Small e-mail lists perform better than larger mailings – TrackReports E-mail Stats

We have just completed “TrackReports E-mail Stats” , an internal study we conducted on 4,000 mailings tracked by our newly launched email tracking tool – TrackReports.
The results of the study are listed below.

4,000 email lists from TrackReports database were taken into account. In order to avoid distorsion from poorly designed or test lists, we discarded mailings with open rates below 1% or above 50% and click rates below 0,5%, and mailings to less than 100 recipients. Furthermore, we did not take into account the content of the mailings, as this information is not available in TrackReports’ database.

The analysis compared open and click-through rates (CTR) achieved by different list sizes (from 100 to 100,000 subscribers), and found that small e-mail lists get better open rates and click rates than larger lists.

According to the results of the analysis, average open rates and average click rates are strictly connected to the mailing size and vary from 10-20% and 2-5% respectively. Smaller e-mail lists tend to obtain better results: open rates drop as list sizes increase, but less than proportionally. For example, e-mail campaigns sent to more than 50,000 subscribers obtain about half the rate of a mailing sent to 500 recipients, which is 100 times smaller. That means a 100 times smaller mailing will be 50 times as effective. A possible reason is that smaller mailings (up to 5,000 addresses) are usually better targeted than larger ones.

Overall, the click-to-open rate (CTOR) – the ratio of unique clicks as a percentage of unique opens, averages 20% and remains constant for all considered mailing list sizes (+-3%), slightly more for better rates, slightly less for worse rates. Consequently, the tracking of open rates can be easily estimated simply by considering the number of clicks.

The analysis revealed that read and click rates decline as the list size increases. Micro e-mail lists (with less than 1,000 recipients) demonstrated an open rate of 20.47% and a click-through rate of 4.88%, Small mailings with less than 5,000 recipients had rates of 17,02% and 3,74% respectively. Mailings with more than 50,000 recipients received only an average open and click rate of 10,89% and 1,90%, respectively.

Senders who truly want to evaluate their e-mail marketing performance should always compare to similar mailing size / profiling. It can definitely help set goals and improve future e-mail campaigns results.

About TrackReports
is a free e-mail tracking tool for SendBlaster customers to monitor e-mail campaigns in real time. TrackReports was launched in January 2010, in combination with SendBlaster 2. Five months after its launch it has about 5,500 registered users, 14,500 mailings, and has recorded over 500.000 events from 2,500,000 recipients.