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Email Campaign Volumes Surge, Open Rates Stronger

April 17, 2012

Email campaign volumes and open rates improved in the fourth quarter of 2011: Average email volumes per client grew 21.0% over levels recorded a year earlier, while average open rates increased 12.2% year over year, according to a report by Epsilon and the Direct Marketing Association's Email Experience Council.

On a quarterly basis, average email campaign volumes increased 41.5% in the fourth quarter (the critical holiday shopping season) over 3Q11 levels.

Below, key findings from the Q4 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 8.5 billion emails sent during the fourth quarter of 2011.

Some key findings from the fourth quarter:

  • On average, 24.8% of emails were opened during the fourth quarter, up 1.0 percentage point (or 4.2%) from the previous quarter.
  • Click rates fell 0.3 points, to 5.2% in 4Q11, from 5.5% in 3Q11.
  • Non-bounce rates fell slightly (0.2 points), from 96.5% in 3Q11, to 96.3% in 4Q11.

Industry Performance

Email open rates and click rates varied by industry in the fourth quarter:

  • The highest open rates were in Financial Services CC/Banks (35.6%), Retail General (33.9%), and Travel/ Hospitality Travel Services (31.5%).
  • The highest click rates were Consumer Products CPG (8.6%), Retail General (6.8%), and Financial Services General (5.8%).
  • The industry categories with the highest click-to-open rates were Consumer Products CPG (42.3%), Consumer Publishing/Media General (37.5%), and Retail Apparel (24.0%).

Campaign Performance by Message Type

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