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: August 3, 2015

IndustryOpenClickSoft BounceHard BounceAbuseUnsub
Agriculture and Food Services25.63%3.39%0.67%0.51%0.03%0.28%
Architecture and Construction24.97%3.09%1.64%1.17%0.04%0.36%
Arts and Artists27.86%2.98%0.76%0.55%0.03%0.27%
Beauty and Personal Care19.41%2.25%0.51%0.49%0.05%0.33%
Business and Finance21.64%2.90%0.78%0.63%0.03%0.24%
Computers and Electronics21.55%2.55%1.11%0.78%0.03%0.30%
Construction22.41%2.05%1.70%1.32%0.06%0.44%
Consulting19.96%2.57%1.04%0.78%0.03%0.29%
Creative Services/Agency23.01%2.95%1.19%0.93%0.04%0.35%
Daily Deals/E-Coupons13.69%1.89%0.13%0.09%0.01%0.09%
eCommerce16.87%2.60%0.34%0.27%0.03%0.21%
Education and Training22.44%2.94%0.63%0.54%0.03%0.20%
Entertainment and Events21.48%2.42%0.56%0.46%0.03%0.26%
Gambling17.35%2.92%0.44%0.48%0.04%0.16%
Games22.08%3.38%0.55%0.60%0.04%0.23%
Government26.77%3.67%0.57%0.47%0.02%0.13%
Health and Fitness23.23%3.06%0.52%0.51%0.04%0.37%
Hobbies29.35%5.65%0.39%0.31%0.03%0.23%
Home and Garden25.61%4.04%0.71%0.49%0.05%0.37%
Insurance19.90%2.11%0.75%0.79%0.04%0.22%
Legal22.30%2.90%0.79%0.66%0.03%0.21%
Manufacturing23.25%2.64%1.56%1.06%0.04%0.36%
Marketing and Advertising18.50%2.15%0.88%0.70%0.03%0.28%
Media and Publishing22.60%4.69%0.33%0.21%0.01%0.12%
Medical, Dental, and Healthcare22.87%2.67%0.82%0.81%0.05%0.29%
Mobile21.28%2.48%0.76%0.73%0.04%0.39%
Music and Musicians23.02%2.91%0.68%0.52%0.03%0.29%
Non-Profit25.58%2.94%0.55%0.46%0.02%0.19%
Other23.45%3.08%0.88%0.69%0.04%0.28%
Pharmaceuticals19.67%2.68%0.82%0.71%0.03%0.22%
Photo and Video26.49%3.84%0.81%0.69%0.04%0.40%
Politics22.79%2.23%0.50%0.46%0.04%0.21%
Professional Services21.11%2.73%1.00%0.77%0.03%0.31%
Public Relations20.32%1.81%0.87%0.67%0.02%0.24%
Real Estate22.03%2.20%0.76%0.64%0.05%0.33%
Recruitment and Staffing20.57%2.53%0.64%0.64%0.03%0.31%
Religion26.52%3.28%0.22%0.21%0.02%0.12%
Restaurant23.54%1.48%0.37%0.29%0.03%0.30%
Restaurant and Venue22.59%1.46%0.65%0.55%0.04%0.39%
Retail22.06%2.82%0.44%0.37%0.03%0.28%
Social Networks and Online Communities22.14%3.73%0.44%0.37%0.03%0.23%
Software and Web App22.03%2.61%1.11%0.89%0.03%0.39%
Sports26.13%3.61%0.58%0.50%0.03%0.27%
Telecommunications20.76%2.31%1.19%0.94%0.03%0.27%
Travel and Transportation20.80%2.43%0.74%0.53%0.03%0.24%
Vitamin Supplements17.02%2.06%0.42%0.36%0.05%0.27%

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 SizeOpen RateClick RateSoft RateHard RateAbuse RateUnsub Rate
1 to 1022.11%3.06%0.72%0.57%0.04%0.30%
11 to 2521.08%2.69%0.68%0.54%0.03%0.25%
26-5021.98%3.02%0.44%0.34%0.02%0.17%
50+23.45%2.98%0.66%0.60%0.03%0.20%

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.