When it comes to media relations, mass distribution is not effective anymore.

Sending a few customized emails to selected contacts can bring more results than buying reach or cold emailing big contact lists.

To further investigate this matter, we gathered data from all the email campaigns sent through pr.co, a PR toolkit that allows you to create your online pressroom and track your email pitches to your media contacts.

We’re looking for open and click rates. We want to understand if there is a correlation between the amount of emails you send and the rate of people interacting with it.

Why We Care About the Amount of Emails?

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

You already know writing news about your company is not enough. You need to spread the word reaching out to the right people, at the right time, in the right way.

So, how do you reach out to your audiences? How many people do you usually email? How personal are your emails?

Here is a breakdown showing how many emails are sent per campaign.

Open and click rates in email campaigns

More than half (53%) of all the campaigns sent through pr.co have less than 100 recipients. To be more precise, 21% of all the campaigns has between 2 and 19 recipients. Another 20% has from 20 to 60 recipients.

Campaigns with more than 200 emails sent are way less recurring. Among the ‘big’ campaigns, many have between 600 and 800 recipients. On the other hand, only 17% of all the campaigns has more than 300 sent emails.

What We Measured and Why

How do you measure your email campaigns? What metrics are you looking at? The most obvious ones are open and click rates. How many of your recipients clicked on the link in your email?

If they don’t click, they won’t accomplish your call to action – and if they don’t open, they won’t click. So opening and clicking are required steps.

Let’s check then how open and click rates change and if there is a correlation with the amount of emails sent per campaign.

See it on Pinterest

Let’s check the exact rates:


A Correlation Between the 3 Metrics

When a campaign is sent to 2-9 people, the average open rate is 51% and the click rate is 28%. Up to 80 emails sent, the open rate is above 30% and the click rate is around 10%. As the amount of emails grows, we can notice a drop in the open and click rates.

According to this data, a negative correlation exists between the amount of emails sent and the open and click rates.

We also saw some very successful campaigns, where open rates were above 30% even with hundreds of emails sent. On the other hand, some campaigns had no clicks – regardless of the amount of emails sent.

In general, however, we can begin to understand how smaller campaigns sometimes get better results than bigger ones.

I would argue that it’s increasingly difficult to maintain bigger lists of emails, as many things can change and it’s hard to keep everything up-to-date when numbers grow.

How We Managed the Data

We run a simple database query to extract the presslist campaigns since the release of the feature. The amount of emails sent per campaign is the first information we need. In a single campaign, the emails sent may either be the same for all recipients, or everyone could get a personalized email – or something in between the two options.

The more the recipients, the less likely customization is.

We removed right away 5% of campaigns at the top and at the bottom, for a couple of reasons. First off, campaigns with only one recipient are usually tests. Moreover, we also noticed a few campaigns with a huge amount of emails sent – between 1200 and 12000. The amount of emails here is so different from the majority of the campaigns that we didn’t want the results to be twisted because of those.

Want More?

Please let me know what kind of value you see in this analysis and where we could head our further research on this data.

You can read what we already published about the best day to send press releases and the days press releases get the most views.

This article originally appeared on the pr.co blog.