Not All Emails Are Created Equal

Looking at my own inbox, if you’d ask how many unread emails I have, I would proudly exclaim (and probably show you), “Zero!” while completely ignoring the thousands upon thousands of unread emails in my trash. It’s true, and it’s not just me.

Respondents to the 2019 Adobe Email Usage Study survey say that only about one-quarter of brand emails in their work (26%) or personal (23%) inboxes are interesting enough to open.


And if they happen to open the email, Epsilon’s aggregation of emails sent in Q2 of 2019, shows that the average email click rates have dropped to 2.9% in North America. Epsilon’s report suggests that even though the volume of emails have been increasing it “won’t necessarily mean more clicks.” Bleak as that seems, this data offers the opportunity for more dedicated research and creativity in finding what emails our audience want to open and click through.

Business-as-Usual Emails Vs. Triggered Emails

Business-as-Usual (BAU) Emails consist of promotional emails, educational information, or announcements, and according to Epsilon’s report, consistently see a 20% open rate and a measly 0.7% click-through rate. 

Triggered Emails are welcome emails, milestone emails, transactional emails, and re-engagement emails. These emails see an average open rate of 50% and click-through rate of 7.5%. Even though these types of emails consistently perform better, they only account for 2.1% of all marketing emails sent.

For our aerospace and defense marketing clients, we see an average of 20% open rates and 3% click rates. To see more average open and click rates by industry, here is MailChimp’s updated report as of October 2019.

Perfect Your Timing

There are typical best practices regarding when to send emails (see below), however, organizations can only really decide for themselves the best time to send out emails by experimenting and testing email times for their specific audience.

The general consensus of email marketing organizations publishing data (Adobe, Epsilon, MailChimp, Ascend, etc.) of email open rates and optimization report the following:

  • Tuesdays and Thursdays tend to be the best days to send emails overall
  • Mondays and Wednesdays can be viable as well but are unlikely to get quite the same results as Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • Somewhere around 10am and 11am is the optimal time of day

Don’t Be Creepy With Personalization

When organizations get personalization right, it pays off and Acsend2 proves that it is one of the most effective email marketing strategies. Our own digital marketing specialist here, reports that when personalization is added both Aerospace Marketing Lab and our clients see an increase in email open rates.

However, when one gets personalization wrong, it is really, really wrong. Above 60% of consumers surveyed in Epsilon’s report, said they’ve stopped buying or subscribing from a brand that employed poor or creepy personalization habits including, but not limited to, being targeted too many times, targeted for items they have already purchased, and missing option to opt-out.

With an increased focus on custom types of emails, timing, and personalization, we’ve spent some time developing strategies focusing on more custom email experiences for each consumer to increase our clients open and click through rates. When you want to talk through how Aerospace Marketing Lab can help boost your email marketing strategy, contact us here.

In the words of Hugo Burge, CEO of Momondo Group:

"Providing value to the user, whether or not they become a customer, is our goal. Fulfilled and impressed users are a higher priority for us than short-term revenues....if we help them early on in their decision-making journey, we know that they will return."

Happy emailing!