Acquisition emails saw declining response rates while retention emails saw improving response rates in the third quarter of 2004, according to new data released by the DMA's Email Marketing Council.
The council has only just released its second Email Benchmarking Survey, covering the period from July to September 2004, due to delays in getting data from around 25 email service providers surveyed. It released the April to June 2004 survey in January this year.
The new data shows that business-to-consumer acquisition click-through rates dipped from 8% in the second quarter to 6%, and business-to-business click-through rates dipped from 8% to 4%. The rates measure the number of unique individuals clicking through divided by the total number of emails sent out.
However, business-to-consumer retention click-through rates climbed from 9% to 12%, and business-to-business click-through rates climbed from 11% to 13%.
Caution was counselled by the council's chairman, Richard Gibson of RSA Direct. "Two sets of data do not necessarily amount to a trend," he said.
The council is now hoping to speed up the process of getting the data, according to DMA member Simone Barratt, managing director of e-Dialog.
"The survey's frequency may in future be reduced, especially if the next quarter's results show little variation," she said.
The survey also showed that the total number of emails sent increased over the quarter by 29% to 412m, while deliverability remained fairly static.
The third-quarter survey saw the introduction of a new question, which asked email service providers whether their clients and their recipients had fallen victim to phishing within the last three months, to which 15% said yes.
Source: Brand Republic's DM Bulletin