GDPR may scare some brands away from digital activity — but those that rely on email are not among them.
Email volume rose by 5% in the third quarter — and there was a 12.3% decline in unsubscribe rates to 0.08%, according to the Q3 2018 Email & Mobile Benchmark Report, a study by Cheetah Digital.
The company attributes all this partly to the positive effects of GDPR compliance.
For some marketers, however, the big news in this study will be that 45% of total email opens and 58% of total clicks occurred on mobile devices, proving that emails must be designed for mobile.
Retail had the highest rate of mobile opens — at 54%.
This year’s email volume spike was largely driven by the media sector, which generated a 23.1% hike. The finance vertical had a 4% increase, but the service sector sent 4.8% fewer emails, and travel 3.6% less than it did in third-quarter 2017.
Overall, there was a 24% increase in the number of reactivation emails.
The average unique click rate rose 7.1% to 2.3%, up from 2.1% in 2017 , and revenue per email increased to $0.006,vs. $0.05 the year before. However, unique open rates were relatively flat, going from 19.1% to 19.2% YOY.
In addition, the transaction rate leaped by 30.5%to 0.05%. And the click-to-open ratio jumped by10.3% to 11%
The delivery rate rose slightly to 98.8%, vs. 98.6% in 2017.
The financial sector saw a 4.50% decline in its average open rate, but an increase of 9.90% — to 2.40% — in the unique click rate. Its email volume rose by 4%. However, its delivery rate fell slightly by 0.30% to 97.6%.
Other studies have shown a link between higher volume and lower open rates.
That could have affected the media sector, which suffered a 4.70% falloff to 31.3% in its total open rate. Its unique open rate was flat at 20.4%, and its unique click rate was even flatter at 4.10%. The media vertical is made up of publishing and entertainment brands.
Retail saw significant improvements in unique click and transaction rates, perhaps driven by increased targeting and reactivation. Of brands with reactivation programs, 70% enjoyed major boosts in unique clicks. Retail email volume grew by 3.9%.
The service industry achieved a unique open rate of 27.3% and a unique click rate of 2.60%, both reflecting increases of over 18%.
The travel business saw a 2.10% drop in the unique open rate (27.8%), but enjoyed a 4.10% unique click rate, a 12.9% advance.
Boxing Day, while not widely celebrated in the U.S., is a major holiday in Canada, the UK, the Bahamas, Australia, New Zealand and several African countries. The study shows that emails with Boxing Day in the subject line outperformed other holiday mailings from same 28 brands analyzed in this part of the study. They achieved a 37% lift in the unique open rate — a 132% hike in the unique click rate.
The report is based on Cheetah Digital’s analysis of trends among participating client brands in the U.S. and Canada.