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Email Performance Steady in 2Q11, Volumes Up Slightly

September 20, 2011
Email campaign performance improved slightly in the second quarter of 2011: Open rates grew 0.4% over levels recorded one year earlier, while click rates were virtually unchanged, and roughly in line with those established over the previous two years, according to Epsilon and the Direct Marketing Association's Email Experience Council.

On average, email campaigns returned open rates of 22.2% during the second quarter, down 4.8% from the first quarter (but up 0.4% over 2Q10 levels). Campaigns generated click rates of 5.2% on average in the second quarter, down 0.7% from 1Q11.

Below, key findings from the Q2 2011 North America Email Trends and Benchmarks Results, by the Epsilon and the Direct Marketing Association's Email Experience Council, based on the analysis of 7.7 billion emails sent during the second quarter of 2011:

  • Average per-client email volumes increased 16.2% in the second quarter over 1Q11 levels, but fell 14.3% over the same period one year earlier.
  • Unique click to conversion rates increased 14.6% over the previous quarter, and grew 6.2% over 2Q10 levels.
  • Average order size registered a slight improvement (0.9%) over 2Q10 levels.
  • Unique click to conversion rates increased 14.6% over 1Q11 levels, and 6.2% over 2Q10 levels.
  • Revenue per email decreased less than 1% from 2Q10 levels, but improved 17.3% over 1Q11 levels.
Industry Performance

Business Publishing/Media General, Consumer Services General, Retail General and Retail Specialty registered increases in open rates of at least 5% compared with the same period a year earlier, whereas Consumer Service Telecom, Financial Services CC/Banks, and Retail Specialty had an increase of at least 5% in click rates over 2Q10 levels:

  • The highest open rates were in Financial Services CC/Banks (33.7%), Financial Services General (29.7%), and Retail General (25.2%).
  • The highest click rates were in Consumer Services Telecom (9.0%), Consumer Products CPG (8.0%), and Financial Services CC/Banks (6.5%). 
  • Consumer Products CPG (46.9%) and Consumer Services Telecom (40.7%) had the highest click to open rates.

Looking for solid, substantiated information about email from the industry's best resources? The 67-page Email Marketing Factbook featuring 39 charts tells you about email usage, what captures users' attention, and how organizations are using email to reach customers. This email factbook consists of chapters 1 & 2 from the larger Digital Marketing Factbook a 144-page compilation of data and 110 charts that also covers search engine marketing and social media.

Performance by Message Type

The Q2 2011 Email Trends and Benchmarks also analyzed the types of messages sent and their performance. Some 69.8% of emails deployed via Epsilon's DREAM platform were categorized as marketing messages, up from 66.7% the previous quarter:

Marketing messages delivered lower open and click rates than acquisition and editorial messages in the second quarter, and much lower rates than service messages over the same period.

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  • by SpencerBroome Tue Sep 20, 2011 via web

    Given current circumstances, not surprising the highest open rates were for financial services.

  • by stephanhov Thu Sep 22, 2011 via web

    sorry if this seems obvious, but does "Acquisition" mean a message type aimed at acquiring a new customer? how would that differ from a message type to existing customers aimed at signing them up for a new service?

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