E-mail Marketing: Restaurants Enjoy Best Click-Through Rates at 57.5%

Of the 13 industry categories, restaurants enjoyed the best open rates (167.7%, open rates exceeding 100% occur by way of pass-alongs, and reopened e-mail), as well as the best click-through rates (57.5%), according to Harte-Hanks Postfuture Index™ for January-June 2006. The index provides comparative e-mail metrics in aggregate, including 4,300 business and consumer e-mail campaigns. 

Among all sectors for all purposes of e-mail combined, 

  • the average delivered rate stands at 91.2% 
  • average open rate of 78.8% of those e-mail delivered
  • click-through rate of 18.4% of all e-mail delivered 
  • and an opt-out rate of 0.4% of all e-mail delivered

Retail had the lowest open rate (35.3%), while the automotive sector had the lowest click-through rate (5.7%). All reported averages are unweighted.

Behavioral targeting of messaging can raise metrics significantly. One large retailer achieved a 74.2% open rate, 24.1% click-through rate and 0.1% opt-out rate, just by synchronizing e-mail with in-store activity, according to Harte-Hanks. Using transactional e-mail to make dynamic product recommendations produce, on average, a 148.8% open rate and a 20.4% click-through rate.

The 13 industries mentioned in the study (in order of descending click-through rates) are: 

  1. restaurants (57.5%), 
  2. publishing (55.6%), 
  3. pharmaceutical (23.8%), 
  4. travel and hospitality (23.4%), 
  5. conference events (14.2%), 
  6. financial services (11.0%), 
  7. technology (10.9%), 
  8. government (9.5%), 
  9. insurance (9.5%), 
  10. consumer packaged goods (8.6%), 
  11. entertainment (8.1%), 
  12. retail (6.0%), 
  13. automotive (5.7%). 

Looking at differences between business and consumer markets, e-mail sent to consumers received the higher click-through rates of 19.9% and open rates of 78.9%, while business-to-business e-mail had rates of 11.2% and 67.7%, respectively.

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