Benchmarking Series: Entertainment Industry

The fifth in our performance benchmark series covers the Entertainment industry.  This analysis includes nine key industry sectors we classify in the Entertainment category:  Gambling; Movies and Videos; Music; Online Entertainment Guides and List; Performing Arts; Sports and Teams; Stadiums, Venues and Theaters; Theme Parks and Attractions; and Ticket Agents and Brokers.  We analyzed promotional email for about 750-900 related brands in these nine sectors.  (Additional methodology details can be found below.)

Benchmark data help you set a standard.  If you’re sending marketing email in the Entertainment space, and your activity ranks beneath the best performance averages shown here, you may find considerable revenue and retention upside in identifying opportunities to replace, restructure or eliminate underperforming programs, or to remediate send practices that drive poor inbox performance.

The tables below show overall read rate and inbox performance ranked best-to-worst by quartile for each quarter of 2018 and 2017, and for the first quarter of 2019.   Ranked quartiles are far better than averages alone in showing the range of performance across the group.  Highlights:

  • Average read rates run from a high of 30% for brands in the top-ranked quartile for that metric (Q1 2019), down to less than 4% in the bottom quartile (Q1 2017).
  • Spam rates range from 3% for brands in the top quartile for that metric (all quarters), up to more than 50% in the bottom quartile (Q1 2017).
  • Quarter-to-quarter read rate performance improves for between Q1 and Q2 of 2018, slips slightly in each of the next two quarters, and rebounds strongly in Q1 of 2019.
  • Read rates have consistently improved year-over-year for each quarter. The strongest improvements in both metrics generally occur in the bottom two quartiles, where there’s always opportunity and need for improvement. For Q1 of 2019, read rates improved in each quartile.
  • Overall spam rates are variable, but have generally worsened over the last two quarters shown, both quarter-to-quarter and year-over-year.
  • Spam rates average over 25% in the two worst performing quartiles — half the tracked brands. For the worst quartiles, that’s consistently about 35-50% or more email messaging that’s going directly to spam.  Identifying and fixing issues causing such weak performance would have an enormously positive business impact. 

Our next Benchmark Blogpost will cover Computers & Electronics. We’ll soon be publishing our full Benchmarking White Paper, analyzing email performance metrics across seventeen key industry categories for 2018.

Note on Methodology: Included in this analysis are promotional (as opposed to transactional and administrative; e.g., loyalty-related) emails for qualifying brands with a Projected Panel Reach of 100,000 or greater.