Email marketing reaching record highs in click-through rates

Latest research on the performance of email marketing shows continuing levels of audience engagement going into 2017.

Email marketing software provider releases its 2017 email Marketing Benchmark Report. The report provides a detailed analysis of over 1.5 billion emails sent between 1st January and 31st December 2016.

Classified into to 29 different industry sectors, the analysed campaigns were primarily sent by professional marketers working in UK SME businesses and public sector organisations, to both B2C and B2B audiences.

The report finds that while average open rates have remained stable at their 5 year high of around 25 per cent, other key engagement indicators, such as click-through and click-to-opens rates have both increased significantly from 3.42 per cent to 4.19 per cent and 10.88 per cent to 11.88 per cent respectively. Increases in click-through rate were seen in 19 of the 29 tracked sectors.

The highest increases in click-through performance were seen in government, TV/radio/film and community. Continuing a 3 year downwards trend, average unsubscribe rates fell from 0.52 per cent to 0.49 per cent.

The report also shows a continuous trend in sectors enjoying the highest open rates, with government (45 per cent) and legal and accounting (36 per cent) topping the list, as they did the previous year. Over the past 12 months, 5 sectors showed average open rates below 20 per cent, with B2C services, restaurant/hospitality and publishing being the lowest performers.

Tony Kent, marketing manager at says, ‘It is encouraging to see that key performance metrics like click-through and clicks-to-opens continue to show an increase in engagement with email marketing. The use of mobile responsive email design and an increase in profiling and personalisation techniques are key drivers of this, allowing marketers to better target their campaigns to the needs of their audience.’

The report also examines the continued importance of mobile to email subscribers, with around half of all emails being opened on a mobile device – different measures indicate mobile consumption at between 48 per cent to 55 per cent of all opens.

Marketing automation is another key driver. Automated one-to-one emails such as welcome messages and abandoned online shopping basket recovery sequences significantly out performing non-automated multi-subscriber campaigns in terms of both average open rate (60.43 per cent) and click-through (37.57 per cent) performance.

Further sections of the report continue to examine a more complex measure of overall subscriber engagement, and other influences such as the hour of the day, day of the week and week of the year, highlighting interesting differences across each sector.

Further reading on email marketing

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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