Each year, Silverpop, an IBM company, does an Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study. The 2015 study examined email messages sent by nearly 750 companies and 3,000 brands globally in 2014.
These are some of the key observations from the study.
For mean unique open rates, five verticals stood above the others: Lodging, Travel Agencies & Services; Insurance; Consumer Products; Nonprofits, Associations & Government; and Schools & Education. Looking at the top quartile, five industries saw open rates greater than 50 percent.
Not surprisingly, the Retail & Ecommerce and Media & Publishing verticals have the lowest mean unique open rates. This is most likely a direct result of frequency, because many brands in these verticals send broadcast emails almost daily.
Transactional vs. Non-transactional Email Messages
One of the greatest selling points for sending transactional messages is that recipients value them, opening them in greater numbers than any other message type. These statistics bear out that assertion, with transactional messages even generating double-digit open rates among brands in the bottom quartile.
With transactional messages producing mean open rates of about 45 percent and the top quartile more than 72 percent, these emails can serve as excellent vehicles to include cross-sell/upsell content. An email receipt for a camera purchase, for example, might include a promotion for a camera bag and zoom lens based on like-minded purchases.
Top-quartile performers had click-through rates that were more than six times higher than the median CTR of 1.4 percent. In contrast, bottom-quartile performers mustered CTRs of 0.2 percent.
Top-quartile performers have click-through rates of nearly three times the mean and six times the median. This suggests that smart marketers are finding ways to add value through transactional messages and driving further engagement and action, such as purchasing a related product or service.
To take your emails up a notch, consider offering an incentive for a related purchase; inviting buyers to review their purchases or join your loyalty club or user community; or linking to user information, how-to videos and other information on your site.