Deciphering the Enigma: How Email Campaigns Yield 8.5% Response rate

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Average Email open rates by Industry
Source: Hubspot, 2023

In today’s digital age, businesses have a lot of digital platform options to attract and convert potential customers. These include paid and organic strategies on different platforms such as Facebook, Insatgram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tik-Tok and DA Websites. However, amid these strategies, email marketing too stands as a prominent player, offering a direct and personalized approach to reach audiences and close a client. Email marketing benchmarks show a very high open rate even in 2023 statistics ranging from 33% to 41% in different industries. However, it’s not uncommon for email campaigns to yield disappointingly low final response rates, often hovering around 8.5% as per an outreach study by Backlinko in 2019. Unravelling the reasons behind this change in open rate is that effectiveness of email marketing requires a multifaceted exploration of intricacies, recipient behaviours, content relevance, and conversion optimization techniques.

The Overwhelmed Inbox

Among the many platforms available for digital communication such as Ads, posts, stories, blogs and forums, the phenomenon of email marketing has become a competitive market for marketers aiming to capture the attention and engagement of their target audience. The sheer volume of emails that recipients receive daily has reached staggering heights and this flood of messages has significant negative implications for the effectiveness of email marketing campaigns. The overwhelming volume of emails received is itself an indication of low response rate of Emails. This disturbs the easy processing for readers as they have to eliminate and select a lot.

(Forbes, 2021)

These emails cover a wide range of communications including work-related correspondences, promotional offers, newsletters, personal interactions and more. Given the circumstances, it’s not unexpected that the effectiveness of an email, in capturing attention and prompting a response is significantly impeded.

The rapid increase, in the number of emails being sent, has created a situation where people are constantly bombarded with information (whether helpful or not) making it challenging for them to be able to open and read emails that matter. Seeing this challenge each subject line, preview text, and sender name must vie for recognition and persuade recipients to invest their time and energy. Amidst this dissonance of emails, merely hoping for a passive open and a click-through will only lead to lower response rate.

The challenge posed by the volume of emails can be understood by the psychological phenomenon known as “email fatigue.” As recipients grapple with the overwhelming volume of emails, they develop a natural tendency to filter, prioritize, and dismiss messages rapidly. This creates a significant hurdle for email marketers, as their carefully crafted content risks overlooked in the ongoing struggle to manage the ever-growing inbox.

Lack of Personalization

In the vast realm of digital communication, the paradigm of personalized email marketing has evolved significantly. No longer can businesses rely solely on mass-sent, generic emails to foster connections and drive conversions. As email marketing becomes increasingly crowded with promotional clutter, the need for personalization has emerged as a critical factor in capturing the attention and engagement of recipients.

The fair reality is that mass-sent, generic emails often fall prey to a no response – either dismissed as artificial or marketing tactic or ignored after being considered spam. Recipients have become more discerning than ever, swiftly discerning between content that resonates and content that appears like a marketing tactic or irrelevant. The evolution of email recipients into final consumers requires that marketers must adapt their approach to shine in the crowd of 200 emails and forge meaningful connections.

Source: Yes Lifecycle Marketing, 2017
Source: Yes Lifecycle Marketing, 2017

A new approach of email communication is to cater to individual preferences, behaviours, and unique interactions. The impact of personalization cannot be understated; research indicates that emails with personalized subject lines can experience an impressive 50% increase in open rates. This statistic underscores the fundamental truth that recipients are more likely to engage with content that feels crafted exclusively for them.

Relevance of Content

The primary intent of an email marketing campaign lies in the ability to forge a connection which then leads to a secondary intent of a higher possibility of closing the client, that is, final sale. To achieve this, email content must be finely attuned to the recipient’s world – their challenges, desires, and unique circumstances. Content that fails to resonate on a personal level is unlikely to inspire action; it is merely another crowded presence in an already cluttered inbox.

The pivotal factor in email content’s effectiveness is its ability to provide value or a clear solution to the recipient. It should be able to offer tangible benefits. An email that offers insights, answers pressing questions or provides a solution to a pressing pain point captures the recipient’s attention and lays the foundation for engagement. It is this perceived value shown in personalization that allows the client to read further for email’s offerings.

Call-to-Action Ambiguity

The secondary objective of an email campaign is also to encourage recipients to engage in an action, such as registering for a webinar accessing valuable resources or completing a purchase. One common mistake is not providing a concise and persuasive call to action (CTA). If the CTA is unclear or buried within the email’s content, recipients may not even realize the desired action. Crafting a prominently placed, concise personalized and enticing CTA is pivotal to driving conversions.

Timing and Frequency Understanding the intricacies of email marketing entails not only crafting compelling content, but also mastering the art of timing and frequency so as to increase the possibility of sale. The delicate balance between sending emails at the right time and avoiding the mistakes that can lead to “Email Fatigue” plays a pivotal role in nurturing leads and achieving successful conversions. Missteps in timing or excessive frequency can lead to email fatigue, ultimately resulting in disengagement and diminishing returns on marketing efforts.

Recognizing the profound impact of timing, email marketers must understand that the optimal moment to send an email is far from universal. It is a dynamic variable influenced by factors such as the target audience’s preferences, the industry’s characteristics, and even the geographic location of the recipients. While a certain time might be opportune for one segment of the audience, it could be utterly ineffective for another.

Determining the prime timing for emails requires more than normal research of competitors strategy or past trends. Analyzing recipient behaviour patterns, tracking open rates, and monitoring engagement metrics can provide invaluable insights into when recipients are most likely to interact with their inboxes. In a world where individuals are inundated with emails, the goal is to seize moments when recipients are most receptive, ensuring that the email is greeted with curiosity rather than annoyance.

Mobile Responsiveness The engagement on mobile phones is increasing these days. Gone are the days when emails were primarily viewed on traditional desktop monitors. Remember, this diversity in screen sizes presents both an opportunity and a challenge for email marketers. An email that looks stunning on a laptop screen might appear disordered or error prone on a smartphone. This lack of cohesiveness can cause recipients to abandon the email, dismissing it as a technical glitch rather than a valuable communication.

Source: Medium, Prototypr, 2019

The consequences of emails that fail to render properly on mobile devices are twofold: not only do they compromise the aesthetic and functional aspects of the email, but they also hinder the recipient’s journey towards a good experience. The importance of UI/UX in mobile responsiveness for websites/ application is already gaining competitive edge. The same is being extended to emails now. In a world where attention spans are notoriously short, an email that doesn’t instantly captivate, risks being discarded, eventually making the intended CTA reasonable low.

Responsive email design here can be the solution to the conundrum of diverse screen sizes and an antidote to the abandoned emails. Responsive design is the art of crafting emails that seamlessly adapt to different screen sizes on which they are viewed including Tablets, Ipads, Iphones, Androids and Mac. This  design philosophy  ensures the email’s layout, images, fonts, and buttons adjust dynamically to provide a consistently optimal viewing experience across a spectrum of devices. This UI/UX adaptive approach for mobile responsiveness effectively eliminates the frustrations of recipients encountering content that appears distorted, truncated or disjointed as is presented as per UI/UX elements.

Deliverability and Spam Filters

Source: ABC News, 2015

Emails that fail to reach the recipient’s INBOX are destined to yield zero leads. Deliverability issues often arise due to spam filters reducing domain reputation. Regularly monitoring domain reputation, adhering to email best practices and segmenting the email list to target engaged recipients can mitigate deliverability challenges. Mail Chimp, Brevo, Hubspot amid many others should definitely be integrated for smooth email deliveries.

List Quality and Segmentation

The quality and source of the email list directly impacts the conversion rate. A purchased or outdated email list can result in sending emails to uninterested or irrelevant recipients leading to even lower conversion rate. Outdated and uninterested emails will obviously have reduced response rate and it is expected that such users will simply “Unsubscribe” the emails. Effective list segmentation based on demographics, behaviours, and preferences ensures that recipients receive content tailored to their specific needs, increasing the likelihood of engagement and conversion.

Relationship Building

Successful email marketing hinges on building a strong and authentic relationship with recipients. Failing to nurture leads through consistent communication and valuable content can cause them to lose interest over time. Email campaigns should focus on providing ongoing value, sharing insights, and addressing recipient concerns to foster trust and keep leads engaged until they are ready to convert. Usually email campaigns are sent focusing on the target customers and not behavioural or researched pain areas of the clients in the email list. This leaves emails to be responsive only according to the luck factor where clients have the same intent that the brand represents.

Companies have to make sure that they use different kinds of email posts to initially gain the perception of Authoritativeness that can later lead to a relationship building with the clients. This can include Product Launching Updates, Claims of Media Recognition, Product use and feature Education and so much more to be able to ensure a higher response and conversion rate than the average.


Email marketing, when executed strategically and thoughtfully, can be a potent tool for generating leads and driving conversions. However, achieving the desired 8.5% response rate requires meticulous attention to detail across various aspects of the campaign.  By addressing each point mentioned above before finalizing the final action on email campaigns, the desired response rate and conversion can be achieved.

Want to utilize such safety points in your email list and boost your email marketing success? Discover the secrets behind a higher than 8.5% response rate. Start optimizing your email campaigns today. Talk to us.

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