According to the Harte-Hanks Postfuture Index of comparative e-mail metrics for January-June 2006 among 13 industry categories, restaurants enjoyed the best open rates at 167.7% (open rates exceeding 100% occur by way of pass-alongs, and reopened e-mail) as well as the best click-through rates at 57.5%. Retail had the lowest open rate (35.3%), while the automotive sector had the lowest click-through rate (5.7%). All reported averages are unweighted.

Richard Merrick, managing director, Postfuture at Harte-Hanks, noting that behavioral targeting of messaging can raise metrics significantly, said "One large retailer achieved a 74.2% open rate, 24.1% click-through rate and 0.1% opt-out rate, just by synchronizing e-mail with in-store activity. Using transactional e-mail to make dynamic product recommendations produce, on average, a 148.8% open rate and a 20.4% click-through rate."

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