In common with other markets, the use of email as a marketing tool is far from dead. Mobile engagement is reinvigorating this trusted marketing channel. The Dutch and Belgian markets show healthy levels of email engagement with National Email Benchmark reporting Confirmed Open Rates (COR) of over 35%, Click Through Rates (CTR) of 7% and Click To Open (CTO) rates of 17.4%. Irrespective of workday or weekend, desktop still dominates actions driven through email e.g. ‘clicked on’. However, open rates are evenly split by device over the weekend, whilst desktop accounts for 60% of email opening; perhaps mobile is used on the way to work during the morning commute as a way of prioritising follow-up activity. This would appear to be reflected in open rates via mobile, depending on the time of day. Breakfast, lunch and early evening seem to be the time where engagement is highest.
The peaks are much less defined over the weekend, perhaps when time constraints are less rigid. These data points highlight the importance that mobile devices have in the customer journey, particularly during the discovery phase. They also reinforce the role that email has in the marketing mix in the Dutch market whilst suggesting that frequency, timing and content should be tailored depending on the desired outcome. International merchants will notice that these trends are common to many other markets so existing platforms are likely to be able to cope with these local requirements
The Dutch consumer market still has strong DM activity. Industry data compiled by Post NL and Spring Global Delivery Solutions suggests that 87% of physical DM is opened and read. With reading rates on the same day at 85%, DM can be an e cient mechanism for both acquisition and driving website traffic. Highlighting the impact that DM has on digital enabled sales in these markets, 67% of online searches are trigged by the mail piece. Online advertising, in conjunction with physical DM, leads to a 25% increase in response rates. As a brand development vehicle, DM obviously has its place in its ability to present a ‘physical form’ to the consumer which has benefits when trying to develop a presence in-country. As an activity to drive sales, DM has the potential to reinforce online messaging or to introduce new ideas. This will have benefits in helping to upsell and cross sell, drive brand loyalty and develop cost efficient traffic to an online presence. Where possible, unique URLs and offer codes should be used so as to be able to track the benefit and take the customer directly to the products or offers mentioned in the DM. However, as there is evidence that 35% of Dutch shoppers in the 18 – 24 age group use website ad-blocking so ware, DM combined with digital marketing has a role in consumer communications for some brands. This will be particularly true where DM can support a brand message that arrives amongst the almost 100 marketing emails a week that Dutch online consumers receive.
The key category is fashion with the majority of growth through to 2020 expected here. The solid growth prospects across the other categories are also interesting, particularly with furniture & appliances expected to challenge electronics for size over the same period.