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experianmktgsvcs-email-volume-variance-q2-2012-august2012.pngEmail volume rose 10.1% year-over-year in Q2, though the quarter-over-quarter rise was more muted, at 2%, according to [download page] the Experian CheetahMail 2012 Q2 email benchmark report. The travel industry saw standout year-over-year volume growth of 41.3%, with the consumer products and services (19%) and media and entertainment (16.9%) industries also seeing solid volume growth. Multi-channel retailers (6%) saw relatively more modest growth, with catalogers virtually flat, with an 0.3% increase.

On a quarter-over-quarter basis, the travel industry was the only one to post faster growth in Q2 2012 (12%) than in Q2 2011 (10%). Consumer products and services boasted the second-fastest quarter-over-quarter growth rate, of 5%. Multi-channel retailers were flat, while email volume declined by 3% for both business products and services and catalogers.

Open Rates Rise Y-O-Y, But Drop Q-O-Q

experianmktgsvcs-email-performance-analysis-q22012-aug2012.pngData from Experian’s report reveals mixed results for open rates. The total open rate for Q2 2012 was 21.9%, an improvement from Q2 2011’s 21.6%, but down slightly from Q1 2012’s 22.2%. Similarly, Q2 2012’s unique open rate of 15.2% was up from a year earlier (14.8%), but down from the previous quarter’s 15.5%.

A June report from Epsilon found the benchmark email open rate for Q1 to be 26.2%, up on quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year bases.

Other Metrics Down, but Stabilizing

Most of the other metrics tracked by Experian Marketing Services saw year-over-year declines in Q2, yet many saw less pronounced decreases when measured on a quarter-over-quarter basis.

For example, Q2 2012’s click-to-open rate of 15.4% was a significant drop from 18.2% a year earlier, but represented a smaller decline when compared to Q1’s 16.3% rate. Similarly, the total click rate of 3.8% in Q2 2012 was down from 4.2% in Q2 2011, but unchanged from Q1.

Q2’s unique click rate of 2.5% was down from 2.7% in Q1 and 2.8% in Q2 2011.

Other Findings:

  • The overall transaction rate in Q2 was 0.1%, dropping from 0.11% the previous quarter and previous year.
  • The average revenue per email in Q2 was $0.12, constant from Q1, but down from $0.13 in Q2 2011.
  • Average order declined to $156.37 from $159.93 in Q1 and $160.27 in Q2 2011.
  • The bounce rate dropped to 2.6% from 3% in Q1 and 2.8% in Q2 2011.
  • The unsubscribe rate also fell, to 0.15% in Q2. The Q1 rate was 0.16%, while the Q2 2011 rate was 0.2%.
  • 55% of brands had statistically significant year-over-year increases in open rates in Q2.

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