Email marketing is increasing in popularity around the globe, as more marketers discover the cost and ROI benefits. The GetResponse Team thought it would be interesting to study our international users to see how they fit into the Big Picture when grouped by continents. For this study, we analyzed some email marketing metrics to show variations among senders from different continents.

The results revealed that the most industrialized regions don't always have the highest email marketing scores. Surprised? Take a look at these stats and maps to see how your continent performed!

Study Findings

Open Rates

We calculated the Total Open Rate as the number of email "opens", divided by the total number of emails sent. To identify any variations, we also calculated Average Open Rate of HTML messages as the number of email "opens", divided by the total number of HTML emails sent.

Note: To track open rates, HTML emails contain a piece of code requesting the display of a tiny, transparent (i.e. invisible to the viewer) image. When a message is opened and images are enabled, the image calls the server and the message is then counted as an open.

Total Open Rate
Open Rate of HTML messages


Taking first place in the category of Total Open Rates for continents was Europe, with a high score of 13.04%. Second place was South America with 12.51%, and coming in a close third was Australia and Oceania, with 8.08%.
But if we look at the Average Open Rate of HTML messages, it shows that one message out of every 4 sent from North America is opened.

Click-Through Rates

The Click-Through Rate (CTR) is the number of clicks on links in the email message, divided by the number of email messages sent in a campaign. The Click-to-Open Rate (CTOR) measures click-through rates as a percentage of messages opened, instead of messages sent. Clicks-Per-Clicker measures how often a recipient clicks on links in the same message. It captures actions by recipients who either click on a specific link multiple times or who click on more than one link in the email message.

Click-Throught Rate
Click to Open Rate
Click per Clicker


If we take a look at the average CTR category for the continents, Europe is the winner with a score of over 4%, which is more than 60% higher than the continent with the lowest result - Asia at 2.44%. Europe also wins in the Click to Open category. More than 40 people out of every 100 who opened a message sent from Europe clicked on a link. In North America, less than 1 person out of every 3 opened and clicked on a link.
The study returned some interesting findings regarding how often a recipient clicks on links in the same message. In Asia, one of every 4 subscribers who clicked on email links, did it twice. In North America, just 1 out of every 8 clicked on a link twice!

List Churn Metrics

Bounce Rates

The Bounce Rate measures how many emails were returned to the sender because they were undeliverable for some reason, e.g. the address was invalid, mailbox was full, or the mail server temporarily unavailable, etc...

Bounce Rates

Complaint Rates

In general, Complaint Rates is the percentage of delivered email messages that generate spam complaints. It means that when a recipient reports your email as spam, his/her email address will be immediately removed and blacklisted from your account.

Complaint Rates

Unsubscribe Rates

Unsubscribe Rates measure reader disengagement. They show how many subscribers opted out of receiving further messages by clicking the unsubscribe links which are automatically added to every email sent out from GetResponse.

Unsubscribe Rates


North America returned a 2.17% bounce rate - the highest bounce rate of all the continents. This wasn't surprising since this continent has the most robust email marketing industry in the world.
Due to the huge volume, American ISPs have developed extremely advanced and accurate tools for monitoring and verification, so senders are forced to meet very strict requirements.
Complaint rates are the result of many different factors. Recipients may report messages as spam because they don't recognize the sender or the messages were unsolicited, for example. However, according to Forrester Research, the primary reason for poor response rates is that the sender failed to provide any content of particular relevance to the recipient. Australia did very well in this area, returning the lowest complaint rate of all the continents!

Research Methodology

This international email marketing study examined approximately 1,652,000,000 emails sent by GetResponse users from 95 countries between July and December 2009. The research pulled only messages sent to at least 50 subscribers.

We hope to expand both the scope and range of metrics as we venture into interesting research topics in future studies. Your comments and suggestions are always appreciated. To find out more about GetResponse, please visit