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Email open rates decreased 8.3% in 2Q13 from 1Q13 levels, but increased 11.5% over the equivalent period in 2012, resulting in an overall average open rate of 28.5%, according to Epsilon's quarterly email trends and benchmark report.

The average click rate in 2Q13 was 4.3%, down both quarter over quarter and year over year.

However, the average non-bounce rate (the percentage of emails that were not returned as undelivered) remained strong at 96.1%.

Below, additional key findings from the report, which was based on data from Epsilon’s proprietary email platform.

Performance by Industry

  • In 2Q13, the highest open rates occurred in the retail (40%), financial services (39.6%), and travel (31.8%) categories.
  • The highest click-to-open rates occurred in the consumer products (40.5%), retail apparel (24.4%), and consumer publishing/media (20.7%) categories.

Email List Behavior

  • In 2Q13, 51% of subscribers to the average email list were active—up slightly quarter over quarter, with 50.1% active in 1Q13 and 49.9% active in 4Q12.
  • 36% of new subscribers were active after their initial opt-in to an email program (New Clickers and New Openers in the following chart). That is an increase over 2Q12, when 34% of new subscribers were active.
  • The remaining 64% of new subscribers were unengaged with marketers' email programs.

About the research: The report was based on data from from 6.1 billion emails sent by Epsilon in April, May, and June 2013 across multiple industries on behalf of approximately 150 participating clients.

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image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Media, a marketing agency specializing in content and social media services for tech firms. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji