How To Help Your Clients Improve Email Read Rates

BY Kathy Crosett
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Have your clients set new goals for their email marketing campaigns this year? They might benefit from understanding a few industry statistics. Return Path has compiled these statistics for 2018. Now you can help your clients decide if their spam placement, read and forward rates are higher than average.

Spam Placement Rates

Your clients probably already know they should measure the spam placement rate, the percentage of emails that end up in the end users’ spam filter instead of being delivered. Email campaigns measured by Return Path average about an 8% spam placement rate in 2018. That’s a significant improvement over the 2017 level of 14 percent. But, some industry verticals fare better than others. For example, nonprofits typically incur a spam placement rate of 19 percent. Dating and social organizations don’t fare much better at 16 percent. Banking, finance and insurance have the distinction of scoring the lowest spam rate of four percent. It seems that consumers trust these institutions more than others and don’t relegate their email messages to the spam filter. 

Read Rates

Getting past the spam filter rates is one measure of email campaign success. Your clients know they have to get consumers to read their email messages in order to lead them down the sales funnel. Last year’s average email read rate came in at 24%, which is 2% higher than in 2017. Return Path analysts point out that timing and great subject lines make the biggest difference when it comes to scoring consumer attention. In 2018, distributors and manufacturers had the highest read rate at 60 percent. With a read rate of 16%, nonprofits and educational institutions came in last.

Forward Rates

Your clients’ dream outcome from an email campaign would be a high forward rate. When consumers are interested or excited enough about the content of an email, they forward it to a friend or family member. This action is the same as free advertising for your clients. How often does this happen? Just .02% of the time in 2018. That’s the same rate marketers reported in 2017. 

Analysts detected significant variation across verticals. For example, distributors, manufacturers and telecommunications companies experience an average .13% forward rate. Verticals who shared a measly .01% forward rate include health and beauty, kids and babies, and toys. Interestingly, the social and dating vertical has a 0% forward rate. Marketers who want to increase these numbers should make sure their content is relevant both to the email recipient and that recipient’s larger network.

Share the details of this study with your clients. Then review the email responder profiles available in AudienceSCAN from AdMall at SalesFuel. This strategy will help you develop a plan to improve your clients’ email marketing ROI.