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Email click-through declined for business as usual emails in Q4 2018 on a year-over-year basis, per the latest email and benchmark trends report [download page] from Epsilon.

Segmenting the data by industry, financial services (credit cards and banks) had the highest unique open rates of the final quarter at 31.9%, followed by automotive (26.3%). Industries such as general consumer services (20.0%), general consumer and business publishing/media (16.8%) and consumer products — pharmaceutical (12.1%) all saw an increase in total open rates of at least 5% over the year-earlier period.

Some industries didn’t fare as well, though. While still having a relatively high unique open rate of 17.9%, travel/hospitality and travel services experienced a decrease of at least 5% year-over-year. Other industries that suffered a similarly-sized decrease were business products and services (13.1%), telecom consumer services (15.9%), retail (14.9%) and consumer products/CPG (12.2%).

Metrics For Marketing Emails Remain Low

Research by Ascend2 from earlier this year found that email marketers not only name increasing engagement as their top priority, they also say it is their greatest challenge. Epsilon’s data confirms the challenge: the 81.1% of emails delivered in Q4 2018 that were classified as marketing type messages had among the lowest unique open (11.5%) and click-through rates (0.8%) of all message types. Reactivation/re-engagement emails were the only other email type to suffer from lower response rates, though these emails made up 0.04% of messages delivered during the same period.

The trend towards below-average open and click-through rates for marketing messages is fairly consistent among the various industries.

To read more, download the report here.

About the Data: This study was compiled from 20.7 billion emails sent between October and December 2018, across multiple industries and to approximately 170 Epsilon clients on the Agility Harmony platform.

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