The Big 3 for Email Marketers: Gmail, China and Spam

The Big 3 for Email Marketers Gmail, China and SpamResponsys, the email marketing firm recently purchased by Oracle Corp., recently released a report called “The New School Marketer’s Guide to Email Deliverability,” and one of the more interesting tidbits highlighted by Internet Retailer is the fact that, when it comes to unwanted email marketing messages in both North America and Europe, 80% of those messages are produced by “hard-core” spammers.

The report says that, when it comes to spam, eight out of every 10 messages can be traced to a hard-core group of approximately 100 spam operations through aliases, addresses, locations of servers and redirects.

Spam wasn’t the only focus of the report, which also offered retailers tips about reaching consumers in China as well as the changes made to Gmail by parent company Google Inc. last year.

First Google. About a year ago they revamped the inbox organization of Gmail, their email platform, in order to automatically filter emails. Marketing emails, unless the consumer indicates they want to see a specific brand’s messages, now go to the default “promotions” tab.

This didn’t exactly sit well with many E retailers, including Groupon, Inc. who said that they suffered financial losses because more shoppers were leaving their emails unopened due to the change.

Interestingly however, the report also said that the change “gives marketers an audience with a propensity to buy”. The reason? Because consumers can go to the Promotions tab looking for the offers that they want. The Responsys report even suggested to marketers that they “pay extra attention to subject lines” because, since all marketing messages will be in one place, a better subject line will help them to stand out.

Now China. The report noted that “emailing to consumers in China is becoming increasingly important for many marketers.” When you consider that China recently surpassed the U.S. in terms of e-commerce, that newfound importance is not surprising.

In 2013 online retail sales in China totaled almost $300 billion, or 13% more than e-retail sales in the United States. Even more interesting is the fact that the average consumer in China uses email less for online retailing than they do for work.

Just like with Google, the Responsys report also made a point about subject lines and messages. “Generic messages do tend to perform well” it said, adding that “be sure to send individually relevant information wherever possible.”

One last note of interest in the report was that marketers should be prepared for lower click through and open rates when marketing to China. Although it’s approximately 25% globally, an open rate of 12% to 15% in China is to be expected says the report, noting that these numbers don’t necessarily point to a failed campaign.