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Email Marketing Benchmarks and Metrics Businesses Should Track

Wondering how your email marketing statistics compare to others in your industry? Check out these email marketing benchmarks to understand how you’re doing.

Email marketing benchmarks play a pivotal role in providing businesses with a comprehensive understanding of their campaign performance and industry standards. These benchmarks serve as vital metrics that enable businesses to gauge the effectiveness of their email marketing strategy.

By comparing key performance indicators (KPIs) such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates against industry averages, businesses can identify areas of strength and weakness in their campaigns while measuring their performance against competitors and industry leaders. 

In assessing and optimizing marketing performance, email marketing benchmarks can act as a compass for businesses, guiding them toward data-driven decision-making. By tracking metrics and marketing benchmarks, companies can fine-tune their email marketing strategies to help enhance engagement and retention. 

Email marketing benchmarks can provide a baseline against which businesses can set targets for improvements and measure the success of their optimization efforts. Additionally, they offer a framework for testing and experimenting with different elements of email campaigns, such as subject lines, visuals, and call-to-action buttons. 

Meanwhile, finding an industry average for each important business metric can further enhance this process by offering context and insights tailored to the unique dynamics and expectations of particular sectors, empowering businesses to make informed, strategic designs that align with their goals. 

Keep reading to find our email marketing campaign stats by industry to help  benchmark your email marketing performance. 

Average email marketing campaign statistics by industry

There are a lot of numbers in Mailchimp’s reports on email and marketing automation, but you might be wondering how your 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 the average click-through rate for businesses like yours? What data do content marketers rely upon to improve engagement rates? The more context, the better.

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

We only tracked campaigns that went to at least 1,000 subscribers. Our customers range from 1-person startups, small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, so the whole spectrum is represented in this data. Here’s your apples-to-apples comparison of email marketing metrics with others in your industry.

The data provided on this page was last updated in December 2023 and may vary from email marketing benchmarks data provided within the Mailchimp application.

Self Reported Business TypeAverage Open RateAverage Click RateAverage Subscription RateAverage Hard Bounce RateAverage Soft Bounce Rate
Government40.55%4.58%0.12%0.22%0.72%
Media and publishing34.22%4.36%0.09%0.09%0.34%
Hobbies40.54%4.11%0.20%0.09%0.40%
Social networks and online communities37.14%3.33%0.16%0.14%0.51%
Non-profit40.03%3.27%0.18%0.20%0.68%
Games31.45%3.21%0.22%0.23%0.60%
Telecommunications30.57%3.18%0.19%0.49%1.31%
Legal31.40%3.13%0.19%0.31%0.86%
Religion43.96%3.04%0.13%0.08%0.33%
Professional services32.74%3.04%0.25%0.39%1.10%
Education and training35.64%3.016%0.18%0.22%0.79%
Insurance30.08%2.95%0.17%0.39%0.97%
Architecture and construction31.07%2.94%0.32%0.53%1.54%
Consulting29.61%2.91%0.22%0.37%1.12%
Agriculture and food services38.01%2.89%0.23%0.19%0.64%
Sports41.84%2.87%0.24%0.14%0.52%
Manufacturing29.08%2.82%0.27%0.54%1.67%
Arts and artists42.16%2.79%0.24%0.19%0.69%
Medical, dental, and healthcare34.64%2.79%0.24%0.32%0.92%
Business and finance31.34%2.78%0.15%0.25%0.70%
Public relations33.69%2.77%0.14%0.32%0.92%
Photo and video37.43%2.65%0.33%0.35%0.98%
Politics36.10%2.60%0.21%0.20%0.59%
Music and musicians36.94%2.53%0.23%0.17%0.67%
Unknown35.34%2.53%0.26%0.28%0.85%
Creative services/agency32.36%2.53%0.29%0.44%1.24%
Software and web app28.11%2.39%0.26%0.49%1.36%
Recruitment and staffing32.39%2.38%0.24%0.30%0.87%
Entertainment and events37.29%2.31%0.24%0.18%0.62%
Marketing and advertising29.71%2.30%0.21%0.34%0.99%
Home and garden35.68%2.27%0.31%0.21%0.69%
Real estate35.38%2.23%0.23%0.25%0.71%
Computers and electronics26.98%2.19%0.20%0.33%1.06%
Daily deals/e-coupons27.58%2.09%0.08%0.06%0.27%
Retail35.05%2.07%0.21%0.13%0.48%
Health and fitness37.06%1.86%0.33%0.17%0.59%
Ecommerce29.81%1.73%0.19%0.11%0.44%
Restaurant and venue40.03%1.57%0.37%0.17%0.57%
Mobile31.02%1.55%0.25%0.28%0.87%
Beauty and personal care31.89%1.30%0.24%0.14%0.52%
Vitamin supplements27.34%1.19%0.21%0.14%0.51%
Average Totals34.23%2.66%0.22%0.26%0.79%

Disclaimers

The accuracy of email open rates may be impacted by Apple's privacy changes and their Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) feature, and this should be considered as you interpret open rate data.

These figures are based on available data as of December 2023

By leveraging our extensive data analysis on email and marketing automation, businesses can gain invaluable insights into industry-specific benchmarks, offering a deeper understanding of their campaign performance. Companies can now contextualize their own metrics by examining open rates, click-through rates, and bounce rates.

Armed with the knowledge of industry performance, companies can establish realistic objectives and tailor their strategies for optimal engagement. Whether fine-turning content for better click-through rates or addressing bounce rates, these benchmarks provide a baseline for improvement.

Strategies for improving open rates

Achieving higher open rates in email marketing can be a fundamental goal for businesses aiming to enhance their reach and engagement with their audience. The open rate measures the percentage of recipients who open an email and is a KPI that can reflect the effectiveness of your email campaigns. 

Let’s dive into a few of the best strategies for helping improve open rates: 

Craft compelling subject lines to boost email open rates

Subject lines are the gateway to your email content, making them a critical component of any email marketing campaign. They’re the first impression your audience has of your email, and can influence their decision to open or ignore your message. 

A well-crafted subject line can pique curiosity, convey value, and establish a connection with your subscribers. 

Let’s explore some of the best practices to help guide you in crafting compelling subject lines that entice your audience and elevate your email marketing campaigns: 

Personalized email subject lines

Use merge tags to personalize your subject lines with each recipient's name or location. Personalized emails may increase open rates for most users, and may work well when combined with marketing automation in transactional emails, such as birthday deals, post-purchase follow-ups or promotional emails.

Be descriptive

Sometimes, it's better to be direct and descriptive than trendy. Seasonal slogans such as "Fall into savings" or "Sizzling summer bargains" are popular but don't offer a specific hook. Instead, try to communicate the benefits of your promotions, or call attention to specific deals.

Keep it short

For many recipients, especially those reading your emails on mobile devices, shorter is often better. We recommend you use no more than 9 words and 60 characters.

Limit punctuation

Our research shows that it’s best to use no more than 3 punctuation marks per subject line. Too many punctuation marks can make your email look like spam, especially if you use a lot of special characters.

Use emojis carefully

Our built-in emoji picker is a fun and easy way to add some visual pizazz to your subject lines. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when you use emojis.

According to our research, you should use no more than 1 emoji at a time.
 Use emojis to supplement words rather than replace them, to make sure your main message gets across.
 Different operating systems render different versions of emojis, so it’s important to test.

Optimize audience segmentation for enhanced open rates

Audience segmentation is a cornerstone of successful email marketing. Rather than adopting a one-size-fits-all approach, segmentation involves categorizing your email subscribers based on specific criteria, such as demographics, behavior, or preferences. 

By understanding the unique characteristics and needs of different segments within your audience, you can tailor your email content to be more relevant and personalized. This targeted approach can foster a stronger connection with subscribers and can significantly enhance the likelihood of capturing their attention and driving higher open rates.

Let’s take a look at a few tips for optimizing audience segmentation: 

Keep your segments more widely defined

Although the point of audience segmentation is to aim for specificity, it’s possible to segment your audience too far. It’s essential to have a smaller market with a defined need. If your market is so narrowly defined that it barely contains anyone, however, that’s a problem. You’ll either reach too few people, or you’ll end up spending time and energy writing messages for too many different audiences.

Focus on a few groups, but keep those groups broad enough to encompass relatively wide swaths of your customer base.

Aim for constant improvement

If the combination of audience segmentation strategies you used didn’t work, experiment with another mix until you find the most effective way to reach your potential customers. Measure the data to see where people are landing on your site, how long they’re staying, and what’s making them leave. Then incorporate that data into your next effort and into the day-to-day operations of your marketing.

Set goals, then measure them

Marketing goals are important. If your objective is to “reach more people,” for example, define what you’re looking to see from each of your segmented campaigns. That can include adding 500 more subscribers to your email newsletter, increasing the total number of products you sell by 20%, or doubling your email campaign’s click-through rate.

You should also make sure that your goals for each segment and your company’s overall goals are in sync with each other. Once you’ve set those goals, track them. If you met them, great!

If not, some tweaking is necessary. Setting goals and measuring them is simple—and it can provide valuable insights into the strengths and weaknesses of a marketing plan.

Use different channels

While email lists are absolutely key to communicating directly with your customers, there are more marketing channels you can explore when it comes to building better relationships and improving response rates.

Reach out to your customers with posts on social media on the platforms you know they’re most likely to use. Does your company sell ethically made makeup products? See about working with a beauty influencer on Instagram. Do you run a digital marketing agency? Try building a strong presence on Twitter and LinkedIn.

You can also reach and provide value to your audiences through blogging, whether it’s through your own site or someone else’s. Write a blog post that details something useful and position yourself as an authority on your product.

If you’ve got the skills or budget for it, try creating YouTube videos that are relevant to your target audience. Include links in the videos’ descriptions to get more subscribers to your email list or blog.

When you use different channels thoughtfully, you may see a return on that effort in the form of increased interest, increased sales, and repeat customers.

The click rate, represented as a percentage, sheds light on how many successfully delivered emails prompted subscribers to click and explore further.

Essentially, it can be interpreted as  a measure of how relevant and valuable your campaign content is to your subscribers. Understanding and optimizing click rates can be  crucial for ensuring that your audience opens your emails and actively interacts with the content within.

Here are a few tips to help enhance click-through rates: 

Create visually appealing and mobile-friendly email content

Ensuring your email content is visually appealing and optimized for mobile devices can be  crucial in capturing and maintaining your audience’s attention.

Incorporating design principles that prioritize readability, such as using clear fonts, concise copy, and strategic spacing, can enhance the overall user experience. Responsiveness is key, and designing emails that adapt to various screen sizes can foster accessibility and engagement.

Additionally, the inclusion of multimedia elements, such as eye-catching images or interactive features, can impact click-through rates by making your content more dynamic and compelling. 

Implement effective calls-to-action for increased click-through rates

Crafting compelling calls to action can be pivotal for driving user action and boosting click-through rates. Your CTAs should be clear, concise, and aligned with the desired action, whether it’s making a purchase, signing up for a webinar, or downloading a resource. 

A/B testing different CTA variations allows you to identify what resonates best with your audience, guiding you in refining the CTA copy and its placement within the email. Strategic placement can help ensure your CTAs are prominently visible, and can increase the likelihood of user interaction and driving higher click-through rates.

Transforming clicks into meaningful conversions is the ultimate objective of any successful email marketing campaign. While achieving high click-through rates is a significant milestone, the real value lies in channeling those clicks into desired actions, whether it’s making a purchase, filling out a form, or subscribing to a service.

Here are a few strategies that can bridge the gap between clicks and conversions, to help ensure that the engagement generated by your email content translates into tangible results. 

Streamline the user journey for a seamless conversion process

To enhance the transition from clicks to conversion, it’s imperative to streamline the user journey, to help ensure a seamless and frictionless experience from the initial click to the final conversion.

This involves meticulous optimization of landing pages and post-click experiences, aligning them closely with the expectations set by the email content. 

By minimizing friction points in the conversion funnel, such as simplifying forms and minimizing steps, businesses can help reduce the barriers that might impede the conversion process. A cohesive and user-friendly journey can help increase the likelihood of completing desired actions and can enhance overall customer satisfaction. 

Utilize personalized and targeted content to drive conversions

Personalization is a potent tool in the journey from clicks to conversions, allowing businesses to tailor their messaging to the individual preferences and behaviors of their audience.

Leveraging data for personalized email campaigns can enable the delivery of content that resonates on a more personal level, to help establish a stronger connection with recipients. 

By segmenting audiences based on demographics, preferences, or past interactions, businesses can craft content that speaks directly to the unique needs of each group, to help significantly boost the chances of conversion.

Email marketing is not without its challenges, and understanding and addressing common roadblocks is crucial for sustained success. Businesses must be adept at identifying and mitigating obstacles that may hinder their email marketing endeavors.

A few ways to address common roadblocks to success include: 

Combat email fatigue and improve subscriber engagement

Email fatigue refers to the feeling of being overwhelmed or burned out by the sheer volume of emails received or the constant need to check and respond to emails. This is a common challenge that can lead to a decline in subscriber engagement. Maintaining a healthy sender reputation is essential for overcoming this roadblock. Implementing strategies such as sending relevant and targeted content, avoiding excessive frequency, and providing easy opt-out options can help prevent subscribers from feeling overwhelmed. 

Additionally, the use of dynamic content, personalized recommendations, and interactive elements can inject freshness into email campaigns, keeping subscribers actively engaged. By understanding and respecting the preferences of your audience, businesses can combat email fatigue and foster a positive relationship with their subscribers. 

Utilize A/B testing to refine strategies and overcome challenges

A/B testing remains a powerful tool for marketers seeking to refine their email strategies and overcome challenges. By leveraging the insights gained from testing content, businesses can implement A/B testing best practices for continuous improvement. This includes testing different elements such as subject lines, content variations, and CTAs to identify what resonates best with the audience. 

Iterative testing allows for ongoing optimization, enabling businesses to adapt to changing trends, preferences, and challenges. By embracing A/B testing as a dynamic and evolving process, marketers stay agile and help ensure that their email campaigns are consistently fine-tuned for optimal performance. 

Adapt to evolving trends in email marketing to stay ahead

Staying ahead in marketing requires a keen understanding of industry trends and adapting to emerging challenges and opportunities. Monitoring shifts in consumer behavior, technological advancements, and changes in regulatory landscapes is crucial for businesses that want sustained success in their email campaigns. 

To navigate these challenges and stay ahead, businesses can use Mailchimp’s suite of tools and services which are tailored to meet the demands of the modern marketer. From advanced analytics to insightful reporting, our tools provide the necessary resources for businesses to monitor and assess their performance against email marketing benchmarks. 

Whether it’s crafting compelling content, optimizing campaigns based on industry benchmarks, or experimenting with innovative approaches, Mailchimp’s tools offer a holistic solution for businesses aiming to adapt and lead in email marketing. 

Email marketing benchmarks FAQ

What is an email marketing benchmark?

An email marketing benchmark is a metric used to see how successful an email marketing campaign has been for your business. It acts as a reference point businesses can use to determine whether they’re meeting expectations. 

Email marketing benchmarks use multiple factors when determining the success of a campaign, including the email open rate, click-through rate, and the size of your email list compared to the first two data points.

What is a good open rate for email?

One of the biggest factors when determining the success of a marketing campaign is email open rates. When building an email list, you want to make sure that you provide quality content for users who want to read the content.

Email open rates, as it sounds, refer to the rate by which your email recipients open it. According to our data, you should aim for somewhere around 34.23 percent, though the industry your business is in may change that figure.

For example, our data shows that the highest average email open rate is 40.55 percent for government emails, while the lowest average email open rate is 27.34 percent for vitamin supplement emails.

What is a good CTR for email?

The click-through rate gauges the actual engagement and conversion potential of your campaign. While metrics like open rates provide insight into initial interest, the CTR is crucial because it reflects the number of recipients who opened the email and were motivated to take further action. 

Based on our data, the optimal CTR for an email marketing campaign is 2.66 percent, however it may range from 1-5 percent depending on the industry. The lowest CTR of any industry is the vitamin supplements industry, with 1.19 percent, and the highest average CTR is 'government', with 4.58 percent.

The CTR of the email is determined by whether someone clicked on an image, hyperlink, or a call-to-action (CTA) included in the email. A comparatively high CTR may indicate that the people subscribed to your email list are excited, or at least curious, about what you are offering them.

The CTR is typically determined by taking the total clicks and dividing that by the total number of emails delivered as part of your campaign.

What is a well-sized email list?

The size of your email list matters and it will determine how many emails you send per person in a certain span of time. Like with email open rates, the size of your email list should ultimately depend on your industry, as well as the size of your business.

The size of your email list should take into account not only the average open rate as an email marketing benchmark, but also the conversion rate. No matter how big your business is, however, you should strive to have at least 1000 subscribers.

If this number is any lower, you run the risk of having a too-low number of conversions. On average, half of your email list subscribers will be interested in your product or services, while the other half is less so.

How do I make my email list compliant?

Ensuring the compliance of your email list is crucial to maintain a positive sender reputation, reduce your unsubscribe rate, adhere to legal requirements, and foster a healthy relationship with your subscribers. Figuring out the difference between compliant vs noncompliant is relatively tricky when it comes to email lists. When building an email list, the first step is obtaining explicit consent from individuals before adding them to your email list. This often involves implementing a clear and transparent opt-in process, where subscribers willingly provide their consent to receive communications from your business.

Additionally, include a link to your privacy policy during the opt-in process to inform subscribers about how their data will be used and protected. 

You should also regularly update and clean your email list to remove inactive or unengaged subscribers. Sending emails to disinterested recipients can negatively impact your sender reputation and email deliverability. Provide a straightforward option for subscribers to unsubscribe from your emails, and honor these requests promptly.

You must comply with applicable laws, including anti-spam laws, such as the CAN-SPAM Act in the United States or the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union so please research these regulations or seek legal advice for your specific situation.

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