Average Email Campaign Stats of MailChimp Customers by Industry

There are a lot of numbers in MailChimp's free reports, but you might be wondering how your email-marketing stats compare to others in the same industry. What kind of open rates should companies like yours expect? How many bounces are too many? What’s an acceptable abuse complaint rate? The more context, the better.

MailChimp sends billions of emails a month for more than 8 million users. Needless to say, we track a lot of data. So we scanned hundreds of millions of emails delivered by our system (where campaign tracking was activated, and where users reported their industry) and calculated the average unique open rates, average unique click rates, average unique soft bounces, average unique hard bounces, and average unique abuse complaint rate by industry.

We only tracked campaigns that went to at least 1000 subscribers, but these stats aren’t pulled from a survey of giant corporations with million-dollar marketing budgets and dedicated email-marketing teams. Our customers range from one-person startups to Fortune 500 companies, so the whole spectrum is represented in this data. Here’s your apples-to-apples comparison with others in your industry. Updated: April 1, 2015

Industry Open Click Soft Bounce Hard Bounce Abuse Unsub
Agriculture and Food Services 25.83% 3.54% 0.68% 0.52% 0.03% 0.28%
Architecture and Construction 25.29% 3.21% 1.67% 1.19% 0.04% 0.36%
Arts and Artists 28.06% 3.04% 0.81% 0.57% 0.03% 0.27%
Beauty and Personal Care 19.58% 2.31% 0.52% 0.49% 0.05% 0.32%
Business and Finance 21.57% 2.97% 0.81% 0.66% 0.03% 0.24%
Computers and Electronics 21.82% 2.71% 1.15% 0.80% 0.03% 0.30%
Construction 22.31% 2.11% 1.79% 1.36% 0.06% 0.45%
Consulting 19.96% 2.59% 1.08% 0.80% 0.03% 0.29%
Creative Services/Agency 23.49% 3.09% 1.24% 0.97% 0.04% 0.36%
Daily Deals/E-Coupons 13.89% 1.95% 0.14% 0.09% 0.01% 0.09%
eCommerce 16.93% 2.63% 0.35% 0.27% 0.03% 0.20%
Education and Training 22.82% 3.05% 0.67% 0.56% 0.03% 0.20%
Entertainment and Events 21.50% 2.45% 0.60% 0.48% 0.03% 0.27%
Gambling 17.97% 2.39% 0.54% 0.66% 0.05% 0.19%
Games 22.31% 3.74% 0.55% 0.60% 0.04% 0.23%
Government 26.92% 3.67% 0.61% 0.48% 0.02% 0.14%
Health and Fitness 23.48% 3.16% 0.54% 0.53% 0.04% 0.36%
Hobbies 29.36% 5.62% 0.39% 0.31% 0.03% 0.22%
Home and Garden 25.75% 4.21% 0.74% 0.51% 0.05% 0.37%
Insurance 16.85% 2.20% 0.78% 0.80% 0.04% 0.22%
Legal 22.36% 3.07% 0.80% 0.65% 0.02% 0.20%
Manufacturing 23.54% 2.68% 1.64% 1.11% 0.04% 0.37%
Marketing and Advertising 18.57% 2.21% 0.89% 0.70% 0.03% 0.28%
Media and Publishing 22.85% 4.79% 0.35% 0.23% 0.01% 0.12%
Medical, Dental, and Healthcare 23.20% 2.78% 0.86% 0.86% 0.05% 0.30%
Mobile 22.43% 2.74% 0.85% 0.76% 0.04% 0.41%
Music and Musicians 22.98% 2.85% 0.73% 0.53% 0.03% 0.30%
Non-Profit 25.71% 2.99% 0.57% 0.47% 0.02% 0.19%
Other 23.27% 3.13% 0.91% 0.69% 0.03% 0.27%
Pharmaceuticals 19.04% 2.68% 0.73% 0.67% 0.03% 0.21%
Photo and Video 27.16% 4.27% 0.82% 0.68% 0.04% 0.39%
Politics 22.88% 2.28% 0.55% 0.49% 0.04% 0.22%
Professional Services 21.53% 2.80% 1.08% 0.83% 0.03% 0.31%
Public Relations 20.82% 1.92% 0.91% 0.72% 0.02% 0.24%
Real Estate 22.00% 2.24% 0.80% 0.66% 0.05% 0.33%
Recruitment and Staffing 21.10% 2.59% 0.68% 0.71% 0.03% 0.32%
Religion 26.71% 3.26% 0.22% 0.20% 0.02% 0.12%
Restaurant 24.47% 1.63% 0.37% 0.32% 0.03% 0.31%
Restaurant and Venue 23.09% 1.50% 0.73% 0.61% 0.04% 0.40%
Retail 22.23% 2.89% 0.46% 0.37% 0.03% 0.28%
Social Networks and Online Communities 22.42% 3.78% 0.42% 0.36% 0.03% 0.23%
Software and Web App 22.90% 2.76% 1.13% 0.90% 0.03% 0.38%
Sports 26.05% 3.53% 0.60% 0.52% 0.03% 0.26%
Telecommunications 20.55% 2.26% 1.21% 0.98% 0.03% 0.26%
Travel and Transportation 20.57% 2.546% 0.77% 0.53% 0.03% 0.24%
Vitamin Supplements 17.19% 2.03% 0.38% 0.30% 0.04% 0.24%

Average Email Campaign Stats of MailChimp Customers by Company Size

What’s the average open rate for email-marketing campaigns? What kind of click rates are other people in your industry getting? How many bounces are normal? How many spam complaints are too many? These are the kinds of questions you should be asking as an email marketer—learning the answers will help you improve your newsletters. MailChimp scanned hundreds of millions of email campaigns to get the stats. Here’s what we learned.

Company Size Open Rate Click Rate Soft Rate Hard Rate Abuse Rate Unsub Rate
1 to 10 22.15% 3.12% 0.75% 0.59% 0.04% 0.30%
11 to 25 21.22% 2.78% 0.70% 0.55% 0.03% 0.25%
26-50 22.16% 3.16% 0.47% 0.36% 0.02% 0.18%
50+ 23.57% 3.06% 0.70% 0.63% 0.03% 0.21%

Tips for Improving Your Stats

  1. When it comes to subject lines, boring works best. When you write your subject line, don’t sell what’s inside—tell what's inside. Read our study on writing effective subject lines.

  2. If you want people to open your emails, you have to get past their spam filters first. Avoid using spammy keywords and phrases, and avoid using ALL CAPS or too many exclamation points!!! The best way to avoid spam filters is to learn how they work.

  3. Too many hard bounces is a sign of an old, stale list. People change email addresses every few months. Make sure you keep in touch with your subscribers regularly (at least once a quarter), so they can stay on your list.

  4. Soft bounces usually mean the recipient is “temporarily unavailable.” Maybe they’re on vacation, or their mailbox is full. You can keep those emails and try them again later, but MailChimp auto-cleans soft bounces after five failed campaigns.

  5. Hard bounces mean an email address failed. Maybe it no longer exists, or maybe someone made a typo when they subscribed to a list. But hard bounces might also be spam filter —if you see an abnormally high number of bounces after a campaign, read your bounceback records for any messages or clues from spam filters. Here’s how to do that in MailChimp.

  6. Abuse complaints happen when recipients click the “This is spam” button in their email programs. That usually means they don’t remember you. Make sure your “From” and “Subject” lines contain your company name, so your subscribers will instantly recognize you. Here are a few more tips for preventing spam complaints.