According to the Harte-Hanks Postfuture Index of comparative e-mail metrics for January-June 2006 among 13 industry categories, restaurants enjoyed the best open rates at 167.7% (open rates exceeding 100% occur by way of pass-alongs, and reopened e-mail) as well as the best click-through rates at 57.5%.
Retail had the lowest open rate (35.3%), while the automotive sector had the lowest click-through rate (5.7%). All reported averages are unweighted.
Richard Merrick, managing director, Postfuture at Harte-Hanks, noting that behavioral targeting of messaging can raise metrics significantly, said "One large retailer achieved a 74.2% open rate, 24.1% click-through rate and 0.1% opt-out rate, just by synchronizing e-mail with in-store activity. Using transactional e-mail to make dynamic product recommendations produce, on average, a 148.8% open rate and a 20.4% click-through rate."
The 13 industries mentioned in the study (in order of descending click-through rates) are:
Travel and hospitality (23.4%)
Conference events (14.2%)
Financial services (11.0%)
Consumer packaged goods (8.6%)
Among all sectors for all purposes of e-mail combined, the average delivered rate stands at 91.2% -- with an average open rate of 78.8% of those e-mail delivered, click-through rate of 18.4% of all e-mail delivered, and an opt-out rate of 0.4% of all e-mail delivered.
E-mail sent to consumers received the higher click-through rates of 19.9% and open rates of 78.9%, while business-to-business e-mail had rates of 11.2% and 67.7%, respectively.
More information about the Harte-Hanks study can be found here.
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