The days of having Santa Claus come down the chimney with hand-crafted presents created by his busy little elves at the North Pole is long gone, as the jolly old man is now much more likely to have his sleigh burdened down with tablets and smartphones created by busy little elves at Foxconn (who may be borderline suicidal due to their low elf esteem). A recent Silverpop report has demonstrated that there is a wide chasm in the high-tech industry’s email metrics, with the massive difference being manifested in how Computer Software (CS) companies are outperforming Computer Hardware, Telecom & Electronics (CHT&E) companies across the board. But… what’s the reason behind this megagap?

The top four metrics tell the tale of CHT&E woe
The Unique Open Rate among is 13.4% for CHT&Es vs. CS’ 21.4%. When it comes to Gross Open Rate, the Great Divide is even greater with CHT&Es managing 27.7% which is dwarfed by the CS’ massive 45.4%. In the Click Through stakes, the huge advantage of the CS industry is just as clearly demonstrated by their 2.6% rate which is phenomenal when compared to the CHT&Es which managed only 1.5%. However, when we analyze the Hard Bounce Rate, the CHT&Es continue with their worse performance at 3.2% vs. the CS’ 2.8%.
CS’ trounce the CHT&Es by more than half
If we analyze these four top statistics we find that CS’ are outperforming CHT&Es by 59% in Unique Open Rate, by 64% in Gross Open Rate, by 73% in Click Through Rate, and by 14% in Hard Bounce Rate. That works out to an average of 52.5% where CS’ are walloping CHT&Es in the most critical of email marketing metrics. Ouch. That much of a gap cannot be attributed to mere statistical variations as if CS’ are performing their email marketing tasks to an efficiency which is over half again as effective as their CHT&E cousins, there has to be some critical difference as to how each industry is approaching their essentially identical high tech oriented consumer base.
The CS’ do fail in the Spam Complaint Rate
Even though the statistics show CHT&Es being trounced by CS’ at the primary email marketing campaign standards, it’s not all bad news for the CHT&Es. There are some statistics which show both industries performing in what is essentially a statistical dead heat. The Click To Open rate has the CHT&Es scoring 11.5% compared to CS’ 12%, and the Unsubscribe Rates are nearly identical with CHT&Es at .24% against CS’ .25%. There is only one statistic where CS is performing much worse than CHT&Es and that is in the Spam Complaint Rate. CS has a relatively horrible .08% rate vs. the less (apparently) spammy-seeming CHT&Es which managed just a .03% rate.
Each 100 U.S. Opens = 226 Asian Opens
In order to obtain a proper perspective on the most significant of these figures it must be noted that these are international figures and they will vary significantly in different nations. When it comes to Gross Open Rates, for example, the U.S. scores 9% lower than the Europe, Middle East, African countries, 18% lower than Canada and very surprisingly much lower by 126% than the Asian-Pacific countries. That equates to every 100 opens in the USA being paralleled by 226 opens in the Asia Pacific region. Go East young email marketer, Go East!

So what is it that the CS’ are doing right and the CHT&Es are doing wrong (in just about every metric but Spam Complaint Rate)? The reason may not be so much to do with the actual tactics which are being implemented by the CS’ as it is actually their product offerings. While literally every CTH&E in the known universe is offering the same long and utterly identical litany of products from Samsung, LG, Apple, etc., the CS’ generally offer specific products such as apps which are mostly unique to them. You can buy an iPad at every major department and electronics store, but you can only get SwiftKey from SwiftKey.

Providing unique product allows CS’ to capture their consumers’ attention: A valid lesson for all email marketers.