A recent email marketing metrics study by IBM company Core Motives has shown some surprisingly large chasms in the statistics of how online marketers are faring in their tasks, with many categories performing well beyond anyone’s expectations but a few falling so short that you really have to wonder why they aren’t overhauling their entire systems to parallel the results of the far more successful entities. The industry category which consistently is scoring at the very bottom of these metrics is Travel & Leisure and it is their experience which can shed light on the heart of email marketing effectiveness: Is the reading of that missive a priority for the subscriber?

Education’s unique open is 42 x that of Travel & Leisure
In a report packed with informative statistics, the one that first captures your attention if not outright disbelief is the unique open rate when expressed by industry. The top quartile performance of the Education sector is fully unmatched by any other category, scoring an eye-watering 50.4% score with a mean average of 25.7% of unique opens. On the flip side of this equation is the Travel & Leisure category which managed a median unique open rate of only 11.1% thereby scoring in the bottom quartile at 3.3%! This disparity is nothing short of amazing as according to an albeit arcane type of statistical measurement this represents a performance 42 times lower for Travel & Leisure as compared to the Education category.

Go East, young email marketer, go East!
The Nirvana for all email marketers seeking gross open rates has to be the Asia Pacific region where you can enjoy a median of 41.4%, as compared to the poor cousins who rely on the United States and its anemic 25.3% rate. These enormous differences in gross opens also extend to the industry categories, where if you’re in the Computer Hardware & Telecom, Computer Software, Education, Financial Services, Health Care, or Industrial Services categories you can rely on scoring well above 50% on this critical metric but if you’re in the dejected and sorrowfully underperforming Travel & Leisure category you have to content yourself with a mere 24.2%. So if you’re a Travel & Leisure email marketer with a strictly U.S.-based subscription list you will actually be receiving a gross open rate of less than 20%. And that’s an ouch any way you analyze it.

Travel & Leisure is a bottom ranker in opens per opener
The bottom of the barrel rating for Travel & Leisure continues in the somewhat awkwardly named metric of Opens Per Opener. This statistic measures how many times the recipient of an email will open the same message and although it might seem like an esoteric measurement, it actually is a fairly accurate indicator of overall email engagement by the subscriber. In this metric, Travel & Leisure scores a disappointing 1.40 as compared to the top categories of Industrial Services and Computer Software that manage a 2.25 score.

$100 off a Cabo weekend is not exactly a priority read

What is Travel & Leisure doing wrong that all the other categories are doing right? As in any industry analysis there are a myriad factors which have to be taken into consideration, but one of the most critical has to be the way that the email subscribers in this industry category are looking at the messaging issuing from these companies. Let’s face it, if we are faced with an email from our bank, our insurance company, or from a school we are far more likely to make it a priority read than if we get one touting a hundred bucks off a weekend in Cabo.

It is that critical factor of perceived importance which is central to the entire process of obtaining a reasonably high open rate from your subscription list. No matter what industry sector you operate in, you have little choice but to imbue your email marketing with the aura of urgent necessity. If your email subscriber is able to identify your message in their very crowded inbox to be one that provides important value you will receive the opens you seek!