ExactTarget: Image Blocking Cuts Open Rates

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E-mail open rates continued to drop last year even as click-throughs remained steady, a new study from ExactTarget said.

Open rates declined to 35.5 percent in fourth-quarter 2005 from 42.5 percent in the year-ago quarter.

ExactTarget director of strategic services Morgan Stewart blamed the falling open rates on the increased use of image blocking within HTML e-mails. The now-ubiquitous feature in most e-mail programs not only blocks images but also blocks tracking images embedded in the e-mail that records an HTML open, ExactTarget said.

Click-throughs showed a slight uptick in fourth-quarter 2005, rising to 6.6 percent from 6 percent a year earlier. The increase was attributed to late e-mail adopters and companies using better list cleansing strategies.

ExactTarget, Indianapolis, is an e-mail marketing software provider.

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