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Q4 2011 North America Email Trend Results: Open Rates Increase Over Previous Quarter and Year

April 9, 2012
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New York, NY, April 9, 2012 - The Direct Marketing Association's (DMA) Email Experience Council (eec) and Epsilon today released the Q4 2011 North America Email Trends and Benchmarks Results.  For the first time, the report includes an analysis of triggered email messages, revealing that triggered messages represented 2.8 percent of total email volume measured in the report in Q4.  These messages had 96 percent higher open rates and 125 percent higher click rates than "business as usual" (BAU) messages. 

The report also shows a 41.5 percent increase in average email volume per client during the critical holiday season.  Open rates increased 4.2 percent from Q3 2011 and 12.2 percent from Q4 2010, while click rates decreased slightly to 5.2 percent

"The percent of triggered messages grew almost 20 percent from 2010 to 2011, with quarter-over-quarter growth throughout 2011.  Triggered messages are now a vital component of any email marketing program and clearly outperform business-as-usual messages that tend to be less targeted," said Judy Loschen, vice president of digital analytics at Aspen Marketing Services, a division of Epsilon.  "With triggered messages, marketers can create meaningful relationships with consumers in real time, based on specific behaviors or milestones.  Leveraging dynamic content and a series of messages, as opposed to a single message, will solidify the customer experience."

"The growth of triggered messages is just one area where email is evolving," said Yoram Wurmser, director, marketing and media insights for DMA and the Email Experience Council.  "Our Q4 data show that these innovations continue to drive higher volumes and open rates."

Report Highlights:

  • Non-bounce rates remained strong, increasing slightly quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year to 96.3 percent.
  • Open rates (24.8 percent) increased quarter-over-quarter (4.2 percent) and year-over-year (12.2 percent).
  • Click rates decreased 0.3 percentage points (5.7 percent overall) from last quarter to 5.2 percent. 
  • Average volume per client increased by 41.5 percent over last quarter and showed an increase over last year of 21.0 percent (Q410). 
  • Throughout 2010 and 2011, triggered messages accounted for 2.2 percent of total volume.  The highest volume was recorded in Q4 2011, at 2.8 percent of total volume. 
  • Non-bounce rates were strong for triggered messages, only 1 percent lower than BAU industry metrics.
  • Triggered open rates were 96 percent higher than BAU.  Triggered clicks were 125 percent higher than BAU and increased 13.6 percent year-over-year to 48 percent in Q411.

The full quarterly analysis is compiled from 8.5 billion emails sent in October, November, and December 2011, across multiple industries and approximately 140 participating clients.  The analysis combines data from both of Epsilon's proprietary platforms, DREAM and DREAMmail.  Triggered message benchmarks are compiled from over 51 billion triggered emails sent by Epsilon from January 2010 through December 2011 across multiple industries.  Results track campaigns deployed as a result of an action or trigger, including Welcome, Thank You, Abandon, Anniversary, Birthday, Confirmation, Saved Cart, and Cancel.

 

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