Email marketing benchmarks gives you important information about the health of your email sends. Email marketing benchmark enables you to see how your campaigns compare to the industry standards and identify opportunities to improve your email marketing strategy and, ultimately, get better results.
And over the last few years, we’ve had many customers ask for industry benchmarks based on real campaign data, but we didn’t have it—until now. Today, we are thrilled to share our findings for 2019 email marketing benchmarks by industry and location, based on millions of leading ESP customer emails.
Compare these stats with your data to see how your emails are performing with the average unique open, click, bounce, and spam complaint rates for thousands of email senders.
Email benchmarks by Location, Industry, and Company size
There are a lot of stats in the email marketing benchmark, but you might be wondering how your stats compare to other email senders in the same industry. How many bounces are too many? What type of email open rates should companies like yours expect? What’s an acceptable spam complaint rate? The more contexts you have, the better.
Email service provider (ESP) sends billions of emails each month for millions of email senders. Regardless to say, we track a lot of data with the help of our technology partners. So we scanned billions of emails and calculated the average open rates, click-through rates, hard bounces, soft bounces, and spam complaint rates by industry, geographical location, and company size.
We tracked email campaigns that went out only to more than 1,000 subscribers. The email senders included ranges from bootstrapped startups to Fortune 500 companies, so the entire spectrum is represented in this blog post. Here are your apples-to-apples and oranges-to-oranges comparison with other email senders in your industry.
Average results by location
Take a look around to see how the email marketing benchmark metrics vary across the following continents.
- Open rate- 19.00%
- Click-through rate- 2.98%
- Click-to-open rate- 15.71%
- Unsubscribe rate- 0.17%
- Spam rate- 0.01%
- Open rate- 26.84%
- Click-through rate- 4.35%
- Click-to-open rate- 16.22%
- Unsubscribe rate- 0.26%
- Spam rate- 0.02%
- Open rate- 25.64%
- Click-through rate- 3.91%
- Click-to-open rate- 15.23%
- Unsubscribe rate- 0.28%
- Spam rate- 0.01%
- Open rate- 23.06%
- Click-through rate- 3.26%
- Click-to-open rate- 14.12%
- Unsubscribe rate- 0.15%
- Spam rate- 0.02%
- Open rate- 17.33%
- Click-through rate- 2.26%
- Click-to-open rate- 13.02%
- Unsubscribe rate- 0.14%
- Spam rate- 0.01%
- Open rate- 18.51%
- Click-through rate- 2.54%
- Click-to-open rate- 13.74%
- Unsubscribe rate- 0.12%
- Spam rate- 0.01%
Average email benchmarks for all industries
Following are the average email benchmarks stats 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%
Average results by industry
Here, we’ve collected email marketing benchmarks based on industries. You can find out how your average email marketing open, click-through, click-to-open, unsubscribe, and spam complaint rates compare against different companies in your industry.
Average email campaign stats by company size
What kind of click-through rates are other email senders in your industry getting? What’s the average unique email open rate? How many spam complaints are too many? How many bounces are normal? As an email marketer, these are the type of questions you should be asking.
While good things do come with growth, but in this case, unsubscribe and spam rates are lower on the emails sent by organizations 26 or more employees. And as you can see, the size of a company doesn’t usually make a difference in email open rate and click-through rate. This should be encouraging especially to small teams- you can easily send emails that are just as good as those sent by bigger companies.
What’s the best time to send emails?
Before we go into deep, the short answer is: it depends.
It seems that there are two different time slots you could aim for sending your email campaigns. The first time slot is around 10:00 AM, just after people reach their office and have their morning coffee. The second time slot is around 01:00 PM. This could be because people are catching up on their emails after lunch.
We’re seeing an increase in click-through rates later in the afternoon around 06:00 PM when people return to their home.
Just remember every audience is different. And sometimes people change their behavior based on their work-load or the day.
It’s quite tough to generalize what’s going to work for everyone. This is why it’s better to let an algorithm pick the best time for you.
Features like Time Travel or Perfect Timing that take into consideration your subscriber’s behavior or their time zone, will take out the guesswork.
Understanding and improving email marketing metrics
The average email open rates are one of the best ways to find whether your email marketing strategy is working or not, while the average email open rate for all industries is 20.81%. Meanwhile, this number also reveals what percentage of your subscribers opens your emails. And if you have a good open rate on your email campaigns, it generally means that your email subject line resonates with your audience.
Email open rate
The percentage of the total number of subscribers who opened an email of your email marketing campaign is the email open rate for that email marketing campaign.
Email open rates can vary based on the email subject line and the relevancy of the subject matter for subscribers.
We found an average open rate of 17.92%.
How to improve your email open rate:
- Optimize for previews with pre-header text
- Improve your subject lines
- Test subject line length, tone, and content
- Test send day, time, and cadence like daily vs. weekly
- Test sender name and email address like company name vs. CEO’s name
- Ensure relevant content through personalization and segmentation
Email click-through rate
The number of subscribers who click on a link or image in your email out of all the total emails you’ve sent, irrespective of whether or not the subscriber opened the email is called click-through rate. Your click-through rate will be lower than your click-to-open rate as it’s calculated using the larger number of total emails vs. just those who have opened.
Your click-through rate provides insight into how many of your total subscribers are visiting your website and finally converting from your emails. Meanwhile, comparing your email open rates, click-to-open rates, and click-through rates can reveal where your email campaign can be improved.
We found an average click-through rate of 2.69%.
How to improve your click-through rate:
- Improve your calls-to-action through clear copy and better design
- Create stronger segments so you always send the most relevant content
- Maintain your brand voice throughout your messaging
- Offer strong incentives to capture subscribers’ attention
- A/B test what works
- Ensure your subject line accurately reflects the content of your emails
The action taken by an email recipient to opt-out of receiving any more emails is called unsubscribe. The percentage of subscribers who unsubscribe is usually displayed as a reporting number on every email campaign you send out.
This is a very critical number to analyze on each email campaign to see certain topics, email subject lines, or email templates drive-up your unsubscribe number because this is an indicator of disinterested or unhappy audience.
We found an average unsubscribe rate of 0.17%.
How to improve your email unsubscribe rate:
- Segment your subscribers to send more relevant emails
- Grow a healthy list from the beginning
- Re-engage with your subscribers to maintain your list hygiene
- Remember that some list churn is normal and healthy
- Use automation to create long-term brand engagement
Email click-to-open rate
The percentage of email viewers, those subscribers that open an email, who click on a link or an image within an email is called as email click-to-open rate. The email click-to-open rate may also be considered as a measure of the immediate response rate of an email marketing campaign.
It’s usually a key metric used to measure the success or lack of success of a specific email marketing campaign.
We found an average email click-to-open rate of 14.10%.
How to improve your email click rate:
- Include an irresistible, easy-to-click call to action
- Gather the right data to personalize and segment
- Ensure that your email renders well across devices
- A/B test each email element individually
- Optimize your email copy and design
- Automate your emails to scale what works
How often the email subscriber reports your email as spam based on the information that ISPs report to ESPs through a defined path is known as spam rate.
Email spam is also commonly known as junk email, and it sometimes also include phishing links from websites that host viruses and malware. Email spam is sent in large, bulk quantities, while other times it seems as unsolicited commercial emails.
We found an average spam rate of 0.002%.
How to improve your spam rate:
- Send from a business-configured domain
- Only send email to people who have given you permission to email them
- Use a familiar ‘From’ name so your subscribers recognize you
- Avoid using spam-like formatting
- Don’t send from role-based email addresses like “email@example.com”
Email bounce rate
An email that couldn’t be delivered is known as bounced email. Specifically, it’s an explanation of email delivery failure that is related to spam or server issues, whether these issues are temporary or permanent.
Usually, an email bounce rate is an email metric that is expressed as a percentage of subscribers who didn’t receive your email. There are two types of bounces: soft and hard.
We found an average bounce rate of 1.06%.
How to improve your email bounce rate:
- Use double opt-in
- Remove invalid email addresses
- Don’t send to stale lists
- Suppress previous bounces
- Never use free webmail addresses
- Never use purchased lists
- Avoid spammy content
The ability to deliver emails to subscriber’s email inboxes is known as email deliverability. It’s what many marketers use to gauge the chances of their email marketing campaigns reaching their subscriber’s email inboxes that is related to actual delivery.
Problems with ISPs, bounces, throttling, spam complaint report, and bulking harms your email deliverability and hence decreases the number of your emails that will land in your subscriber’s email inboxes.
This is why your email deliverability will affect everything from your email open rate to click to spam complaint reports, so prioritizing these will have a significant impact on your email marketing success.
How to improve your email deliverability:
- Avoid using URL shorteners
- Send using custom authentication
- Make it easy to unsubscribe
- Don’t send from a free domain email address like “firstname.lastname@example.org”
- Don’t send emails with too many images
- Using double opt-in rather than single
Spam complaints occur when email subscribers click the “Report Spam” button in their email programs. This generally means that your subscribers don’t remember you. So, ensure that your “From” name and “Subject” lines include your company name so that your subscribers will instantly remember you.
Following are some more tips to avoid spam complaints;
- Too many hard bounces are a sign of an old, stale email list. So, ensure that you email your subscribers regularly or at least once a quarter so that your email list stays up to date.
- Soft bounces generally mean the subscriber is “temporarily unavailable.” Maybe they’re on vacation, or their mailbox is full. You can try to send emails to them again later.
- If you want your subscribers to open your emails, you have to get past their spam filters first. And the best way to avoid spam filters is to understand how they work.
- Hard bounces mean that an email address failed to receive an email. Maybe it no longer exists, or maybe it is just a typo. Hard bounces may also be spam filter—if you see an abnormally high number of bounces after an email campaign, read your bounceback records for any email or hints from spam filters.
- Being straight forward works best when it comes down to email subject line.
Email benchmarks are useful to see how your own email marketing program compares to the average industry standards. They can help you to create a baseline for figuring out where and how you can improve.
We highly recommend using your own email marketing results as the benchmark. It’s one of the simplest ways to determine what success actually like for your company.