DoubleClick Sees First Quarter Decline in Key E-Mail Metrics

E-mail open rates, click-through rates, order size and revenue per email delivered declined slightly in the first quarter of 2004, according to DoubleClick’s first E-Mail Trend Report since the enactment of the CAN-SPAM Act.

Open rates averaged 38.2 percent, a decline from 2003’s first-quarter rate of 39.2. Click-through rates fell to 8.4 percent, from 8.9 percent in Q1 2003. Revenue per email delivered dropped from $0.28 in the first quarter of 2003 to $0.23. And order size declined to $92, as compared to $105 in 2003’s first quarter.

The report also showed a slight improvement in deliverability, measured as the number of emails sent minus hard and soft bounce-backs. Overall delivery rates increased to 88.8 percent, an increase of 1.4 percent from the same period in 2003.

DoubleClick said its Business Publisher segment bucked the trend, seeing increases both in open rates and click-through rates when compared to last year’s first quarter. Open rates increased from 38.1 percent to 39.2 percent and click-through rates went from 6.6 percent to 7.3 percent. The group saw a 91.6 percent delivery rate in the quarter.

The Consumer Products and Services sector saw the greatest decline in click-through rates, though it still enjoyed a higher than average rate. Click-throughs in the category declined from 14 percent to 9.5 percent. DoubleClick didn’t release open rates for Consumer Products and Services.

DoubleClick’s E-Mail Trend Report is compiled from aggregate data from the company’s DARTmail email technology. It’s based on billions of permission-based emails from hundreds of clients.

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