2017 Delivery, Open, and Click Benchmarks for Email
Did you get your copy of the 2017 Association Email Marketing Benchmark Report?
Over 1,000+ marketers have downloaded the report to see how their association’s marketing efforts measure up.
When understanding how your email programs perform, often the easiest place to start is with the basics: deliveries, opens, and clicks.
Email Marketing Metrics, Defined
For the purposes of this report, here’s how we’ve defined delivery, open, and click rates.
Delivery rate is the percentage of emails that were not reported back to Informz as bounced or blocked.
Open rate is the percentage of delivered emails that were reported back to Informz as having been opened. If the text version of an email is read, it is not counted. Likewise, if an HTML email is read with the images turned off, it is not counted. However, if an email is opened with images off, but a link is clicked, the email is counted as being opened. Open rate only includes unique subscribers. Multiple opens by one subscriber only count once.
Click rate is the percentage of opened emails clicked by the recipient. Clicking a link in a text email is not counted as a click. Click rate only includes unique subscribers. Multiple clicks by one subscriber only count once.
Trends in Overall Email Metrics
With email volume rising 12.3% this year compared to last year, it was positive to see that deliveries, opens, and clicks following suit or holding steady.
Delivery rates remained favorable at 98%. Open rates were just slightly lower — 35.6% in 2016 compared to 36% in 2015. In addition, click rates dipped by a half of a percent, going from 16.1% to 15.6%.
What about Marketing Automation?
A significant milestone in this year’s report is the first-time inclusion of marketing automation email metrics. In 2016, the volume of emails sent through marketing automation campaigns grew exponentially; a 70% increase year over year.
As a result of this strategy, the high level of customization afforded to marketers using marketing automation lead to an increase in engagement metrics.
Delivery rate was nearly identical, and omitted for this reason.
Marketing automation campaign results in 2016 were promising, with key performance metrics exceeding the benchmark standard.
- One automated campaign targeting website visitors and abandoned event registrations. As a result, they increased event registration by 25% and drove over $20,000 in revenue.
- Another campaign targeting members with low engagement scores saw an immediate positive impact on behavior. 60 days later, members maintained a higher engagement score.
Not hitting benchmarks?
That’s okay — you can change that!
- To increase delivery rates, review your sender authentication, encourage subscribers to manage preferences, and avoid common spam triggers. Get more ideas here.
- Boost open rates by testing your subject lines (check out this for ideas), evaluate your friendly from, or try using a preheader.
- See click rates jump by playing with your call to action and testing link placement. Try increasing the amount of clickable real estate and identifying the best places to click with a heat map.
This is why we love data; it paints a picture for the direction you should be heading. Therefore, it confirms that what you’re doing is right — or suggests a shift in strategy.
For more metrics like this (and much, much, more!), check out the full report here.