Post-Purchase Emails Top Return Path Benchmark Study

Post-purchase emails generate the highest read rate and the lowest delete-before-reading averages of any email campaign type, according to the 2018 Email Marketing Lookbook, a paper from Return Path. Welcome messages, in contrast, are the toughest to get into the inbox.

Return Path studied 600,000 commercial emails from 3,000 senders and came up with benchmarks for ten common campaign types:

  1. Abandoned cart messages have only a moderate read rate — 20% — and one of the highest deleted-before-reading rates of all the campaign types analyzed.
  2. Account related messages have an average read rate of 30%, and a deleted before reading rate of 9%.
  3. Birthday messages are the least common campaign type sent. But they apparently work, generating a relatively high read rate at 23%. And they are the messages most commonly removed from the spam folder.
  4. Feedback messages generate the highest “this is not spam rate — 6.35% — but this also denotes a high spam placement rate. This type of message generates a 19% read rate.  
  5. Loyalty program messages are “tied for the most actively ignored message type,” with a 12% deleted-before-rating rate. Return Path writes. However, they pull a read rate of 21%.
  6. Newsletters generate the lowest read rate, at 18%, and get few rescues from the spam folder despite an 11% spam placement rate.
  7. Post purchase messages enjoy a 44% read rate, and the lowest average deleted-before-reading rate.
  8. Promotional emails perform poorly, perhaps because they are the most common message type. They have a read rate of 19%. But sheer volume makes them productive. 
  9. Welcome campaigns have the lowest average inbox placement, at 84% and a high complaint rate.
  10. Win back messages achieve a read rate of 20%. That means one out of five inactive subscribers may be “inspired to re-engage with you,” Return Path writes.



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