The Stats Are In: Open Rates Up, Clicks Same, One Year Later

November 29, 2011
By Caitlin MacDonald

The email inbox is a competitive place. Success is not only dependent on stacking up favorably against your competitors in the marketplace; but also on stacking up favorably against every other brand in the inbox. The problem is that people no longer look at their inbox in the same way. Their decision is not whether they should open the Nike or the Adidas email, it is whether your email is worth the energy and time it will take to digest the message you have sent them.

Epsilon and the Direct Marketing Association's Email Experience Council recently released the latest Email Trends and Benchmarks Results. The report analyzes performance trends by industry and message type to provide benchmarks for marketers to help develop email strategies that take into account the challenges and opportunities facing each industry.

 

The quarterly analysis is compiled from 7.7 billion emails sent by Epsilon from April through June 2011, across multiple industries and by approximately 130 participating clients.

Quick recap:

  • Open rates (22.2%) saw a slight decrease quarter over quarter (4.8%); Four of the 13 reported industries saw at least a 5% increase in open rates over Q2 2010.
  • Click rates (5.2%) decreased slightly (by 11.1%) from last quarter. Click rates are directly in line with this same time last year and remain established over the last two years.
  • Average volume per client increased 16.2% from Q1 2011 but shows a significant decrease from q2 of 2010, 14.3%.
  • Non-bounce rate remained fairly stable, decreasing only 0.3%.
  • Average email size saw a slight improvement of 0.9% over last year.
  • Unique click to conversion rates increased 14.6% over Q1 2011 and 6.2% from Q2 2010.
  • Revenue per email decreased less than one percent from Q2 2010 but improved 17.3% from Q1 2011.

The overall report concludes by noting that marketers continue to fight for visibility within consumer inboxes throughout the year especially during critical marketing windows such as our upcoming holiday season. As the average volume of emails being sent per client continues to increase, so does the necessity to ensure email messages stand out. Therefore, they need to leverage data, both behavioral and stated preferences, to create more targeted campaigns. With this information in hand, marketers can personalize emails and increase relevance for better customer experiences. The holiday season is a perfect time to get started!