I just stumbled over “The myth of the Email Newsletter” – an interesting blogpost from Kelly Lorenz. She shares some thoughts on email marketing differences between Nordic countries and the United States. Let’s bump my ecommerce statistics from the European Commission into the discussion. In addition, I want to enrich them with brand new email benchmarks coming from one U.S. based and one European email service provider…
First, you might want to check out the Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study (mainly US, I’d guess) and the Email Marketing Benchmark Report 2012 (mainly EU). Both come with average values for common key performance indicators like open rates or click rates – grouped by industry, region, and more. The latter one perhaps provides a good view on the European email marketing status quo. And for those of you, who don’t like tables (or matrixes ), I thought I’d give another map a try. Et voilà – benchmark comparisons for campaigns in several European languages:
As you can see, “informing first, then selling”, as Kelly put it, delivers the highest open rates (as indicated by the lighter gray and the upper number in the marker). People like their Nyhetsbrev. Although one must say that pushy emails and boring bargain basement are proscribed in Germany and other European countries, too.
By the way, speaking of benchmarks – it’s also interesting to compare the outcomes out of different reports. For instance, the table below shows some unique click rates for different industries – matched between both of the above studies. As you can see, some industry rankings seem to match quite good (green), others absolutely don’t match (red). Take for instance “education”, which outperforms in the study represented by the right column, but it’s the second worst in the left one. Why is that? I don’t think the non-matchers are due to the different regional study focuses (USA vs. Europe), or due to different industry definitions, or even due to the email service provider. They don’t match because benchmarks… well… they are just highly condensed numbers plus good PR, and therefore one shouldn’t rely on them too much: