2017 Metrics Show Email Marketing More Challenging & More Popular Than Ever


By Bob West


Everybody who has an email address knows that companies send more emails than ever before. Marketers clearly appreciate how cost effective email marketing can be and the results that email marketing can deliver.


These trends are certainly true in agricultural marketing, too. At Meister Media, we use the term ‘edirect’ for our email list rental and delivery service, and we sent 7% more edirects for clients in 2017 compared to 2016. After reviewing the metrics from these 263 different sends to more than 1.2 million total emails, we identified the following key takeaways for marketers:


  1. Email marketing clearly offers value and should be a part of your marketing program. We’re sending emails for more clients every year, and many of them are sending more efforts year after year.


  1. Subject lines matter more than ever. Subject lines play a key role in maximizing open rates of an email. Your edirect competes for time and attention with every other email in your audience’s in box, so your subject line has to communicate the value of the email and why recipients will benefit from opening it. Our analysis of every edirect we sent in 2017 illustrates this well. Growers and retailers are most likely to open emails that offer them ideas that will help their business. Here are the subject lines from edirects that produced some of the highest open rates in 2017:


“Add Muscle, Speed and Performance to Your Program with These Top Tomatoes”

“5 nitrogen ROI killers – and the N that beats them”

“Outbest your best yields with PhytoGen and the Enlist cotton trait.”

“Glyphosate Resistance in Soybeans? Cover the Gap.”

“Drip and Micro Irrigation Solutions for your Crops”


Note that these audiences are not looking for new product information in their emails. We know you want to promote your new products in your emails, and you should do so. But present the products as solutions to the audience’s problems or challenges rather than just boasting about new features in order to maximize engagement.


  1. Educational information maximizes click-through engagement. Many edirects are sent to boost awareness. Driving click-through visits back to the sender’s website is not always the goal, but the same concepts should be employed with your email creative to maximize the number of clicks on the email. If you want recipients to click on your email, be sure it contains valuable information that will help their business. (In addition, populating your email with multiple links on which recipients can click and making sure all photos are live links will boost engagement. More tips on designing your email effort can be found here.)


Here’s a summary of some key metrics from our clients’ 2016 and 2017 edirect activities.


  # of Sends Avg. Emails Sent Avg. Open Rate Avg. CTR
2016 246 3,917 16.7% 2.53%
2017 263 3,804 15.3% 1.84%


Bob West is the Commercial Digital Director at Meister Media Worldwide. He can be reached at 440-602-9129 or bwwest@meistermedia.com.

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