, CEO of Movable Ink explained at the end of 2017 that machine learning can help marketers to create emails that are “more persuasive, personalised, responsive and relevant” to their audience.

“Machine learning will be the essential capability in leveraging vast amounts of data from multiple sources [websites, blogs, social channels, partners, etc.] and customer behaviours to generate content that’s optimized for every customer at any moment,” he said.