Lyris Connections Blog

The State of Email Marketing Down Under

Feb 18, 2014 by

I think one of the best views you can get of Sydney is at the top of the magnificent Harbour Bridge. Listening to the guide talk about Australia’s humble beginnings, it was amazing to think how far things have come in a relatively short time.


We were visiting Australia for our first ever Email Marketing Boot Camp, and learning about Sydney reminded me how far Australian email marketers have come in such a short amount of time and how fast they are catching up to the U.S. and U.K. Meeting with so many Aussie email marketers taught me a lot about the state of email marketing down under. Here are some key observations.

Aussies must love email: Almost everyone I talked to had open rates of between 30-50%. This is ridiculously high when compared to most U.S. and U.K. based senders, who are more around the 10-20% mark on average. I believe that there could be a couple of reasons for this delta between Australian open rates and the rest of the world. Email marketing is still relatively new for many of these companies for a start. This means that they have newer data, have been sending for less time, and don’t have the list fatigue that more experienced senders have.

Segmentation isn’t very common: It almost seems not fair that the Aussies are getting such high open rates and yet most of them do absolutely no segmentation. I suspect that this trend won’t last forever, though, and shrewd email marketers should start segmenting based on subscriber behavior, past purchases, and preferences sooner, rather than later. This will help ensure their metrics don’t dramatically decrease over the coming years as much as they have in other countries. 

Lack of automation: Around 10% of our Boot Camp attendees had at least some automated emails such as a welcome and cart abandonment program; however, the vast majority were batching and blasting. My advice to our Boot Camp attendees and pretty much everyone else is to set up as many automated programs as possible, as soon as possible. The sooner you do this, the more revenue you will start generating from your email marketing. Start with a welcome program and get progressively more advanced from there with cart and browse abandonment. Don’t forget to set up programs for new, lapsed, and top buyers, too.

Integration is needed: In order to set up many of these automated programs, you will need to integrate your email platform with outside ecommerce, analytics, and CRM systems. Most email marketers attending the Boot Camp had all of the required infrastructure to send highly-successful automated campaigns; the issue is connecting all of the dots and getting buy-in from IT, which often doesn’t have needed bandwidth. 

They are catching up quickly: Despite the Aussies being a bit behind the U.S. and U.K., I really do believe that they are catching up quickly. Everyone who attended our Boot Camp was eager to learn more and start applying email marketing best practices ASAP. Combine this with a buoyant Australian economy and I think we can expect to see them invest a lot more in their email marketing programs during 2014 and catch up to the rest of the world. 

Thank you to everyone who attended our Boot Camp. I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. 

Andrew King

About the Author: Andrew King

Andrew is Senior Strategy Consultant at Lyris. He has worked in marketing across three different continents for major car manufacturers, institutions, and retailers. He joined Lyris in 2010 and consults with a variety of clients on email strategy, design, mobile optimization, testing, segmentation, and much more. Andrew regularly contributes to the Lyris blog and Marketing Land, and participates in industry events.

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