With 12% of recipients deleting the emails before reading them, loyalty-based marketing messages are the most actively ignored, although they still achieve a read rate of 21%.
The report introduces industry benchmarks based on global performance and offers insight into best practices for the 10 most common campaign types.
The highest read rate belongs to post-purchase emails, which are also the toughest to get into the inbox and have the lowest average deletion before reading rates.
"This makes sense since the email recipient has endorsed the merchant by making a purchase and has owned the consequences that follow," said Danish Ayub, CEO of MWM Studioz. "Marketers would do well by offering their thanks to customers in this format while using the below-the-fold area to communicate loyalty points accumulated and suggestions on complimentary purchases."
Of all the campaigns analyzed, the highest deletion before reading rates occurred for abandoned-cart messages, which achieved a modest 20% read rate.
The messages most commonly removed from a spam folder were birthday messages, and these achieved a 23% read rate.
"In our experience, the low propensity for open rates for birthday emails has often been attributed to the fact that most people will not input their accurate date of birth information when signing up," said Ayub. "In doing so, and forgetting the fact, emails that come when it isn't a birthday are regarded as spam."
Perhaps due to their frequency and contribution as email clutter, promotional emails performed the worst, with a 19% read rate. The takeaway here: Less is more.
"The customer has become desensitized to email marketing, and the onus is on the marketer to create new ways that pique their interest," suggested Ayub.
The highest complaint rate was found to be for welcome campaigns, although these attained an 84% inbox placement rate.
Emails sent out to in-active customers in the hopes of reactivation had a 20% open rate, with Return Path noting that one in five inactive subscribers are inspired to re-engage.