Which Industries Had the Most Active Email Subscribers in Q4?

March 3, 2017

The majority of email subscribers tend to be inactive, according to data contained in a recent quarterly study [download page] by Yesmail Interactive [download page]. For example, in the consumer services sector, 76% of subscribers were inactive in Q4, and only 4% were active within 90 days.

B2B engagement was even lower, with 91% of subscribers inactive and only 2.2% active within 90 days. Performance for financial services however, was much more promising: brands in this industry enjoyed 21.4% of subscribers active within 90 days and only 56.7% inactive. Retail also saw relatively activity rates – with almost half (44.4%) active. The higher activity rates of insurance and retail could possibly reflect more transactional emails in these areas, as triggered emails tend to have higher engagement than business-as-usual emails.

When it comes to mobile, the insurance industry has the greatest influence with 68.5% of clicks coming from mobile and a phenomenal 50.6% CTO (click-to-open) rate on mobile devices. This is especially impressive since the overall CTO rate across all industries for Q4 2016 was only 11%.

Mobile CTO Trends

While mobile open rates have been on the rise for the last few years, CTO rates have actually started to decline. In Q4 of 2015, mobile CTO rates had reached 13%, but have since been falling, down to 11% in this past quarter. Rising open rates on mobile indicate an audience’s willingness to engage, however it seems they are not impressed with the content and are not clicking as often.

This apparent dichotomy has been observed by Epsilon, too: data from its latest report shows a continuing rise in open rates even as click rates gradually drop.

Mobile vs. Desktop

Mobile CTO rates may be declining, but they are still rapidly closing in on desktop performance, which has dropped at a far greater rate. While there used to be a dramatic divide between mobile and desktop CTO rates – with desktop more than doubling mobile’s performance, the gap has now nearly closed. As of Q4 2016 there is less than 1% point dividing CTO rates on desktop (11.9%) and on mobile (11.1%). That’s the closest they’ve been to date.

Top Mobile Performers by Industry

It’s clear that mobile engagement will be among the more pressing email marketing objectives for 2017, but which industries are already ahead? The top five industries by mobile CTO rate follow:

  • Insurance – 50.6%;
  • Consumer services – 18.6%;
  • Publishing – 18.2%;
  • Entertainment – 12.5%; and
  • Retail / Wholesale – 10.3%

About the Data: The Yesmail report is based on data from more than 7 billion emails sent in Q4 2016 using its platform.

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