Email Marketing – Email Newsletter Benchmarks: Open Rate, CTR, Subject Lines
Longer subject lines resulted in lower open rates, although the effect on open rates diminished as lengths increased.
Click-through rates also peaked when subject lines were short. Subject lines between 4 and 15 characters had the highest click-through rate (2.6%). Very long subject lines (more than 51 characters) had the lowest click-through rate (1.6%).
Below are additional key findings and criteria for The reportbased on an analysis of 1.4 billion opt-in email newsletters sent in 2012.
- Email newsletter campaigns sent in the first half of 2012 had an average open rate of 9.7%, and those sent in the second half had an average open rate of 10.0%.
- The open rate peaked in the first hour after delivery, declined rapidly in the following 19 hours, and gradually declined thereafter.
- About half (51.7%) of all openings occurred within the first six hours of delivery. 18 hours after delivery, three quarters of the total openings had taken place.
- In the first half of 2012, the opening rate peaked on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10.7%. In the second half of the year, the highest open rate (10.6%) occurred on Tuesdays.
- Sundays saw the highest click-through rates: 2.2% and 2.6% in 1H12 and 2H12, respectively. Tuesdays had the next best click-through rates for both halves of the year.
- Messages scheduled to be delivered between early evening and early morning resulted in better open rates.
- Both 1H12 and 2H12 had their lowest open rates, 5.5% and 7.9%, for posts scheduled for 12 p.m.
- Open rates spiked rapidly after 4 a.m. and peaked at 10 a.m., after which they steadily declined throughout the day.
- In general, emails were more likely to be opened during normal business hours, particularly between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
- Personalizing only email content resulted in a 13.2% higher average open rate.
- Personalization of the subject line alone increased the average open rate to 12.9%.
- However, when the subject line and content of the message were personalized, the open rate dropped to 5.3%, which is lower than that of messages without any personalization (9.8%).
- In contrast to the open rate data, personalizing the subject line and message content resulted in the highest click-through rate (2.8%).
- Personalization of message only and subject line only resulted in click-through rates of 2.4% and 2.1%, respectively.
- Messages without personalization had the lowest click-through rate (2.0%).
About Research: The report was based on data from over 1.4 billion opt-in newsletters, from over 70,000 newsletter campaigns, sent between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012.