June 18

How Email Open Rates Were Affected by Covid-19


by Kurt Scholle

covid 19 email open rates

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How Covid-19 Has Affected Email Open Rates

A new survey by Email Service Provider Campaign Monitor on how email open rates were affected by Covid-19 shows an increase in email engagements since the Covid-19 pandemic began 3 months ago. The survey analyzed 19 different industries around the world who are using Convert Kit.

Key Findings

  1. March Send Volumes Were Near Normal: Interesting in that some industries are sending more emails than ever before. Send volume increased by just 0.06% in March 2020 vs. March 2019.
  2. Open Rates are Higher: March opens were 3 points higher than February. March and April combined for an increase of more than 20% in Open Rates year-over-year.
  3. Essential Industries Got Highest Open Rates: Healthcare, Government, Financial Services and Nonprofits are sending more email than inĀ  past years, while seeing higher Open Rates.

Covid-19 Email Open Rates

Industries with the highest email Open Rates:

  • Government 39.5% (+7.8%)
  • Education 32.5% (+9.6%)
  • Financial Services 25.9% (+3.7%)
  • Non-Profit +27.4% (+2.5%)
  • Logistics & Wholesale 25.2% (+4.3%)
  • Healthcare Services 25.0% (+2.9%)
  • Professional Services 22.3% (+3.7%)
  • Real Estate – Design & Construction 21.8% (+1.0%)
  • Advertising and Marketing Agencies 21.6% (+2.95)
  • IT/Tech Services 20.9% (+3.4%)
The latest email Open Rates in 19 industries. How did yours do in the age of Corona? Share on X

The Government industry sent 25% more emails in March 2020 versus March 2019. Government senders saw a 30% increase in open rates year over year, rising nine points to an average of 41.5% throughout the month of March. Subscribers to government email lists appear to be very interested in staying on top of the news.

Media & Publishing sites also attract people wanting to stay up with the news, entertainment and media. Despite that advertising revenues are down for many news and media companies.

Non-Profit supporters are staying true to their subscribers. Non-profits have sent ~ 40% more emails and enjoyed a 17% increase in Opens.

Travel and Hospitality has been hit hard by the virus. Send volume is down an understandable 3.7%, but Open Rates have increased 3%!

Healthcare has certainly dominated many conversations in 2020. 36% more email was sent by the Healthcare industry in March & April, but Open Rates ONLY rose by 12% this is a sign that companies in the health and wellness sectors might benefit from more relevant content and use subject lines that are more compelling.

Financial Services firms got a much better engagement than their healthcare counterparts. They sent 35% more emails in Mach 2020 than the previous March. They saw a 23% increase in opens, 4.6% increase in click-through rates, and 11% decrease in unsubscribes year over year.

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The report shows how email open rates were affected by Covid-19. One KPI, Click Through Rates, were positive in 14 of the 19 industries. The 5 industries reporting declines were:

  • Automotive & Aerospace: down 1.22% YoY
  • Real Estate – Design & Construction: down 0.23% Y0Y
  • Travel, Hospitality and Leisure: down 0.12% YoY
  • Advertising and Marketing Agencies: down 0.10% YoY
  • Consumer Goods: down 0.01% YoT

The overall Open Rate was 21.2% with an average increase of 3.6%

Fewer people are canceling their subscriptions. Some essential industries have also seen double-digit decreases in un-subscribes. Overall un-subscribes average 0.14%.

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The best day to send email during COVID-19 is Monday.

  • Best days for highest opens: Friday (22.2%) or Mondays (22.0%)
  • Best days for highest click-through rates: Wednesday (3.01%), Monday (3.0%), or Friday (2.97%)
  • Best days for highest click-to-open rates: Sunday (14.7%), Saturday (14.1%), Wednesday (13.8%)
  • Best days for lowest unsubscribe rates: Sunday (0.1%), Saturday (0.11%) Monday (0.13%)
  • Best days for lowest bounce rates: Sunday (0.38%), Sunday (0.59%), Monday (0.72%)

Website Success Kurt Scholle

Stay safe!

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