Lifecycle Benchmark for Email Marketing / Analyzed 1,387 Brands

  • When do customers disengage with a new program in most cases?
  • How much does email performance with new subscribers change over time?
  • How many new subscribers are retained and how many leave after 12 months?

1. Acquire: The First Touch

  • Subscriber quality: Subscriber quality measures whether this email address is actively used or rarely checked.
  • Activated subscribers: The percentage of subscribers reading at least one email from a sender’s email program during the first 30 days.
  • Complaints on initial message: This measures the percentage of subscribers who made a spam complaint about the first message they receive from a sender.
  • High quality email addresses which are more likely to be read and acted on.
  • High activation rates with engaging content.
  • Low rate of complaints to decrease potential risks.
  • Opt-out choice included in every communication through email.

2. Onboard: The First Experience

  • First Touch Read Rate: This shows whether customers are taking action with the initial email. So, it is important to understand if they are showing an interest or not.
  • Read Rate: This one shows if the email program can retain subscriber interest after the first message. It is understood from the average read rate over the first 30 days of the subscriber’s experience.
  • Complaint Rate: The average complaint rate shows whether a program has been able to reach subscriber expectations or not.
  • Churn Rate: This one shows the percentage of subscribers leaving the email program during the first 30 days. We can indicate how many new subscribers chose to actively withdraw from receiving additional messages with the help of this metric.
  • The average first touch read rate is quite high at 39%.
  • Average read rate over the first 30 days takes a slight dip to 35% still well above the standard for read rate.
  • Complaints over the first 30 days are significantly lower than complaints on the initial message, but still well above the overall average complaint rate of 0.17%.
  • On average, marketers also lose a full 34% of newly acquired subscribers within the first month.

3. Engage: Communication

  • Read rate: This represents the average read rate over the first 12 months of the subscriber experience. This metrics is important to understand if subscribers are interested to your content in the first 30 days.
  • Complaint rate: This metric shows the average complaint rate over the first 12 months of the subscriber experience. It is important to see where you might be losing subscriber interest by comparing your email content in the first 30 days with the content later on.
  • Engaged subscribers: This metric shows the percentage of subscribers who remain engaged with a program over the first 12 months. It is helpful to identify the new subscribers who continue to interact with the email program after 12 months.
  • Marketers are able to maintain a 32% read rate with new subscribers over the first 12 months of their relationship on average.
  • The average complaint rate drops to 1% over the 1st year — likely due to the
    fact that subscribers who complain early on are removed from the list, leading to fewer future complaints.
  • 31 % percent of new subscribers continue to interact with an email program after 12 months on average.

4. Retain: Relationship

  • 12-month retention: The percentage of newly acquired subscribers who have not unsubscribed after 12 months.
  • Average day of churn: The average number of days before a subscriber churns, among subscribers who leave the email program during the first 12 months.
  • Average days since the last read: The subscribers retained after 12 months and looks at the average number of days between the last read message and last received message. You can identify the period in which subscribers disengage with a program, yet are still receiving mail.

8 Tactics for Marketers to Have a Better Performance & Results

1. Validate Email Addresses

  • good IP address
  • good email service
  • clean template code
  • verified domain
  • clear unsubscribe link
  • physical mailing address

2. Get Adequate Consent

3. Set Expectations

4. Track Subscriber Engagement

5. Segment Your List

6. Provide Different Campaign Types

7. Send Win-Back Emails

8. Monitor Life-cycle Data



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