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‘Chronicles of a Head of Digital’ – 32

So I’ve been doing a bit of data over here from the chair of power.

I do a lot of data…

Nothing too exhaustive, just a random pull across a variety of campaigns from the real world of the B2B sector. No sexy FMCG outbound or experiential, just B2B (and centred on one sector) email marketing.

It’s not conclusive or comprehensive by any means, but I ran analytics and data pools from around 20 different B2B clients over a circa five-year period from around six sources (agencies/one-man bands/in-house) with around five campaigns for each, just to give myself a fairly even and definitely real-world benchmark.

I could go further and do more, and probably will at some point by disseminating campaign type and audience, and geography and all that, but for now, as a starter for 10, as my benchmark exercise, this is a cover all.

Many names you have heard of, but not all: big shiny globals to nationals, enterprises down to SMEs – both in terms of client size and end market/audience size.

So, like I say, a wide(ish) spectrum.

Some are proper well-thought-out, cross-channel campaigns with the outbound arm being support or a lead to other assets (be that DM or telesales or events), others standalone e-outbound. Some are a series, some are one-offs; some brands have pull, others not so much. Some messages are strong, others less so. Some stand out ‘get some free stuff’, others a ‘cloud message’ amongst an inbox of ‘cloud messages’.

There are no newsletters in here though. Just outbound cold calling by email if you want to look at it one way. Invasive sales messages.

Anyhow, caveats out the way… this is what I found. Only focusing today on open rates and clicks to the call to action.

  1. Open rate – The lowest open rate I see is a lowly 0.5%, which is for one of the BIG players, who have major pull in their sector. The highest is 33%, which in itself is eye opening. The biggest open rate in my random pull is that just one third of the recipients opened. Across all of them, the open rate average is just 14%. That is a real-world actual stat with no smoke and/or mirrors. Raw data and maths.
     
  2. Click rate/Call to action – The click of that button. The lowest I see here is 0% – the highest I see is 50%. A conversion of half is pretty good. Overall, the average is 7%.
     

Like I say there is a massive variation in output in this lot, in terms of size of data pool, messaging, strategy, brand name, call to action, supporting collateral and so on. And this is deliberate to get a proper average mean in this model.

Alongside all of these I have done massively targeted ones that I have not included in this model as they would slew the results massively in my favour, with 100% clicks and downloads. Others include a full audit trail of millions of pounds/dollars of sales with automated tracking, lead scoring and synchronisation of platforms and channels. But they are for another day. Those span B2B tech through to B2C FMCG at the (supposedly proper sexy) other end.

Today, all I want to say is, with this cross-section of B2B email marketing, averages seem to be:

14% open rate

7% click rate

Call it a benchmark. Do with that what you will.

Would be good to know anyone else’s calculations, to see how ‘real world’ this actually is.

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