January 28, 2010, 12:00 AM

E-mail from Europe gets the highest open rate, global study says

A review of global marketing messages shows a high bounce rate for North America, while messages from Europe show the highest open rate.

Consumers opened more e-mail marketing messages sent from Europe than messages sent from other continents, according to review of more than 1.65 billion e-mails sent via Poland-based e-marketing firm Implix. between July and December 2009. The firm measured e-mails based on the continent from which marketing campaigns originated.

The total open rate for e-mail marketing messages sent from Europe stood at 13.04%, says Implix, which based the study on e-mail marketing campaigns hosted by its GetResponse service. South America held second place, with a 12.51% total open rate, followed by Africa, at 11.03%, Asia, at 10.78%, North America, at 10.76%, and Australia and Oceania, at 8.08%. The company calculated open rates by taking the number of e-mails opened by recipients and dividing that by the total number of e-mails sent.

The open rate for messages that contain HTML formatting was higher, with recipients opening nearly 35% of messages sent from Africa and South America. Recipients opened approximately one of three HTML messages from Europe, one of four from North America and Asia, and one of five from Australia and Oceania.

Click through rates-the number of clicks made on links embedded in the message, divided by the number of sent e-mails-stood highest for messages from Europe, at 4.07%, with Africa at 3.79%, South America at 3.27%, Australia at 3.34%, North America at 2.67% and Asia at 2.44%.

Messages that originated from Europe also topped the click-to-open rate, defined as the number of clicks made on links embedded in the message, divided by the number of e-mails that recipients actually opened. Europe had a 40.12% rate, followed by Africa at 36.82%, South America at 34.12%, Asia at 33.47%, Australia at 33.05% and North America at 30.09%.

“The low open rate and click-through rates for messages sent from North America were quite surprising,” says Implix CEO Simon Grabowski. “The lower American stats are likely related to e-mail fatigue in the U.S. and Canada. These stats show a major opportunity for American e-marketers to take their business global and target markets where open rates and click-through stats can be higher.”

Asia, meanwhile, led in clicks per clicker, a category that measures how often recipients click on links embedded in a single message. Asia had 1.29 clicks per clicker, followed by Europe at 1.16, North America at 1.13, Australia at 1.09, Africa at 1.05 and South America at 1.04.

Meanwhile, North America had a 2.17% bounce rate, leading other continents. The bounce rate measures the percentage of e-mails returned to senders because of invalid addresses, full mailboxes or other problems. “This isn’t surprising since this continent has the most robust e-mail marketing industry in the world with extremely advanced and accurate tools for monitoring and verification, so senders are forced to meet very strict requirements,” the report says. Asia had a bounce rate of 1.44%, Europe 1.04%, South America 0.66%, Africa 0.60% and Australia 0.52%.

South America led in the percentage of e-mail messages that led to spam complaints from consumers, with 0.13%, with North America in a close second place at 0.12%. South America also led in the percentage of e-mail subscribers-0.23%-who opt out of receiving more messages generated through GetResponse. Africa claimed second place, with 0.21%, with Australia bringing up the rear, at 0.15%.

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