Epsilon’s Q3 2017 Email Trends and Benchmarks report shows increase in email engagement for travel & hospitality brands

DALLAS – February 14, 2018 – Epsilon®, a global leader in creating connections between people and brands, today released the Q3 2017 Email Trends and Benchmarks report. The report, which measures emails sent by Epsilon clients in North America, finds that Q3 2017 email open rates (31.2 percent) decreased slightly from Q2 2017 (33.8 percent), but follows the same declining trend in 2016 when Q3 2016 open rates (34.1 percent) decreased slightly from Q2 2016 (35.6 percent).

Notable industry performance in the report shows travel and hospitality emails performing better overall in Q3 2017, as unique open rates increased from 1.5 percent in Q3 2016 to 2.6 percent in Q3 2017 a cyclical trend over the past two years since Q3 (July – September) is a heavy travel month. Q3 2017 campaign click-to-open rate (11.4 percent) is up from Q2 2017 (8.8 percent) and the Q3 2017 total click-through rate (3.6 percent) is up from Q2 2017 (2.6 percent).

“Across industries open and click-through rates have remained relatively consistent over the course of the last year. There has been very little fluctuation, indicating that new segmentation and personalization tactics need to be considered in order to drive increased performance.” shared Judy Loschen, Senior Vice President, Digital Analytics at Epsilon. "Increased usage of triggers will become even more prevalent in 2018 as more brands begin to incorporate behavior-based messages, outside of core transactional and abandon cart messages, to reach consumers in moments that matter most to them, not the brand.”

Business as Usual methodology and email trends

The Q3 2017 Business as Usual (BAU) email trends and benchmarks analyzed performance trends by industry and message type. These metrics offer insight into how the average company performed across multiple industry categories. This study was compiled from 13.2 billion emails sent from July to September 2017 across multiple industries and approximately 150 clients.

  • The Q3 2017 open rate of 31.2 percent is slightly below the prior quarter (33.8 percent), but follows the same declining trend from Q2 2016 (35.6 percent) into Q3 2016 (34.1 percent).
  • Click-through rates for Q3 2017 (3.1 percent) have remained relatively consistent over the course of the last year with very little fluctuation since Q3 2016 (3.1 percent).
  • Non-bounce rates remained steady in Q3 2017 (97.8 percent) from Q2 2017 (97.6 percent) and in line with Q3 2016 (97.1 percent).

Triggered message methodology and email trends

Triggered message benchmarks were analyzed from approximately 3.6 billion triggered emails sent from July 2015 to September 2017, across multiple industries. These messages were sent as the result of a consumer action, such as Welcome, Thank You, Abandon Shopping Cart or Confirmation. These metrics also highlight significant performance differences between triggered and BAU emails.

  • Triggered messages accounted for 2.5 percent of total email volume in Q3 2017, slightly lower than last year (3.7 percent) but higher than Q2 2017 (2.2 percent).
  • Triggered non-bounce rates continued to drive strong results for Epsilon clients, only 1.4 percent lower than BAU industry metrics.
  • Triggered open rates were 67.9 percent higher than BAU in Q3 2017 and higher than the Q3 2016 lift of 56.1 percent over BAU open rates.
  • Triggered click-through rates continued to perform well, nearly double that of BAU, Q3 2016 triggered click-through rates showed a 143.0 percent lift over BAU.

For more insight into trends from the Q3 2017 Email Trends and Benchmarks report including how to make personalization the priority, taking advantage of seasonality depending on your vertical, and shifting the common mindset about the email channel download the full report:

About Epsilon

Epsilon® is an all-encompassing global marketing innovator. We provide unrivaled data intelligence and customer insights, world-class technology including loyalty, email and CRM platforms and data-driven creative, activation and execution. Epsilon’s digital media arm, Conversant®, is a leader in personalized digital advertising and insights through its proprietary technology and trove of consumer marketing data, delivering digital marketing with unprecedented scale, accuracy and reach through personalized media programs and through CJ AffiliateTM, one of the world’s largest affiliate marketing networks. Together, we bring personalized marketing to consumers across offline and online channels, at moments of interest, that help drive business growth for brands. Recognized by Ad Age as the #1 World’s Largest CRM/Direct Marketing Network, #1 Largest U.S. Agency from All Disciplines, #1 Largest U.S. CRM/Direct Marketing Agency Network and #1 Largest U.S. Mobile Marketing Agency, Epsilon employs over 8,000 associates in 70 offices worldwide. Epsilon is an Alliance Data® company. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @EpsilonMktg.