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Introduction

Each year, Campaign Monitor pulls data from billions of emails sent from around the world. We compile these findings into benchmark reports, showing you how others in your industry have performed over the year.

In this guide, we compile all the historic benchmarks data so you can identify trends and changes in the email marketing world.

 

View the 2021 benchmarks report.

Looking for the latest data? Head to the 2021 report here.

Chapter 1

2020 Email benchmarks by industry and day

We analyzed over 30 billion emails sent globally between January and December 2019. These campaigns were sent by Campaign Monitor customers across 171 countries to subscribers all around the world.

Key takeaways

01 | Government organizations continue to dominate open rates globally.

Though Government unseated Nonprofits as the top industry for highest open rates, this year’s top three industries in that category—Government, Nonprofit, and Education respectively—were also top performers in 2019’s report. However, they saw even better numbers in this year’s study.

Government open rates improved by a whopping 10.71% (from 19.79% last year to 30.5% this year). Nonprofit open rates improved by 4.81% (from 20.39% last year to 25.2% this year). And Education open rates improved by 4.5% (from 18.9% last year to 23.4% this year).

02 | Last year’s industry with the lowest open rates isn’t even in this year’s bottom three.

Consumer Packaged Goods only saw 14.53% open rates last year and remained consistent this year at 14.5% open rates. However, this year, that percentage was high enough to make it out of the bottom three.

The Automotive and Aerospace industry saw the lowest open rates of only 12.6%, dropping from around 17% last year. Meanwhile, Food and Beverage (13.0% this year vs 15.48% last year) as well as Retail (13.9% vs 14.98% last year) both experienced lower open rates than the previous year to remain in the bottom three.

03 | The click-through rates for government emails experienced a sharp jump this year.

The top three industries by click-through rate remained the same as in 2019, though the ranking differed. Government jumped two places to become the top industry for click-through rate, while Real Estate, Design and Construction Activities, and Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting also remained within the top three.

Government click-through rates improved by 1.06% (from 3.04% last year to 4.1% this year). Real Estate, Design and Construction Activities click-through rates improved by 1.02% (from 18.88% last year to 19.9% this year). And Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting click-through rates remained relatively consistent, decreasing by 0.16% (from 3.66% last year to 3.5% this year).

04 | Global Retail open rates dropped in 2019, though engagement remained high.

While Retail emails experienced lower open rates than the previous year (13.9% this year, down from 14.98% last year), the click-to-open rate of 15.2% remained higher than the 14.3% average. This means the people who open Retail emails are likely to visit their site.

Retail has some of the highest competition of all industries, which can lead to low open rates. Despite seeing lower open and click-through rates, 38% of US consumers report having been driven to action due to email.

05 | Tuesdays see the highest open rates but also the highest unsubscribe rates.

We get a lot of questions about the best days to send emails. But this finding proves that while sending emails on Tuesday might help you see a higher open rate, you could just as likely see more unsubscribes.

While it’s unfortunate there’s no simple hack to seeing more opens and click-throughs for your email marketing strategy, this means that marketers can stop chasing an elusive “best day” and instead focus on the real answer to seeing better metrics: following email marketing best practices and A/B testing to discover the day your audience is most engaged.

06 | The highest-performing industries see high engagement in all areas.

Government, alongside Real Estate, Design and Construction Activities, and Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting have some of the highest performing emails across the board. Their subscribers open and click on a high percentage of the emails they send.

07 | The average global email benchmarks remained consistent from last year.

While most average benchmarks remained consistent from 2018’s performance, we saw an improvement to bounce rates and unsubscribes. Bounce rates improved by .36% and our emails saw .08% fewer unsubscribes. This means marketers are getting better at sending emails their subscribers love and look forward to.

Not only are marketers keeping their subscriber lists up to date, they’re also keeping subscribers engaged with high-quality content that meets subscribers’ needs.

08 | Email marketing continues to engage today’s consumers. And we predict even stronger numbers for next year.

Last year’s best numbers saw big improvements for 2019. That just proves that regardless of how well your email marketing strategy currently performs, there’s always room to improve. The best and most useful emails will continue to see high open and click-through rates as you establish your brand as a must-read resource for your subscribers.

Check out last year’s report to see how your industry has changed.

 

Infographic of this year’s key findings

This infographic highlights a few of our favorite findings from this report.

infographic of key findings from the 2020 email marketing benchmarks

Email benchmarks by industry and day

Average email benchmarks for all industries

  • Average open rate: 17.8%
  • Average click-through rate: 2.6%
  • Average click-to-open rate: 14.3%
  • Average unsubscribe rate: 0.1%
  • Average bounce rate: 0.7%

Email benchmarks for all industries

Here’s the breakdown for average metrics across all industries globally.

chart showing metric averages by industry for open, click, click-to-open, unsubscribe, and bounce rates

Average email benchmarks by day

Taking averages across all campaigns sent globally—regardless of industry—you can see how these campaigns perform by day of the week.

2020 Global email benchmarks chart showing averages by day

Best days for email marketing

Based on the global averages by day shown above, these are the best days for sending based on specific metrics.

  • Best day with highest email open rates: Tuesday (18.3%)
  • Best days with highest click-through rates: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday (2.6%)
  • Best days with highest click-to-open rates: Thursday and Friday (14.4%)
  • Best days with lowest unsubscribe rates: Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (0.1%)
  • Best day with lowest bounce rates: Wednesday (0.6%)

Worst days for email marketing

Based on the global averages by day shown above, these are the worst days for sending based on specific metrics.

  • Worst day with lowest email open rates: Saturday (17.5%)
  • Worst days with lowest click-through rates: Wednesday and Saturday (2.5%)
  • Worst day with lowest click-to-open rates: Sunday (14.2%)
  • Worst day with highest unsubscribe rates: Tuesday (0.2%)
  • Worst days with highest bounce rates: Friday, Saturday (0.8%)

Chapter 2

2019 Email benchmarks by industry and day

Here are the 2019 email marketing benchmarks. These stats are comprised from 2018 data, using billions of emails sent from Campaign Monitor customers throughout the world.

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.

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.

View the latest benchmarks report. Get the latest metrics and stay up-to-date on your industry's measures. See the report
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