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Aug 03, 2010

New Chart: Email Newsletter Response Rates

SUMMARY: We wanted to know how the performance of B2B email newsletters compares to the performance of B2C email newsletters, so we asked nearly 1,500 marketers.

Check out this week’s chart to learn how B2B email newsletters compare to B2C email newsletters in open rate, clickthrough rate and conversion rate.
by Sergio Balegno, Research Director

Response Rates for Email Newsletters, by Target Market

View Chart Online
Click here to see a larger, printable version of this chart

Many analysts and email experts have tried to move the industry away from the use of open rates as an overall success metric and limit their use to gauge the effectiveness of subject lines. While the factors used to determine open rates are often inconsistent (i.e., the percent of total email vs. percent of delivered email), the open rate is still valuable as a comparative period-to-period measure of the interest level in a given email. The factors used to determine clickthrough rate are also inconsistent (delivered vs. opened), so the data shown is based on the aggregate of definitions used by survey respondents.

Email newsletters generally contain far more links to information and offers than non-newsletter emails. Because of this, clickthrough and conversion rates become important as indicators of email newsletter performance.

Email newsletters to consumers have an edge over B2B newsletters in terms of response rate performance across the board.

For additional research data and insights about email marketing, download and read the free Executive Summary from MarketingSherpa’s 2010 Email Marketing Benchmark Report.

See Also:

Comments about this Chart

Aug 03, 2010 - charlotte of expat says:
The analysis here is a bit confusing. The graph states that B2C metrics are consistently higher; but the analysis implies that because of personalisation B2B newsletters have more success. Am I missing something?

Aug 03, 2010 - Bob McCarthy of McCarthy & King Markeeting says:
I’m curious about the conversion rates. You don’t seem to make any distinction by the type of offers being made. This could produce a wide range of conversion rates. For example, an offer to download a free whitepaper will produce a comparatively high conversion rate, but offers to buy a directory or register for a conference (things that cost money) will be tiny in comparison – nowhere near the average. I think this distinction (free offers vs. low-cost offers vs. high-cost offers) would provide important clarity in future issues of this report.

Aug 03, 2010 - Jim of Email Marketing says:
How are you definining "Clickthrough" for the newsletter - as a percentage of total opens (i.e. like Click-to-Open: those that opened and also clicked), or as a percentage of the total number of people the email was delivered to. The clickthrough numbers seem in line with reporting CTO, but high if they are a percentage of total delivered.

Aug 04, 2010 - Caroline of Green Hat says:
You say "response rates for email targeting business prospects and customers are higher than email targeting consumers" but your chart seems to indicate otherwise... B2C responses are higher in each category. I'd be very interested in other stats on B2B newsletters... have they been killed by the blog?!?

Aug 04, 2010 - Jim Harper of Olympus says:
Please note how you are calculating the clickthrough rate. Is it the % of those that opened the email (i.e. Click-to-open-, or 15% of those who opened, also clicked), or are the percentages factored from all delivered. They seem high compared to the open rate if you are reporting the percentage of clicks from the total emails delivered.

Aug 04, 2010 - Jen Doyle of MarketingSherpa says:
Thank you for all of your comments. We realize that some of the comments in this chart were confusing, and have adjusted the copy above accordingly. Originally, we included a note about the performance of email marketing, not email newsletters, where B2B performance was greater. Our intent was not to cause confusion, but to review the difference in performance. In response to the comments regarding clickthrough and conversion rates, the factors used to define these metrics are inconsistent, and the data shown is based on the aggregate of definitions used by survey respondents.

Aug 09, 2010 - Tony of Product Of Choice says:
For B2C, If I take a mailing of 50,000 the open rate of 25% nets me 12,500 opens. If I multiply these by 14%, according to the chart, I get 1750 clickthroughs. If I take the clickthroughs and multiply by 4% I get 70 conversions. Please confirm my math. Thanks!

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