Email volume drops but click, open rates flat: study

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Despite a decrease in email volume in the second quarter, email campaign open and click rates were relatively flat, according to a study released by marketing services firm Epsilon on August 30.

“Typically we see volume is inversely correlated with performance. So as volume goes down, performance goes up. We didn't see that same correlation this quarter,” said Judy Loschen, VP of digital analytics at Epsilon, which worked with the Direct Marketing Association's Email Experience Council on the “Q2 2011 North America Email Trends and Benchmarks Results” study.

Open rates in the quarter grew by 0.4% year-over-year to 22.2%, and click rates were flat at 5.2%. The average number of emails sent per client fell by 14.3%.

Open rates and click rates were down from the previous quarter, but Loschen said that comparison met expectations.

“Q2 is kind of that lull, if you will, after the big Q1 couponing and big-sale mode, and volume does drop a little bit,” she said. “So it is trending in line with what we expected it to be.”

The number of emails that bounced grew year-over-year by less than one percentage point to 4.3%. Unique click-to-conversion rates also increased by more than six percentage points year-over-year.

Of the 7.7 billion emails sent by Epsilon in Q2 on behalf of about 130 clients, 69.8% were marketing messages. Marketing emails saw a 15.3% open rate, 2.8% click rate and 18.4% click-to-open rate in the quarter.

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