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Crappy Food, Jail Threat Could Lift Opens


By Ken Magill

Want to get your email open-and-click rates up? Just serve internationally reviled food and/or have the power to put your recipients in prison.

That’s one conclusion that could be drawn from a benchmarking study put out this week by UK messaging services provider

According to, UK government and restaurant emails have achieved the highest open and click rates of 23 business sectors it tracks.

UK government emails achieved a 34.06 percent average open rate and a 9.23 percent average click rate while restaurants achieved a 28.19 percent average open rate and a 6.64 percent average click rate, according to Sign-Up-to.

For comparison’s sake, a 20 percent open rate—an “open” is recorded when the receiving machine calls for graphics from the sender—is generally considered to be industry average.

Ironically, one of the lowest performing sectors in’s study was IT.

The sector achieved a 13.76 percent average open rate and a 1.16 percent average click rate.

The lowest performer in terms of opens was real estate, clocking in an 11.28 percent average open rate, according to The sector recorded a 0.95 percent average click rate, the study said.

Other poor performers were the events and fashion industries, achieving a 13.97 percent open rate and a 0.93 percent click rate, and a 12.89 percent open rate and a 1.43 click rate, respectively, according to the study.

Another standout in the study was the business-to-business sector, achieving a 27.84 percent average open rate but a relatively disappointing 2.64 percent average click rate.

The sales and marketing sector achieved a 23.27 percent average open rate and a 2.45 percent average click rate, according to

In other metrics, an undefined group called “New Media” achieved the highest average click-to-open rate—the percentage of clicks relative to the number of unique opens—coming in at 44.88 percent.

UK government and restaurants were standouts in this category, as well.

Government emails achieved an average 27.11 percent click-to-open rate while restaurants came in at 23.56 percent, making them the No. 2 and 3 performers in terms of clicks to opens, according to

The lowest-performing sector in this category was human resources and recruitment coming in at 3.79 percent. As for opens and clicks, HR achieved a 17.36 percent average open rate and a 0.66 percent average click rate, indicating the jobs picture in the UK is better than the food.


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Terms: Feel free to be as big a jerk as you want, but don't attack anyone other than me personally. And don't criticize people or companies other than me anonymously. Got something crappy to say? Say it under your real name. Anonymous potshots and personal attacks aimed at me, however, are fine.

Posted by: Georgia Christian
Date: 2011-03-09 02:47:49
Subject: Thanks

Thanks for the post and the interesting stats Ken. Your articles always offer great insight.