WebPower, marketing automation company, sent more than 11B emails in China, 91% of them in mainland China. And one third of them were related to eCommerce purposes.

Recently, WebPower published its latest report “China Email Marketing Metrics Report 2015” and, although data come from a single source, we can have an idea about this (big) market.

Just some takeaways:

  • The average opening rate is about 7%
  • The average click through rate is around 15%
  • The Gaming industry has experienced an increase of 266% over last year
email marekting in china infographic

Email Marketing Stats in China. Source: Webpower. Complete Infographic

There is no doubt that email marketing works in China, but it is becoming more sophisticated and, due to a more strict regulation, mass mailing and data base purchases are not so attractive now. The future of email marketing in China will…

  • …Be multi-channel (for example, integration of email and SMS has grown by 48% in 2015).
  • …Be focussed on customer lifecycle.
  • …Be more personalized.

Hints for Email Marketing in China

Although it seems that sending an email is the same in all markets, nothing further from the truth. Our first mistake was sending emails to general inboxes (the typical in China without taking into account the peculiarities of this market. How could it be possible to receive answer only from 5% of the emails we sent?

These were our mistakes:

  • Our emails were in English. We wrote to general email addresses and we did not take into account that the recipients may not understand English.
  • Our emails were sent from Gmail, what we used thanks to a VPN. But… we did not think about emails from gmail may be blocked. But not only gmail, other western email marketing tools could be blocked.
  • Nobody knew us. Lately we discovered the importance of having someone trustworthy to introduce you and the Guanxi concept in professional relationships.
  • It was not the usual way to contact people. When we discovered WeChat, everything improved.

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Tips for Email Marketing in China

  • If your sending rate does not reach 30% you should get a local supplier. The most probably explanation for it is that your sendings are blocked.
  • Chinese volumes are huge for Western standards. Maybe your regular provider is not ready for millions of emails, something not so rare in China.
  • Being responsive is important throughout the world, but in China, is especially more. Note that 80% of traffic is mobile.
  • Adapt visual style to Chinese tastes.

Don’t be shy, share with us your experience with email marketing in China


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