Email Marketing Trends – Open Rates

I love email marketing. Why? It is one of the most cost effective marketing channels available.

(Read my post on “The Social Media – Email Connection and Four Strategies to Connect Them” to see how email marketing can be even MORE effective!)

A study was recently released showing the latest email marketing trends. There are a few great nuggets of information I will share over the next few blog posts.

Today: Open Rates

Definition: Open rate represents the number of people who “open” an email message.

Special note: An ‘open’ is measured by placing a special image within the email message, and counted as an ‘open’ once the image is loaded. Many email clients have disabled the automatic loading of images (for e.g. Gmail) which has caused a substantial decline in ‘reported’ open rates. For this reason the open rate is no longer considered an absolute measure of any given message’s success.

Open Rates Trend:

Open rates continue to decline, decreasing more in the second half of 2009 than in the first half.

First half of 2009: 12.0%

Second half of 2009: 11.2%

Reasons For Declining Open Rates:

  • Image blocking (according to a recent MarketingSherpa survey, only 33% of email readers have images turned on by default).
  • Increased use of email handheld devices (many handheld devices used to read email do not render HTML, therefore an open is not triggered).
  • List fatigue (people are deluged with email and there is more competition in the inbox for their time and attention – average open rates have declined as a result.)

Key Takeaway: Although open rates are extremely important, do not use this measurement as the definer of success or failure of your email marketing campaigns.

From: MailerMailer July 2010 Email Marketing Metric report.

Next up? Click Rate Trends

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2 thoughts on “Email Marketing Trends – Open Rates

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