Email Open, Click Rates Fell In The UK Last Year

UK brands saw a slight decrease in click rates (to 2.3%) and click-to-open rates (10.7%) during 2020, according to the 2021 Email Benchmarking report from the Data & Marketing Association (DMA) and Validity. 

In addition, open rates fell to 19.2% from 20% in the prior year. 

Still, this open rate remains higher than that of 2017 and prior years, the report states. And it has to be seen in the context of a 17% increase in sending volumes. 

Among all marketers, 48% saw an increase in open rates, while 35% said the rates were stable. 

Higher rates were achieved by firms using automation, segmentation and/or dynamic content, the study posits. 

The average delivery rate slid to 97.9% from 98.5% in 2019. 



B2C brands saw their open rates decline to 20.5%, versus 20.6% in 2019. B2B open rates fell to 19.8% from 20.3% in 2019. 

However, not-for-profit groups experienced the highest rate: 26.1%. a 5% increase. 

The utilities sector reported a 26.6% open rate, while finance reported a rate of 21%.  

Publishing had the lowest average open rate of all the sectors studied, at 13.5%. Still, that reflected a 1.15 increase.  

The not-for-profit sector also generated the highest click rate at 6.9%, although there was a wide range of 0-16.6%. This vertical also saw an increase in click-to-opens, as did utilities. The finance sector suffered a decline. 

Tim Bond, director of insight for the DMA, says the overperformance of not-for-profits reflects “an increased sense of compassion and altruism brought people to engage with charities to either volunteer their time or donate money to support others in need.”

“Correctly used, email metrics form part of a virtuous circle of improvement,” concludes Guy Hanson, deputy chair of the DMA Email Council and vice president of customer engagement, Validity International..

Hanson adds, “Over the past year, we have seen responsible businesses gauging their subscribers’ changing digital body language, and then adapting their strategies to deliver continued relevance and value.”


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