Email marketing open rates highest in four years - DMA

Mark Johnson's picture
by Mark Johnson

The Data & Marketing Association (DMA) has just published its latest insights into how email has performed across the industry over the past year, helping businesses and their marketing teams to see how they measure up.

According to the new ‘Email Benchmarking Report 2019’, delivery, open, and click-to-open rates all increased, they are also the most encouraging figures reported over the past four years.

Open rates have continued to increase from 17.2% in 2015, to 20.8% this year. Email click-to-open rates have risen from 1.9% in 2015 to a four-year high of 2.4%. Email delivery rates increased to a new high of 98.2%, the association said.

Pre-eminent tool

“Email continues to be the pre-eminent, cost-effective marketing channel and shows no sign of diminishing”, said Marcus Gearey, Chair of the DMA Email Council’s Research Hub.

“GDPR may even have embellished it and few would have bet on that outcome before May 2018,” he added. 

“This shouldn’t be entirely surprising as GDPR enforced transparency, informed consent and enhanced privacy rules. 

“It inspired marketers to not only improve their data management techniques, but also to become more innovative and engaging with their email audience.”

Gavin Laugenie, Head of Strategy & Insight at dotdigital said: “Improved delivery rates, rising open rates and increasing click-to-open rates prove that people are more engaged with email marketing than ever before. 

“Although we’ve seen a slight decline in mailing list size, the quality of these lists is evident. There have been no increases in email opt-outs or spam reports.”

Room for improvement

According to the DMA’s ‘Email Deliverability: A Journey into the Inbox’ 2019 report, most businesses (79%) are measuring and monitoring their email deliverability effectiveness – only 17% neglect to watch it.

It said 30% of marketers declared they had been blocked/blacklisted within the last five years – the majority between two and five times (13%). 

The main reason behind this seems to be related to the use of 'Invalid email addresses' (29%). 'Volume of sends' (23%) is still one of the top reasons that get brands to be blocked/blacklisted.

“Deliverability is the crucial first step in email's journey to the customer”, said Tim Bond, Head of Insight at the DMA. 

“GDPR has clearly helped raise the quality of email lists and help to ensure that sent emails are better aligned with consumer preferences, but there is still room for improvement.”  

“Before it arrives in the recipient’s inbox, email requires transparent data management; dedicated time and resources; and continuous testing and monitoring. This will help to ensure email continues to outperform itself year on year.”

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