Q1 2017 North America email trends and benchmarks show increase in desktop open rates

DALLAS – July 24, 2017 – Epsilon®, a global leader in creating connections between people and brands, today released the Q1 2017 Email Trends and Benchmarks report. The report, which measures emails sent by Epsilon clients in North America, shows email open rates on desktops increased slightly from Q4 2016 (41%) into Q1 2017 (44%) driven by a drop in mobile open rates for the second time in as many quarters. Mobile open rates (46%) were measured at the lowest average rate since Q3 2015 (43%).

“With the continued cross-device behavior from email subscribers, more than ever marketers need to leverage data to reach consumers on their preferred device, with precise timing and a creative message that is optimized for the channel they are interacting in at the time,” shared Judy Loschen, Senior Vice President, Digital Analytics at Epsilon. “To make emails more relevant for consumers, marketers need to focus integrating mobile, social, digital media and email channels to create connected experiences that drives results.”

Business as Usual methodology and email trends

The Q1 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 9.9 billion emails sent in Q1 (Jan- Mar) 2017 across multiple industries and approximately 150 clients.

Q1 2017 overall performance

  • The open rate of 33.5% was above Q4 2016 (32.1%) and in line with Q1 2016 (33.3%).
  • Click rates at 3.2% were in line with Q4 2016 (3.1%) and year-over-year (3.1%).
  • Non-bounce rates increased 98.3% from Q4 2016 (97.0%) and were higher than Q1 2016 (95.6%).

Triggered message methodology and email trends

Triggered message benchmarks were analyzed from approximately 3.6 billion triggered emails sent from January 2015 to March 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.

Because of the lower volumes being reported, we expect to see quarterly fluctuation as clients target and market to their customers and consumers in different ways throughout the year.

Overall performance

  • Triggered messages accounted for 2.7% of total email volume in Q1 2017, well below Q4 2016 (5.4%) and slightly lower than Q1 2016 (3.0%).
  • Non-bounce rates continued to drive strong results for Epsilon clients, only 1.9% lower than BAU industry metrics.
  • Triggered open rates were 69.0% higher than BAU in Q1 2017 and higher than the Q1 2016 lift of 67.9% over BAU open rates.
  • Triggered click rates continued to perform well, reporting 164.6% higher than BAU click rates but notably lower than Q1 2016, when triggered click rates showed a 241.3% lift over BAU.

For the first time in this report, we have included standalone benchmarks for the Automotive and Healthcare industries. For more information and industry-specific benchmarks, the Q1 2017 Email Trends and Benchmarks report is available at:

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 Affiliate by Conversant®, 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.