One of the reasons digital signage is getting a lot of traction as a tool for workplace communications is its ability to reach hard-to-reach employees with important messaging, and a big factor is the feeble effectiveness of emails.
New research is confirming what was well known – that e-mail open and click-through rates were low – and pointing out that the situation is only getting worse.
A report by the “interaction management” company Epsilon, as reported in Marketing Charts, says email click rates have declined every year, with the exception of 2018.
In the second quarter of 2019, analysis of the aggregated data of emails sent through Epsilon’s platform shows that average email click-through rates dropped below the 3% mark (2.9%) for the first time in North America, reversing a minor uptick in the same period last year. This figure is far below the rate recorded back in 2010, when emails boasted an average 5.3% click-through rate. Curiously, at the time, open rates were, on average, significantly lower (22.1% in Q2 2010 vs 30.7% in Q2 2019). In tandem, these results suggest that click-to-open rates have fallen dramatically over the course of this decade.
The report suggests that as the volume of email increases, “this could be an indication that we’ve reached the tipping point for consumers and email volume. More email doesn’t necessarily mean more opens and clicks.”
On the latter point, consumers feel that only around 1 in 4 emails are interesting enough to open.
Which brings me back to screens in workplaces. With open and click rates low and dropping, trying to get important messaging around to white collar staff is tough. Screens in break areas are much harder to ignore.
The benefit of screens is particularly high in “back of house” aspects of businesses, where people working in production, logistics and other areas don’t have desks and more than likely don’t even have company email addresses.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.