Report: More Customers Read and Engaged with Marketing Emails in 2016

A new analysis of 2016 data suggests that while customers read more marketing emails in 2016 than 2015, they also deleted them more often.

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

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“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.”

In 2016, customers deleted 13 percent of unread emails on average. This was an increase from 9 percent in 2015.

However, there was a slight rise in engagement in terms of replies and forwarding. The average amount of replies rose from 0.05 percent in 2015 to 0.13 percent in 2016. Additionally, the average forward rate slightly increased from 0.02 percent in 2015 to 0.03 percent in 2016.

Marketing Email Engagement and Timing

Previous research indicates that the day of the week may play a role in marketing email engagement.

The “Email Benchmark Report Q3 2016” from Yesmail looked at how the day of the week impacted open rates, click rates, and CTO rates. Researchers discovered that Friday yielded the highest open rate (16.6 percent), click rate (2.9 percent) and CTO rate (12.4 percent) in the third quarter of 2016. However, Saturday had the highest conversion rate (4.5 percent).

“Keep in mind that while engagement rates were higher on Fridays this quarter, brands must develop email schedules that are best for their unique industry and audience,” wrote the authors of the study.

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