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Study identifies major shifts in email user behaviour post-Covid
By our News Team | 2023
Analysis of more than 10-billion bulk emails sent over three years finds a ‘landscape fundamentally reshaped’ by events.
There have been “seismic shifts” in email user behaviour and engagement as the world returned to a post-Covid normal, according to a study published by South African-based email specialist Everlytic.
The Email Marketing Benchmark Report 2022 analysed data from more than 10-billion bulk emails from 2020 to 2022, with the research “discovering a landscape fundamentally reshaped by the events of the past three years”, the company said.
Photo by Torsten Dettlaff from Pexels
For example the hospitality, tourism and travel sectors were hard hit by the pandemic, with below-average email open rates in 2020. Now, thanks to trends like revenge travel (travelling as a way of making up for time lost during the pandemic) and digital-nomad working, the sector has since seen a 49% increase in open rates in 2022.
Indeed, email open rates across all sectors surveyed by Everlytic have increased to an all-time high of 29.28%, which is a 17% increase on 2020.
After the travel and hospitality sector, technology had the most significant increase of 43%, followed by property and real estate (26%), and business and consulting services (25%).
“These upticks in user open rates are aligned with the trends of online shopping, entrepreneurialism, home delivery optimisation and hybrid working,” Everlytic says.
Business consulting had a 128% increase in click-to-open rates in 2022. This reflects a growing trend towards outsourcing admin and services to streamline costs and improve time management, and is very much in line with the hybrid working trend and the need to outsource expertise, rather than keep everyone in-house and in the office.
Parallels between engagement and industry trends
“The data found some interesting parallels between how users engaged with email marketing and specific trends in the industry,” says Louise Krog, Executive Head of Sales and Marketing at Everlytic.
“There are distinct correlations between what was going on with the economy, consumer trends and other determinative events, and how people connected with companies and their email content.”
The report also unpacked the trends around unsubscribes and complaints, and found that the automotive industry experienced the biggest shift in terms of both. This suggests that recipients may not be receiving messaging that speaks to their needs – or they’re perceiving it as spam.
According to a separate blog post published on the Everlytic website, which provides additional analysis of the benchmark report, one of the striking changes revealed is that email privacy adjustments made by email providers like have had a substantial impact on platform rates.
“This is because platform rates are measured using the same tracking technology used to measure email open rates; a metric that, due to the email privacy changes mentioned above, is becoming increasingly difficult for email marketing platforms to measure accurately,” the post says.
“So, while email opens on mobile and desktop appear to be plummeting and web app opens increasing, the report reveals that email marketers are moving into territory where they simply won’t know which platforms their recipients are using to open their emails anymore.”
You can download the full Everlytic Email Marketing Benchmark Report 2022 report (registration required) here.
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