Emails from not-for-profits ‘overperformed’ last year
Emails from not-for-profit and utilities firms performed particularly well over the past year, with both seeing a significant increase in click rates.
Charities saw the greatest improvement in click rate, increasing from 3.9% in 2019 to 6.8% in 2020, the highest recorded value since the study began in 2016.
Utilities firms, meanwhile, increased their click rate from 2.4% in 2019 to 3.4% last year. Finance companies also saw a marginal increase in click rate from 2.4% in 2019 to 2.5% in 2020, as did retailers (2.1% in 2019 to 2.2% in 2020), travel firms (3.2% to 3.4%) and publishers (2% to 2.1%).
Looking at open rates, the not-for-profit sector also saw the highest returns this year with 26.1% – up 5% from 2019. Utilities and financial services also registered better open rates than in 2019, up to 26.6% and 21%, respectively.
Overall, ‘email sent’ volumes increased by 17% year on year, but open rates saw a slight reduction from 20% in 2019 to 19.2% last year.
Tim Bond, director of insight at the DMA, says: “Two sectors have particularly stood out this year in our Email Benchmarking Report – not-for-profit and utilities. Both have overperformed. In the first instance, it’s easy to hypothesise that an increased sense of compassion and altruism brought people to engage with charities, to either volunteer their time or donate money to support others in need.
“In the second case, utilities’ positive performance is possibly a reflection of the increased awareness of customers who had to spend more time in the home, consequently developing the need to find more convenient deals to manage their house expenses.”
A quarter of over-50s faced issues accessing online services
More than one in four (27%) people aged over 50 experienced issues accessing services online during the pandemic. Of those who encountered problems, 31% had trouble knowing what to click on.
Nearly half of all users also found links on some sites did not work (46%) and 63% of users who experienced issues found the visual layout and design of sites overly complicated.
Reading text on websites was also a challenge, with 20% of respondents indicating they would prefer larger text. Nearly a quarter (22%) suggested the text used on websites could be easier to understand.
UK retail grows at record pace
UK retail sales grew at a record pace in June as lockdown restrictions eased and people began returning to the high street.
Total retail sales increased by 13.1% in June compared to the same period in 2019, which is above the three month average growth of 10.4%, according to the latest BRC-KPMG retail sales monitor.
On a like-for-like basis, sales increased by 17% over the five weeks to 3 July 2021, with online sales playing a greater role in this figure.
Over the three months to June, food sales increased by 7.9% on a total basis and 9.1% on a like-for-like basis. Non-food retail sales for the same period increased by 12.4% on a total basis and 45.2% on a like-for-like basis.
Helen Dickinson, CEO of the British Retail Consortium, says: “In June, while growth in food sales begun to slow, non-food sales were bolstered by growing consumer confidence and the continued unleashing of consumer demand.
“With many people taking staycations, or cheaper UK-based holidays, many have found they have a little extra to spend at the shops, with strong growth in-store in June. Fashion and footwear did well while the sun was out in the first half of June, while the start of Euro 2020 provided a boost for TVs, snack food and beer.”
Aviva study finds nearly half suffering Covid-related career burnout
Nearly half (47%) of employees are less career-focused because of Covid, while two in five say that they can never switch off from work, according to research from Aviva.
Another result of the always-on work culture that comes with working from home is 40% of employees are concerned about work-related burnout, while half of people complained the boundary between work and home had become “increasingly blurred”.
Women make up 46% of that number, compared to 35% of men. The latter are more in favour of a full return to the office.
“The pandemic may have been a collective experience, but the impact has been fragmented in so many ways, with women especially facing particularly acute stresses from the blurring of lines between home and work,” says Aviva’s wellbeing lead Debbie Bullock.
Marketers signal ‘strongest hiring intentions’ since 2016
Businesses are planning to ramp up hiring in the next three months as the UK economy begins to open up.
The latest data from the IPA Bellwether Report, covering Q2 2021, shows an increasing number of marketers are expecting their company to make new hires, which shows confidence for potential business expansion.
Overall a net balance of 32.8% of respondents expect a rise in employment this quarter. Nearly half (42.6%) expect to see higher recruitment levels within their company, which signals the “strongest hiring intentions” since the IPA began recording employment prospects in Q3 2016.
Just under half (47.5%) say they expect to maintain their existing workforce this quarter, while only 9.8% anticipate further cuts. For comparison, 12% forecasted headcount reductions in the first quarter of 2021, while 29.9% were predicting increases.
Additionally, the positive response to job retention comes despite the government’s furlough scheme coming to end in September.
“It’s encouraging to see approximately 90% of the survey panel planning to either hire more staff or keep their payroll count unchanged over the next three months,” the report says. “These data suggest that Bellwether panel members are preparing their businesses for expansion.”