Email and Mobile Metrics for Smarter Marketing

email marketing

IBM Watson Marketing‘s 2018 Marketing Benchmark Report examines email and mobile marketing messages sent by several thousand brands in 2017.  The report includes mobile marketing metrics data as well as email marketing metrics, establishing benchmarks for customer engagement, delivery and subscriber churn.


Here are some of their findings:

Email Marketing

Email Marketing

The Click-Through Rate (CTR) metric measures recipient action on an email message.  The related metric click-to-open rate (CTOR), sometimes known as the “effective rate,” sheds more light on engagement than a simple click rate because it measures click-through rates as a percentage of messages opened instead of simply messages delivered.

According to the report, the highest mean CTR are from brands representing Automative and Transportation whereas the industry of Consumer Products (22.3%) and Leisure, Sports & Recreation (16.7%) had the highest mean CTOR.

Suggestion for marketers:

Make click links as easy as possible with the use of large buttons; place text links in multiple locations; use lots of white space, and use benefit-driven calls to action on buttons rather than phrases like “click here.”


Meanwhile, the mean unsubscribe rates vary widely by industry, from a low of 0.07% for Media & Publishing companies to a high of 0.19% for Real Estate, Construction &
Building Products companies.  Also, industry of Consumer Services (0.021%) Marketing & Advertising (0.021%), and Consumer Products (0.018%) had the highest complaint rates.

Suggestion for marketers:

The best practice for keeping unsubscribe rates low is to make opting out easy and providing alternatives to unsubscribing. This includes allowing subscribers to easily change email addresses and to update their profile preferences.  Most importantly, you should strive to deliver on your subscriber’s exceptions after opting in and provide ongoing value through content and relevant offers.  Also, if your complaint rate is higher than average, consider adding an extra unsubscribe link at the top of your email templates.


Mobile Marketing

Mobile Marketing

According to the report, SMS message sends in the chart of 321 (mean) and 84 (median). SMS marketers are taking a smarter approach by replacing a “batching and blasting” strategy with sending messages more frequently but to fewer recipients via more targeted triggered and segmented messaging.

Suggestion for marketers:

When creating your SMS messaging strategy, adopt a new, integrated multichannel mindset and do not focus solely on frequency.  For example, ask yourselves: how can we use SMS to follow up with reminders for a webinar invite when a recipient has not responded to email?

Consumer trust expectations are greater with SMS versus email because of its immediacy on personal mobile devices. Transform your SMS campaign approach by creating greater value and adopting a multichannel mindset (and not using SMS as a means simply to blast your latest sale).



Want to learn how to build smarter marketing campaigns? Download the full report Here and find out the statistics and insights from the 2018 Marketing Benchmark Report.

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