Our benchmark series continues with our analysis of the Travel industry. The analysis includes six key travel sectors: Hotels & Resorts; Airlines; Car Rental; Cruises; Taxi, Train, Bus; and Travel Services and Tourism. We analyzed promotional email for about 700-800 travel brands in these six sectors. (Additional methodology details can be found below.)
Benchmark data establish a bar. If you’re a travel brand, and your email activity ranks beneath the best performance averages shown here, there may be considerable revenue 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 by quartile for each quarter of 2018 and 2017. Highlights:
- Average read rates run from a high of almost 32% for brands in the top-ranked quartile for that metric in Q4, down to 7% in the bottom quartile (Q2 and Q3).
- Inbox rates range from 96% for brands in the top quartile for that metric (all quarters), down to 55% in the bottom quartile (Q4).
- 2018 performance is consistent over the first three quarters, but in Q4, read rates improve while inbox performance erodes
- This Q4 change likely reflects increased reader interest during Holiday, but less restrained email send practices.
- In general, read rates and inbox performance improved year-over-year, except in Q4. The strongest improvements in both metrics occur in the bottom two quartiles, where there’s the most opportunity and need for improvement.
- Perhaps the most striking statistics in these tables are the spam rates, which average over 25% in the two quartiles — half the tracked brands — with the worst inbox performance. For the worst quartile, that’s consistently about 40% or more email messaging that’s going directly to spam. There’s a lot of business being left on the table there.