It’s that time of year when we give our email stats a gander to see how well our campaigns have performed over the past 12 months; gauging successes and failures, and gaining insights into emerging trends and challenges.
So how have your 2011 email campaign efforts measured up against other people’s worldwide?
Enter email marketing benchmarks by various industries:
Benchmark email marketing statistics offer a glimpse into the broad performance of various industries and industry sectors. These studies usually go beyond traditional metrics reports to provide top-level observations which enable companies to gain a better view of where they stand.
The metrics on delivery, open and click rates provided here are based on results from over 200 million emails sent by 3 590 of a major international ESP’s users in the period October 2010 to October 2011, and are probably the first in-depth metrics of their kind to be produced for South Africa. One thing this does is give an indication of how well this emerging market country is performing in relation to a highly developed superpower.
The average metrics across all senders and regions for the time period were:
- Delivery Rate: 89.34%
- Open Rate: 12.75%
- ClickThrough Rate: 2.15%
The average metrics for each region show South African senders achieved around three percent better delivery rates, three percent better open rates and 25% better click rates than their US colleagues in 2011.
In general, metrics for senders in South Africa are slightly better; however these overall results mask considerable variation between industry sectors.
Also take into account that South African senders are inevitably mailing to a smaller audience, and metrics reports commonly show that smaller lists tend to produce better results. Therefore it’s imperative to drill into a more detailed comparison of delivery, open and click rates to understand the differences and standards of each region:
About 1 in 10 emails are automatically rejected (bounced) by the recipient’s webmail or internet service. Most industries are actually achieving higher delivery rates and the average is pulled down by the relatively poor performance of one or two sectors. In the USA, for example, 3 in 10 emails sent by the advertising and marketing industry bounced back as undeliverable. In South Africa, the transport and shipping sector performed the worst, with a delivery rate of just over 78%.
Overall, South African senders outperformed their international counterparts, with two sectors even achieving over 15% higher delivery rates (advertising and marketing, associations and clubs).
Delivery rates by industry — USA and International vs South Africa
Delivery, however, is just a gateway metric. Once an email is accepted for delivery it may not actually reach the someone’s inbox. It could still be classified as spam and deleted, or rerouted to a spam/junk folder. So delivery rates as a success measure are not necessarily the most telling.
As with delivery rates, there is considerable variation between sectors. In the USA, International region, for example, senders in the agricultural industry were averaging over five times the open rate of those in financial services and insurance (27.13% versus 4.84%). In South Africa, manufacturers get three times the open rate of those in the transport sector (17.95% versus 5.98%).
Again, as with delivery rates, South African senders perform slightly better on average than their international colleagues. However, there is more cross-industry consistency in the South African results. The US numbers are far more diverse, with the region claiming both the six best and three worst open rates. Three South African industries (telecoms/internet, associations and clubs, advertising and marketing) had at least twice the open rate of their US counterparts, while the US transport and shipping industry enjoys treble the open rates of its South African equivalent.
Open rates by industry — USA and International vs South Africa
Open rates are useful for simple, basic comparisons and higher open rates generally indicate that the sender is doing a better job of getting people to pay attention to their messages. But there is much variation within the open rate results, and ultimately it’s the value you provide through your emails that draws attention. The question always remains, how well has your subscriber base been engaged with every send? And the answer to this often comes down decisively to clicks.
Click Through Rates
Differences between industry sectors are equally marked with click-through rates. In the USA/international results, senders in manufacturing averaged over 13 times the click-through rate of those in transport and shipping (4.43% versus 0.32%). Transport and shipping was also the worst sector in South Africa, with an average CTR of 0.23%, compared with the 4.18% average reached by retail and ecommerce senders.
Click through rates in South Africa are an average 25% higher than in the USA, International region. A notable exception to this pattern is government campaigns, where click-throughs for US senders are almost eight times higher than those of their South African equivalents. The telecoms/Internet, automotive and education sectors were comparatively strong in South Africa, achieving over three times the CTR of their US counterparts.
The basic value you offer through your emails is critical to getting a response. As with open rates, any improvements to strategy, tactics, offers, content and copywriting inevitably lead to more clicks. Equally, those practices that lift open rates should also have a positive impact on clicks; which are hard to get without first capturing the person’s attention.
Many benchmark reports include information on best practices, based on the authors’ understanding of the factors behind the benchmark numbers and trends.
And although email performance metrics depend greatly on the purpose, audience and basic value of each email campaign, send or series, there are many specific actions senders can take to lift results, as there is always potential for improvement in areas such as quality of address lists, subject line optimization and the calls-to-action.
Article source: http://memeburn.com/2011/11/how-did-your-email-do-in-2011/