Marketing’s Weekly Dose of the Truth

Ken Magill

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Shhh ... Email Doesn't Know it's Dead


By Ken Magill

For a communication channel that’s supposed to dying, email sure isn’t showing any signs of slowing.

In fact, the amount of presumably permission-based commercial email has gone up dramatically over the past year without damaging response rates, according to a survey published last week by marketing services provider Epsilon and the Direct Marketing Association’s email experience council.

The volume of email marketers sent rose in the first quarter of 2011 by 5.7 percent over the fourth quarter of 2010 and went up by a whopping 39.2 percent over the first quarter of 2010, the study determined.

At the same time, the average open rate was 23.3 percent in the first quarter of 2011, an increase of 5.6 percent over the fourth quarter of 2010 and 4.2 percent year over year, according to the study of 7.1 billion emails sent by 140 participating Epsilon clients.

And though click rates decreased slightly in the first quarter of 2011 to 5.9 percent compared to 6 percent during the same quarter last year, they were up from the 5.1 percent rate recorded by Epsilon in the last quarter of 2010.

Also, the average conversion rate was 3 percent, “the strongest over a two year period,” according to Epsilon and the eec.

The industry recording the highest average open rate was general financial services at 37.4 percent—no great surprise since the messages concern people’s money.

The industry clocking in the lowest open rates was retail apparel at 14.1 percent. The second lowest performer open-rate wise was consumer publishing at 15.2 percent—also no great surprise since advertisers tend to demand tonnage.

The consumer services telecom industry achieved the highest average click rate at 9.3 percent.

Tied for the lowest average click rate was general consumer services and retail apparel at 3.9 percent, according to the study.

And while consumer products [CPG] clocked in a relatively low 16.5 percent average open rate, the sector achieved a whopping 53.8 percent click-to-open rate—the number of clicks as a percentage of unique opens.

Consumer publishing also had a strong click-to-open rate at 43 percent, according to the study.

Get the whole thing here.


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