Email Open, Click Rates Rise in Q309

December 21, 2009

This article is included in these additional categories:

CPG & FMCG | Email | Financial Services | Retail & E-Commerce

Email open and click rates experienced year-over-year increases in Q309 vs. Q308 as the industry headed into the traditionally busy holiday season, according to the latest email benchmark report from Epsilon.

Epsilon’s Q309 North America Email Trends and Benchmarks study revealed that email open rates increased from 19.8% in Q308 to 22.0% in Q309 (an 11% increase), while 12 of the 16 industries Epsilon tracks had an increase in open rates over Q308.


Click rates were 6.2%, an increase of 5.1% from the same time last year (5.9%), the analysis found.

Additional Q3 findings:

  • The average volume per client increased 7.5% from Q308.
  • The non-bounce rate dropped slightly from Q209 (93.5% compared with 94.1%), but was virtually unchanged from Q308 (93.6%).
  • Six of the 16 industries measured saw an increase in all three metrics – opens, clicks and non-bounce rate – compared with last year.
  • The retail landscape improved greatly compared with Q308. Of the four retail subcategories, 11 of the 12 metrics increased compared with Q3 of last year.
  • Emails from financial services companies continued to enjoy the highest open rates among industries measured.


  • Though click rates were down vs. Q308, emails from consumer products companies enjoyed the highest click rates in Q309 among industries measured.


“As we enter the holiday season, a time when email volumes increase substantially, it is extremely important that email marketers incorporate best practices to break through the clutter,” said Kevin Mabley, SVP of strategic & analytic consulting at Epsilon. “Timely, relevant offers that reflect customer preferences and behavior will drive the most opens, clicks and conversions. In addition, marketers should consider strategies that incorporate triggers and transactional messaging as part of the purchase cycle”

Mabley added that email marketers who remain focused on a data-driven email marketing strategy continue to outperform the rest of the pack.

An earlier-this-year study from Return Path showed that 84% of permission-based emails sent in the US and Canada during the first half of 2009 reached inboxes. Epsilon reported that its client base had significantly higher deliverability than the industry benchmark, with 91% in Q309.

About the study: The quarterly analysis is compiled from more than 6 billion emails sent by Epsilon in July, August and September 2009, across multiple industries and approximately 200 clients. The analysis combines data from both of Epsilon’s proprietary platforms, DREAM and DREAMmail.

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