A Scenic Tour of the Online World

Email Open Rates and Click-Through Rates Dropping

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Email open rates and click-through rates are dropping, particularly amongst younger demographics. A new comScore report shows drops across the board – about 8% overall – but most significantly in the teen demographic (down 59%) and the 25-to-34 age group, which is down 18%. Even the group we might consider core business users, 35 to 54, was down 10%.

My anecdotal experience confirms this. I’ve spoken to a couple of high school, college and twenty-somethings in the past few months who avoid email. Facebook messages and texting are the preferred ways to communicate in their world. (One, a young mom, even avoided the phone in favor of texts.)

Clearly that calls for a change in overall marketing strategy, particularly if your audience is younger. I wouldn’t abandon email entirely in favor of social messaging, but I would recommend that the message be much more compelling.

That means higher value message content, certainly, but also the use of up-and-coming technologies, too. For example, HTML5 will make inbox video a reality, and geo-location tie-ins show promise for retailers, as well.

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