Study Points To End User ‘Email Fatigue’

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A new study has tracked common performance indicators across 95 countries and found a remarkable degree of email fatigue among users

Email may be one of the most forms of communication nowadays but a new study has found a remarkable degree of email fatigue among users.

Implix, an email marketing leader and online solution provider, has released a study of 1.65 billion emails sent from the GetResponse email marketing platform between July and December 2009. The resulting report helped provide a global perspective of email marketing today by tracking common performance indicators across 95 countries and six continents.

The study helps illustrate how serious the problems of email fatigue and low engagement have become in North America, company CEO Simon Grabowski noted, with fewer than one out of every three recipients opening and clicking on a link.

The average open rate in North America was 10.76 percent, which was lower than that of European countries, where the average rate was more than 13 percent. Australia returned the lowest bounce, complaint and unsubscribe rates.


The report provides some interesting data concerning worldwide email metrics: More than 40 out of every 100 recipients who opened a message sent from Europe clicked on a link. In North America, less than one out of every three opened and clicked on a link. North America had the highest bounce rate, at 2.17 percent and the second highest complaint rate (0.12 percent) among all the continents. South America edged North America in complaints with 0.13 percent.

“Due to the huge volume, American ISPs have developed extremely advanced and accurate tools for monitoring and verification, so senders are forced to meet very strict requirements,” the report noted.

The Total Open Rate is defined as the number of email “opens,” divided by the total number of emails sent. To identify any variations, Implix also calculated Average Open Rate of HTML messages as the number of email “opens,” divided by the total number of HTML emails sent. The Click-Through Rate (CTR) is the number of clicks on links in the email message, divided by the number of email messages sent in a campaign, while the Click To Open Rate (CTOR) measures click-through rates as a percentage of messages opened, instead of messages sent.

The study included findings regarding how often a recipient clicks on links in the same message.

In Asia, one of every four subscribers who clicked on email links did it twice. In North America, just one out of every eight clicked on a link twice.

“We need to remember that top ISPs have begun to introduce engagement metrics such as opens and clicks into their deliverability equations,” Grabowski noted. “That means that ‘unengaged’ recipients can cause e-mail campaigns to be blocked and automatically sent to spam folders. North American marketers have a lot of work to do in engaging their subscribers.”

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