According to an eMarketer report, Email Benchmarks: Key Metrics and Trends for 2013, nearly one in three emails sent in North America during Q1 2013 were opened, the highest number in recent history. Mobile device adoption and the use of marketing automation for targeted emails are having among the biggest impacts on email performance.
Email Marketing Performance (North America)
Source: Epsilon, July 2013
A February 2013 survey from Blue Hornet showed that 71.8% of US email users ages 24 to 40 said they typically read their personal email throughout the day. Mobile plays an undeniable role in enabling consumers to check email from anywhere and at any time of day. Data from Knotice showed mobile phones and tablets accounted for a combined total of 41.1% of US email opens in H2 2012, up from 27.4% in H2 2011.
US Email Marketing Open Rate Share (% of Total; H2,2011; H2, 2012)
2nd Half, 2011
2nd Half, 2012
Source: Knotice, April 2012, February 2013
Pam McAtee, Epsilon’s senior vice president of digital solutions, points out that mobile now accounts for 60% or more of all opens for most clients, expected to to climb before plateauing at around 70% to 80%.
McAtee says “… consumers open (emails) multiple times on multiple different types of devices… a mobile device and then on a desktop, predominantly in that order… using mobile devices to… clean up email… going back to a desktop and converting…”
Though open rate performance suggests an increased level of initial engagement with email, additional data from Experian Marketing Services showed measures more indicative of conversions declining between Q1 2012 and Q1 2013. Click-to-open rate dropped 9.6% year over year, and transaction-to-click rate fell 15.6%. However, average order size increased about $23, suggesting fewer clicks resulted in purchases, but that those purchases were more substantial.
Email Marketing Campaign Metrics (North America; % of Respondents/Change; 2012/2013)
Total Open Rate
Total Click Rate
Revenue per Email
Source: Experian, May 2013
To drive greater engagement with email, whether on desktop or mobile, companies are using marketing automation via triggered messaging. Triggered emails enable marketers to use automation to respond to a user-prompted action or behavior (e.g. abandoned shopping cart, confirmation, thank you or welcome response). Consumers opened one out of every two triggered emails in North America in Q1 2013, according to Epsilon.
Triggered Email (North America, Q1, 2011- Q1, 2013)
Source: Epsilon, July 2013
TimeTriggered emails are often behaviorally relevant, but relevance is only part of a larger ability to personalize communications, says the report. October 2012 data from Experian Marketing Services noted US marketing emails that were both triggered and personalized saw 29.2% click rates compared to 23.3% for triggered emails lacking personalization.
Though the full report has been developed for clients of eMarketer, this link to eMarketer will provide directions to access the study.