North American email marketers saw an increase in both open and click rates in Q4 2009 compared to the same period in 2008, according to Epsilon‘s recently released Q4 2009 North America Email Trends and Benchmarks Report.
In general, open rates remain strong at 22%, increasing 5.3% from Q4 2008. The average click rate was 5.9%, up slightly from 5.8% the previous year. Not surprisingly, during the high-volume holiday season, the average email volume per client increased 25.8% from Q3 2009 and was up 9.8% from Q4 2008.
Metrics Vary by Industry
Nine of the thirteen industries tracked by Epsilon had an increase in open rates compared to Q4 2008.Two of the thirteen industries tracked, Consumer Products CPG and Consumer Services Telecom, saw an increase in all three metrics, opens, clicks and non-bounce rate, compared to last year.Kevin Mabley, SVP of strategic & analytic consulting at Epsilon, said the strong performance was due to marketers who use segmentation to identify and target key audiences, as well as produce dynamic content.
“Pharma in particular has been adopting best practices in list growth and hygiene,” said Mabley. “Both pharma and CPG companies have increased email sophistication, as these sectors shift towards targeted, direct-response oriented campaigns. During the next year, weexpect to see a growing trend towards more service- or transactional-oriented messaging to deliver real-time communications via email.”
Email Recipients May Be Growing Weary
The Epsilon survey is at odds with findings from separate research whose findings suggest a growing weariness on the part of recipients to these messages, as reported by MarketingVox. Email fatigue and low engagement is a particular problem among North Americans, according to Implix. North Americans have an average open rate of 10.76%, in contrast with Europeans, with an open rate of more than 13%. In Europe, more than four out of every 10 recipients who opened a message clicked on a link. In North America, less than one out of every three opened and clicked on a link.
About the survey: The quarterly analysis is compiled from more than 7 billion emails sent by Epsilon in October, November and December 2009, across multiple industries and approximately 170 participating clients.