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Janet Roberts

Study: Email Outlook Brightens
By Janet Roberts

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Bounces are down, opens and click-throughs are up despite the ever-increasing spam flood. That's the modestly cheery news in the latest DoubleClick trend study of email performance from January to March 2003.

DoubleClick publishes its study once a quarter, tracking vital statistics such as open, click and bounce rates. The information comes from its DARTmail publishing clients, but the results create a useful benchmark because its client base cuts a wide swath through the e-publishing industry.

Only DoubleClick clients get all the numbers, but everybody else can download the executive summary, which hits the highlights

A few assorted statistics, which represent unweighted averages:

  • Open rates increased 7.7 percent, from 36.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2002 to 39.2 percent in the first quarter of 2003.

  • Click-through rates increased 11 percent quarter to quarter, from 8 percent in Q4 2002 to 8.9 percent in Q1.

  • Bounce rates fell 7.5 percent, from 13.5 percent in Q4 2002 to 12.5 percent in Q1, perhaps indicating marketers and publishers' efforts to keep their lists clean are paying off.

  • Just over half of the companies -- 57 percent -- reduced their email sending volumes, either because of the post- holiday season or because marketers are getting smarter about segmenting and frequency.

  • Many consumers will click on an email message more than once. Consumer-focused emails sent by publishers (as opposed to marketers) collected the highest average number of clicks per email, at 1.77 clicks per email, compared to the overall average of 1.54 clicks.

  • Publishers' emails sent to consumers also collected the highest click rate, at 11.5 percent, followed by consumer product-and-service emails (10.4 percent) and business product-and-service emails (7.9 percent).

"The most encouraging news in the Q1 Email Trend Report is that the spam crisis is having less impact on the performance of legitimate marketers than many of us had feared," said Eric Kirby, DoubleClick's vice president of strategic services

"However, the data also underscores the importance of the relationship that legitimate marketers have with their customers. Marketers can build upon these relationships by asking their customers about the type of content they would like to receive as well as how often they want to be contacted."

Ezine-Tips for May 30, 2003

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