Email company Vertical Response has produced an interesting email use survey for first quarter 2006.
It does make interesting reading, although the results are only for campaigns they're involved with.
Some of the specifics are as follows:
Retailers sent 107,525,465 emails and consultants 10,309,629
Suprisingly PR and events only sent out 1,941,233.
Interestingly, on average, the bigger your list size the less likely you are to have your email opened. Which points to the fact that as your list grows it's focus goes a bit adrift. That means your offers may not hit the right spot with everyone. Click throughs appear to follow this same pattern.
That said there are industries that buck that trend.
And places of worship look as though they have the highest open rates of all.
All fascinating stuff.
Of course as we all know you have to be careful around statistics. As you can make them say almost anything. And remember these results are from one company's customers who may all have decided to select it because they have low open rates, or small lists, or bad offers or abject subject lines.
As Vertical Response themselves point out they can't really show that in their stats.