Our benchmark series continues with an analysis of Financial Services. This analysis includes eight key industry sectors: Credit Cards, Debt Elimination and Credit Reporting, Electronic Payment and Wire Services; Financial Institutions; Financial Services and Research; Insurance; Mortgages and Loans; and Real Estate. We analyzed promotional email for about 900-1,000 related brands in these eight sectors. (Additional methodology details can be found below.)
Benchmark data establish a bar. If you’re a financial services email marketer, and your activity ranks beneath the best performance averages shown here, there may be considerable revenue and retention upside in identifying opportunities to replace, restructure or eliminate underperforming programs, or to alter send practices that drive poor inbox performance.
The tables below show overall read rate and inbox performance ranked best-to-worst by quartile for each quarter of 2018 and 2017, and for the first quarter of 2019.
- Average read rates run from a high of 40% for brands in the top-ranked quartile for that metric (Q1 2019), down to about 5% in the bottom quartile (Q1 2018).
- Inbox rates range from 97% for brands in the top quartile for that metric (all quarters), down to 49% in the bottom quartile (Q1 2019).
- Quarter-to-quarter read rate performance improves for each of the five quarters shown.
- Read rates have consistently improved year-over-year. The strongest improvements in both metrics occur in the bottom two quartiles, where there’s the most opportunity and need for improvement.
- Overall inbox performance is variable, but has generally eroded over the last two quarters shown, both quarter-to-quarter and year-over-year.
- Spam rates average over 30% in the two worst performing quartiles — half the tracked brands. For the worst quartiles, that’s consistently about 45-50% or more email messaging that’s going directly to spam. Identifying and fixing issues causing such weak performance would have an enormously positive business impact.