Email marketing and marketing automation company, Silverpop, has released the findings from it’s 2012 Email marketing benchmarks study.

Silverpop examined messages sent in 2011 and Q1 2012, by 1,124 participating brands.

Open Rates

Overall email open rates across all regions is 44.9%. The open rate in EMEA is 44% and the US slightly better at 45.1%.

Financial services (55.6%) and charities (52.2%) were the best performing industry sectors for open rates.

Whilst Education (25.6) and Retail (30.7%) were the poorest performers.

silverpop 2012 email benchmark open rates

Click-through Rates 

The overall click-through rate across all regions is 5.2%. The open rate in EMEA is 5.1% and again slightly higher in the US at 5.4%.

The sectors with the best click-through rates are Computer software (8.6%) and Media % Publishing (8.9%).

The worst performing sectors included Travel (2.3%), Retail (3.1%) and Financial (3.5%).

Other Notable Findings

Despite the finance sector having the highest open rates they also have one of the poorest click-through rates.

The Retail sector had both a low open rate (30.7%) and click-through rate (3.1%). Charity firms, on the other hand, performed well in both categories, with an open rate of 52.2% and a click-through rate of 5.4%.

“These findings confirm that response rates vary widely based on the approach that is taken and the content that is delivered,” said Loren McDonald, vice president of industry relations for Silverpop.  “Companies that focus on helping recipients by providing behaviour-based content that is meaningful, personal and relevant rather than just firing off one-size-fits-all promotions are far more likely to find themselves in the top quartile.”

The full report can be downloaded here.