Click-to-purchase rates dropped from 6.4% in the fourth quarter last year to 3.2% in the first quarter this year.
Although a drop in the conversion rate is normal after the holiday season, this decline was larger than anticipated, likely a reflection of the struggling economy, Epsilon said.
Both revenue per e-mail and number of orders per e-mail delivered decreased as well, although median order size remained constant, meaning that e-mail can deliver a healthy return even in an economy in a downturn, according to the report. E-mail is currently driving an average of 16 cents in transactions per message delivered.
The quarterly analysis is compiled from aggregate data from the more than 5.8 billion e-mails sent by Epsilon in this year’s first quarter across multiple industries and clients.