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Introduction

We analyzed millions of email campaigns. This is what we found.

Email marketing benchmarks provide you with valuable information about the health of your email sends. They allow you to see how your campaigns compare to industry standards and find opportunities to improve your strategy and, ultimately, get better results.

And over the past several years, we’ve had countless users ask for industry benchmarks based on real campaign data, but we didn’t have it—until now. Today, we are excited to share our findings for 2019 email marketing benchmarks by industry and day, based on millions of Campaign Monitor customer emails.

Chapter 1

Email benchmarks by industry and day, based on real campaign data

We analyzed billions of emails sent across millions of campaigns sent through Campaign Monitor in 2018. Then we compiled the results into a single, comprehensive resource so that any email marketer can easily see industry norms and see how they stack up.

Explore the data below to discover how your emails perform compared to others in your industry based on key metrics like open rate, click-to-open rate, unsubscribes and more.

Average email benchmarks for all industries

  • Average open rate: 17.92%
  • Average click-through rate: 2.69%
  • Average unsubscribe rate: 0.17%
  • Average click-to-open rate: 14.10%
  • Average bounce rate: 1.06%

Email metrics benchmarks for the following industries: Advertising & Marketing Agencies, Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting, Automotive & Aerospace, Construction, Contracting, & Manufacturing, Consumer Packaged Goods, Education Engineering, Architecture & Design, Financial Services, Food & Beverage, Government, Healthcare Services, IT / Tech / Software Services, Logistics & Wholesale, Media, Entertainment, & Publishing, Nonprofit, Other, Professional Services, Real Estate (Agents & Brokers), Real Estate (Design & Construction Activities), Retail, Travel, Hospitality, & Leisure Unknown

 

Email open rates by industry email benchmarks infographic. This infographic shows industry-specific data and statistics on email open rates.

 

click-through rate by industry, by day

 

Email unsubscribe rates by industry email benchmarks infographic. This infographic shows industry-specific data and statistics on email unsubscribe rates.

 

campaign monitor email benchmarks for click to open rates

 

Email bounce rates by industry email benchmarks infographic. This infographic shows industry-specific data and statistics on email bounce rates.

So what did we learn? Here are the top takeaways for email marketers, based on an analysis of over three billion emails.

Best days for email marketing

  • Best day for highest email open rates: Thursday
  • Best day for highest click-through rates: Tuesday
  • Best day for lowest unsubscribe rates: Sunday or Monday
  • Best day for highest click-to-open rates: Saturday
  • Best day for lowest bounce rates: Monday

Worst days for email marketing

  • Worst day for lowest email open rates: Sunday
  • Worst day for lowest click-through rates: Sunday
  • Worst day for highest unsubscribe rates: Wednesday
  • Worst day for lowest click-to-open rates: Monday
  • Worst day for highest bounce rates: Friday

best day to send graphic that summarizes the two previous sections

 

Top industries by open rate

  1. Nonprofit (20.39%)
  2. Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting (20.13%)
  3. Government (19.79%)
  4. Healthcare Services (19.12%)
  5. Other (18.94%)

What industries and professions have the best email open rates? Our email benchmarks 2019 statistics show us that these are the top industries for email open rates.

 

Top industries by click-to-open rate

  1. Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting (18.03%)
  2. Media, Entertainment, & Publishing (17.15%)
  3. Real Estate, Design & Construction Activities (16.47%)
  4. Unknown (15.52%)
  5. Government (15.11%)

What industries and professions have the best email click rates? Our email benchmarks 2019 statistics show us that these are the top industries for email click rates.

Chapter 6

Understanding email marketing metrics and how to improve them

Email open rate

Email open rate is the percentage of the total number of subscribers who opened an email campaign.

These rates can vary depending on the subject line and the relevancy of the subject matter for subscribers, but we found an average open rate of 17.92%.

How to improve your email open rate:

  • Improve your subject lines
  • Test subject line length, tone and content
  • Optimize for previews with preheader text
  • Test sender name and email address (ex. company name vs. CEO’s name)
  • Test send day, send time, and send cadence (ex. daily vs. weekly)
  • Ensure relevant content through personalization and segmentation

Explore more resources on open rates »

 

Email click-through rate

The email click-through rate is the number of subscribers who click on a link or image in your email out of all the total emails you’ve sent, regardless of whether or not the subscriber opened the campaign. Your click-through rate will be smaller than your click-to-open rate since it’s calculated using the larger number of total emails (versus just those who have opened).

Your click-through rate offers insight into how many of your total subscribers are visiting your website and ultimately converting from email. Comparing your open rates, click-to-open rates, and your click-through rates can reveal where your email marketing campaign is weakest.

We found an average click-through rate of 2.69%.

How to improve your click-through rate:

  • Create stronger segments so you always send the most relevant content
  • Maintain your brand voice throughout your messaging
  • Improve your calls-to-action through clear copy and better design
  • Offer strong incentives to capture subscribers’ attention
  • Ensure your subject line accurately reflects the content of your emails
  • A/B test what works

Explore more resources on click-through rates >>

Unsubscribe rate

Unsubscribe is the action a user takes to opt out of getting any more emails. The percentage of people who unsubscribe is often displayed as a reporting number on each email campaign you send.

This is an important number to study on every campaign to see if certain topics, subject lines, or templates drive up your unsubscribe number, as this is an indicator of an unhappy or disinterested audience. We found an average unsubscribe rate of 0.17%.

How to improve your unsubscribe rate:

  • Grow a healthy list from the start
  • Use automation to build long-term brand engagement
  • Segment your audience to send more relevant emails
  • Re-engage your audience to maintain list hygiene
  • Remember that some list churn is normal and healthy

Explore more resources on unsubscribe rates »

Email click-to-open rate

The email click-to-open rate is the percentage of email viewers (those that open an email) who click on a link or image within an email. The email click-to-open rate may be considered a measure of the immediate response rate of an email.

It’s often a key metric used to measure the success—or lack of success—of a specific email campaign. We found an average email click-to-open rate of 14.10%.

How to improve your email click rate:

  • Make sure your email renders well across devices
  • Collect the right data to segment and personalize
  • Optimize your email design and copy
  • Include an irresistible, easy-to-click call to action
  • A/B test each email element individually
  • Automate your emails to scale what works

Explore more resources on click rates »

 

Spam rate

Email spam is also called junk mail, and it sometimes includes phishing links from sites that host malware and viruses. It is sometimes sent in large, bulk quantities, while other times it appears as unsolicited commercial emails.

The spam rate is how often the recipient marks your emails as spam, based on information that ISPs report to ESPs via a defined path. Campaign Monitor emails have an average spam rate of 0.002%.

How to improve your spam rate:

  • Use a familiar ‘From’ name so subscribers recognize you
  • Don’t send from email addresses like ‘noreply@company.com’
  • Only email people who have given you permission to email them
  • Send from a business-configured domain
  • Avoid using spam-like formatting

Explore more resources on spam rates »

 

Email bounce rate

A bounced email is an email that couldn’t be delivered. Specifically, it’s an explanation of delivery failure related to server or spam issues, whether these issues are permanent or temporary.

Typically, bounce rate is a metric expressed as a percentage of subscribers who didn’t receive your message. There are two types of bounces: hard and soft. We found an average bounce rate of 1.06%.

How to improve your email bounce rate:

  • Don’t send to stale lists
  • Never use purchased lists
  • Remove invalid email addresses
  • Use confirmed opt-in
  • Never use free webmail addresses
  • Avoid spammy content
  • Suppress previous bounces

Explore more resources on bounce rates »

 

Email deliverability

Email deliverability is the ability to deliver emails to subscribers’ inboxes. It’s what some marketers use to gauge the likelihood of their email campaigns reaching their subscribers’ inboxes related to actual delivery.

Issues with ISPs, throttling, bounces, spam issues, and bulking hurt your deliverability and thus reduce the number of your emails that will land in your subscribers’ inboxes.

That’s why your deliverability will impact everything from open rate to clicks to spam reports, so prioritizing this will have a huge impact on your email marketing success.

How to improve your email deliverability:

  • Send using custom authentication
  • Using double rather than single opt-in
  • Make it really easy to unsubscribe
  • Avoid using URL shorteners
  • Don’t send from a free domain email address
  • Don’t send emails with too many images

Explore more resources on deliverability »

 

Chapter 14

How to use benchmarks to improve your email marketing

Benchmarks are useful to see how your own email program compares to industry standards. They can help establish a baseline for figuring out how and where you can improve. But we also recommend using your own past results as the benchmark. It’s one of the easiest ways to determine what success looks like for your brand.

Take a look at your average open rates over time. Are they improving even as your list continues to grow, or are they declining as your list becomes fatigued?

How much revenue or site traffic do you typically drive with each email? Those trends often signal exactly what you need to know to optimize your strategy.

You’ll also want to account for all the variables involved. For instance, a broadcast send to your entire audience probably won’t do as well as one to a small segment of engaged subscribers.

Finally, your best bet for optimizing each area of your email strategy is testing, so test, test, and test again! It’s the very best way to get to know your audience and get your best results yet.

We will be updating this page with new data as we have it, so check back for regular updates.

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