What is the Average Email Open Rate? New Study Provides the Answer.

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By Jamie Turner, Founder, 60 Second Marketer

If you’re like a lot of people, you’re probably wondering how your open rates and click-through rates compare to other email marketers. You may even be wondering how your unsubscribe rates compare.

Well, the good folks at Silverpop have just finished their 2012 Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study (click link to download copy) which examined the email messages of 1,124 participating brands. The report answers many of the most commonly-asked questions marketers have about email benchmarks.

Here are some key findings from the report:

  • Open Rates: In 2011 into 2012, open rates averaged 19.9%–down from a 2009 average of 21.3%. The decrease can be tied to a number of industry developments, namely email service technology that blocks HTML imagery, and features such as Gmail’s Priority Inbox (or similar third-party add-ons). Social Media Tools
  • Click-Through Rates: In 2011 into 2012, click-through rates averaged 5.4%–up from a 2009 average of 4.5%. Click-through rates are a key measure for email efficacy – more so than open rates – and the notable increase in CTR can be attributed to a simultaneous increase in automated A/B testing (a June 2012 Forrester Research / Silverpop study surveyed 155 US marketers and found an increased adoption of marketing automation solutions).
  • Unsubscribe Rates: In 2011 into 2012, unsubscribe rates averaged 0.27%. However, Travel and Leisure emails were well above that mark, as they experienced an otherworldly 1.64% unsubscribe rate. As outlined in the report, this may be the nature of the industry—people often subscribe when researching or booking a vacation, then unsubscribe once the trip is complete. Conversely, nonprofits saw the lowest unsubscribe rate, at 0.10%.

If you’d like to take a deeper dive into the study, be sure to download the report by clicking here. You might also be interested in reading “What Are the Best Days of the Week to Send an Email Campaign?” on the 60 Second Marketer blog.

Posted by Jamie Turner, Founder of the 60 Second Marketer and co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile.He is also a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe.

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