June 17, 2010, 3:17 PM

Epsilon says e-mail open rates rise but click-throughs fall in Q1

E-mail open rates increased to 22.4% in the first quarter of 2010.

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E-mail open rates increased to 22.4% in the first quarter of 2010, up from 22.1% for the same period last year, according to the most recent quarterly survey by e-mail service provider Epsilon. The open rate also increased from 22% in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Click-through rates decreased to 6% in the first quarter, down slightly from 6.1% year over year.

The click-through rate for the fourth quarter of 2009 stood at 5.9%.

The figures are based on 6 billion e-mails sent by 160 Epsilon clients in 13 industries between January and March. Eight of those industries experienced higher e-mail open rates, with banks, financial services and consumer services for telecom reporting the highest increases in open rates year over year.

For all industries in the first quarter of 2010, the non-bounce rate—that is, the percentage that were not sent back immediately by e-mail inbox providers—increased to 94.7%, up from 94.1% year over year and from 93.9% for previous quarter.

North American apparel retailers in the first quarter had a non-bounce rate of 96.9%, an open rate of 17.2%, a click rate of 4.4% and a click-to-open rate of 25.9%. Specialty retailers had a non-bounce rate of 97.6%, an open rate of 19.4%, a click rate of 4.2% and a click-to-open rate of 21.7%. General retailers had a non-bounce rate of 94%, an open rate of 21.1%, a click rate of 5.9% and a click-to-open rate of 27.9%.

Epsilon says 61% of the e-mails included in the study contained marketing messages, which had a 17.9% open rate, second only to e-mails with editorial messages, which had a 22.7% open rate. The message types were defined by the clients that created the campaigns, the vendor says.

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