Benchmarking e-mail response metrics

Share this article:
Liz Bross
Liz Bross

In the first half of 2007, the travel and hospitality and entertainment industries received the highest delivery, open and click-through rates of the 13 industries monitored by the Harte-Hanks Postfuture Index, a periodic e-mail benchmarking monitor.

The Postfuture Index provides comparative e-mail metrics in aggregate, and includes business and consumer e-mail campaigns executed using the Harte-Hanks Postfuture Enterprise Edition from January-June 2007. Altogether, the findings represent more than 6,800 single-send broadcast and more than 1,200 transactional e-mail campaigns across 13 industry sectors.

Metrics reveal that marketers using dynamic personalization, print-at-home incentives and behavior-driven delivery enjoy the highest e-mail open and click-through rates. Among those industry categories with at least a dozen campaigns executed during the first half of the year, travel and hospitality fared best, recording open rates of 28.6 percent and click-through rates of 8.8 percent. Entertainment ranked second for open rates (26.4 percent) and click-through rates (5.4 percent). The lowest click-through rates were found in the government sector (0.7 percent).

Cross-industry metrics Overall delivery rates across all industry sectors and campaign types from January through June 2007 averaged 88.6 percent. Open rates averaged 20 percent of all delivered messages. Click-through rates across all industry sectors averaged 3.8 percent.

B-to-b and b-to-c audience comparison Business-to-business email open rates for the year's first half were recorded at 21.8 percent with a 3.5 percent click-through rate. By comparison, business-to-consumer open rates were at 16.3 percent with a 3.4 percent click-through.

Transactional, send-to-a-friend and coupon metrics Given the cross-industry average open rate of 20 percent and click-through rate of 3.8 percent, transactional, send-to-a-friend and online incentives campaigns fared much better for both opens and click-throughs.

For example, average open rates for transactional e-mail were recorded at 50.1 percent, with an average click-through rate of 11 percent. E-mails with coupons averaged 59.6 percent opens and 38.31 percent click-throughs.

Implications for direct marketers Marketers that accelerate rollout of customer-centric e-mail strategies, including personalized product recommendations, behavior-driven messaging dialogues and print-at-home incentives to deliver individualized marketing offers are more likely to find success in open and click-through, and ultimately more e-mail conversions. The best-performing e-mail campaigns combine personalization and behavior synchronization.

Transactional cross-sell is also effective and combines account status e-mail with dynamic product recommendations.

Likewise, momentum toward the outsourcing of transactional and customer service e-mail delivery continues to increase as marketers realize the value of transactional e-mail messages for cross sell and up-sell marketing.

Liz Bross is vice president of digital interaction at Harte-Hanks. She can be reached at liz_bross@harte-hanks.com.

Share this article:
You must be a registered member of Direct Marketing News to post a comment.
close

Next Article in Email Marketing

Sign up to our newsletters

Follow us on Twitter @dmnews

Latest Jobs:

More in Email Marketing

Engagement: The Secret Ingredient to a Tasty Marketing Campaign

Engagement: The Secret Ingredient to a Tasty Marketing ...

Organic yogurt company Stonyfield says it's discovered the right recipe for an enthralling digital campaign.

8 Email Marketing Myths Debunked

8 Email Marketing Myths Debunked

Our experts set the record straight.

How to Craft Engaging Emails

How to Craft Engaging Emails

Pushing past the inbox clutter and noise may not be as tough as some marketers may think.