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Trends The 2018/19 end-of-season email marketing performance benchmarks.

photo of the author Gregg Blanchard

Another year of email has come and gone. Time flies when you’re helping resorts send hundreds of millions of data-driven emails.

Before we jump into the results, some quick data behind the data:

  • Data comes from a sample of 50 mountain resorts.
  • In total, these charts represent tens of thousands of campaigns sent to more than 2 billion recipients.
  • This is a review of winter season performance, so data runs from Nov 1 – Mar 31 each year.
  • This marks our 11th year doing so, so we have historicals going back to the 2008/09 season.

We’ve broken these down by campaign type – “promotional” (one-time campaigns sent to larger groups), pre-arrival, and post-departure. Let’s jump right in.

Open Rate

Calculated by dividing unique opens by total campaign recipients.
Let’s start with open rate for each of these campaign types. Here’s what the trends are looking like.

Once again, marketing emails saw an increase in open rate: up to just over 26%. Otherwise, the slight downward trend of both pre-arrival and post-departure continued.

Keep in mind, however, that they’re still higher than there were 7-10 years ago and average 57% and 45% opens respectively.

Click Rate

Calculated, based on past versions of this report, by dividing unique clicks by unique opens.
In terms of click rate, here’s what we’re seeing.

Just like with opens, click rates for marketing emails climbed for the second straight year. Pre-arrivals stayed almost exactly flat at 29% and post-departure dropped to 22%.

Opt-Out Rate

Calculated by dividing opt-outs by total campaign recipients.
Finally, opt-out rates. What did the data say? Take a look.

Marketing emails dropped to their lowest level since we started pulling these stats in 2008/09: 0.19%. Pre-arrival similarly dropped compared to last year to about 0.06%. Post-departure emails rose ever so slightly from 0.39% to 0.40%.

What This Means

I continue to be amazed at the consistency of email. Despite fluctuations in various specific applications of email, when you look at where the bulk of volume sits – marketing emails – everything is moving slowly in positive directions.

Open rates are up, click rates are up, and opt-out rates are down. And if the past is any indicator of the future, we’d expect that to continue.

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