Q4 2016 Marketing Email Open Rates Experienced Slight Decline

As email marketers round up data from the end of 2016, new research shows that open rates dropped in the fourth quarter. However, non-bounce rates stayed steady from the third quarter.

The “Q4 2016 Email Trends and Benchmarks” report from Epsilon discovered that the average open rate was 32.1 percent, which was below 34 percent, as measured in the third quarter. However, it was higher than the 30.6 percent open rate recorded in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Open Rates

Non-bounce rates in the fourth quarter were 97.0 percent, which is about on-par with the 97.1 percent recorded in the third quarter.

About 93.6 percent of emails delivered in the fourth quarter of 2016 were marketing emails, and 2.5 percent were editorial/newsletters. In the business products and services industry, marketing emails had an open rate of 15.5 percent and represented approximately 75.8 percent of messages delivered.

“Driving business growth through email and across marketing channels requires marketers to have the ability to leverage unstructured data in a real-time messaging environment and orchestrate campaigns based on cross-channel and cross-device attributes,” concluded the researchers of the report.

Read Rates for Marketing Emails

Overall, individuals who received marketing emails were more likely to read them in 2016 compared to 2015, according to previous research.

The “Hidden Metrics of Email Deliverability” report from Return Path determined that the average email read rate in 2016 was 22 percent. This is an increase from the 14 percent average of 2015.

“Not only did subscribers positively engage with their email by reading more, they also increased their negative engagement by actively deleting unwanted and unread emails,” wrote the researchers of the report. “On average, subscribers deleted four percent more unopened email than in 2015.”

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