Good News, Bad News for E-mail Productivity

According to DoubleClick’s Q3 2004 E-mail Trend Report, the click-to-purchase conversion rate for e-mails to retail and catalog customers grew nearly 24% during the past year, to 4.2% for the third quarter of 2003. The number of orders received per e-mail delivered increased as well, from 0.24% in the third quarter of 2003 to 0.28%.

But the average open rate fell year over year from 37.1% to 34.3%. The average clickthrough rate dropped as well, from 9.2% to 8.2%. Revenue per e-mail delivered fell 19%, to $0.21. And the median order size dropped 7% year over year, to $94.

“As the e-mail medium matures,” read a DoubleClick statement, “recipients seem less likely to always click on a promotional email, but when they do click, they are demonstrating that they are more likely to be ‘in market’ for products and services and have a higher propensity to convert.”

Among other stats from the survey, the average delivery rate (e-mails sent minus bounce-backs) was 89.3%, up slightly from 88.2% for the third quarter of last year.