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Email Marketing Statistics and Benchmarks by Industry

Compare how your emails are doing with the average unique open, click, and bounce rates for thousands of Mailchimp users.

Average email marketing campaign stats of Mailchimp customers 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 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 bounces, and hard bounces by industry.

We only tracked campaigns that went to at least 1,000 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 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 with others in your industry.

The data provided on this page was last updated in October 2019 and may vary from benchmarking data provided within the Mailchimp application.

IndustryAverage Open RateAverage Click RateHard BounceSoft BounceUnsubscribe Rate
All non-labeled accounts22.71%2.91%0.40%0.61%0.25%
Agriculture and Food Services23.31%2.94%0.32%0.50%0.28%
Architecture and Construction22.51%2.51%0.73%1.18%0.32%
Arts and Artists26.27%2.95%0.30%0.51%0.28%
Beauty and Personal Care16.65%1.92%0.26%0.33%0.30%
Business and Finance21.56%2.72%0.43%0.55%0.20%
Computers and Electronics19.29%2.08%0.47%0.79%0.27%
Creative Services/Agency21.39%2.66%0.58%0.93%0.35%
Daily Deals/E-Coupons15.06%2.23%0.07%0.13%0.10%
Education and Training23.42%2.90%0.32%0.51%0.21%
Entertainment and Events20.51%2.36%0.28%0.43%0.26%
Health and Fitness21.48%2.69%0.30%0.40%0.40%
Home and Garden21.60%3.03%0.32%0.52%0.35%
Marketing and Advertising17.38%2.04%0.44%0.68%0.27%
Media and Publishing22.15%4.62%0.14%0.27%0.12%
Medical, Dental, and Healthcare21.72%2.49%0.51%0.63%0.28%
Music and Musicians21.88%2.94%0.28%0.48%0.26%
Photo and Video23.24%3.23%0.43%0.65%0.40%
Professional Services21.94%2.55%0.56%0.83%0.31%
Public Relations21.02%1.98%0.45%0.71%0.17%
Real Estate19.17%1.77%0.38%0.56%0.27%
Recruitment and Staffing21.14%2.53%0.45%0.53%0.30%
Restaurant and Venue20.39%1.40%0.32%0.45%0.39%
Social Networks and Online Communities21.06%3.32%0.20%0.34%0.22%
Software and Web App21.29%2.45%0.65%0.97%0.37%
Travel and Transportation20.44%2.25%0.31%0.51%0.24%
Vitamin Supplements15.03%1.62%0.23%0.36%0.27%
Average Totals21.33%2.62%0.40%0.58%0.26%

The average email open rate for all industries we analyzed is 21.33%.

Open rates are one of the best ways to tell whether your email strategy is working. This number shows what percentage of your audience opens the emails you send them. If you have a higher open rate, it usually means your subject lines resonate with your audience.

Here are a few examples of successful open rates:

  • The highest open rates are found in government-related emails, with an open rate of 28.77%.
  • Emails sent by hobbies entities come in second, with a 27.74% open rate.
  • With a 27.62% open rate, emails about religion came in third.
  • The average open rate for all industries we analyzed is 21.33%.

How to improve open rates

A low open rate generally indicates one of these things:

  • Your subject line is not relevant or interesting enough
  • Your audience is composed of a wide variety of subscribers
  • You may be sending too many or too few campaigns

Test your subject line

The best way to know what resonates with your subscribers is to try different things in your marketing emails. An effective subject line clearly describes what's inside your campaign, but you'll want to test a few variations to find out what works best for your audience to get higher open rates.

Draft two or three subject lines that differ slightly, for example, "Company B Weekly Newsletter" and "This Week's News from Company B," and set them up in an A/B testing campaign. A/B testing should be a part of your email marketing strategy not only to improve your email marketing statistics but to deliver email users the content they want in a way that is appealing to them.

Tips for subject lines that you should include in your digital marketing strategy

Writing a good email marketing subject line can be intimidating, especially if you don’t know where to start. Follow these subject line best practices to ensure that you're on the right track when drafting your email marketing campaign.

Personalized subject lines

Use merge tags to personalize your subject lines with each recipient's name or location. Personalized emails are shown to 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.

Segment your audience

Think about who your subscribers are, and what kind of information is most useful to them. If sales reps, store owners, and consumers all receive the same campaign, some could become frustrated by irrelevant content and stop opening your emails. You can use subscriber location, interests, or activity to segment campaigns, so you can send the right content to the right people. Segmentation helps you create stronger campaigns and build trust with your subscribers. Segmenting your audience will increase the conversion rate and you'll get better email results than sending generic emails.

Audience segmentation tips

Once you’ve decided which segmentation strategies to go with, you can put the rest of your plan together. How are you going to target those people? Will it be via email, social media, or personalized landing pages? Here are a few tips for marketing smarter with segmented email campaigns.

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’ll see a return on that effort in the form of increased interest, increased sales, and repeat customers.

Click-through rates in email marketing statistics

Another good way to check how well your emails are working is to take a look at the click rates. The click rate is a percentage that tells you how many successfully delivered emails got at least 1 click. This number shows whether or not your audience finds the emails you send relevant enough to click through and check their email for more.

Here’s what standard click rates look like:

  • Hobbies have the highest click rate, which is 5.01%.
  • Media and publishing emails see the second highest click rate, at 4.62%.
  • Government comes in third, with a 3.99% click rate.
  • The average click rate for all industries we looked at is 2.62%.

The average click rate for all industries we analyzed is 2.62%

How to improve click rates

Your click rate essentially tells you how many of your subscribers find your campaign content useful. To improve your click rate, you'll need to create content that's useful to more subscribers. Like open rates, you can sometimes accomplish this by targeting specific content to a smaller, segmented audience.

You can also try changing your link text and testing content blocks in your campaigns.

Make links more effective

Best practice suggests avoiding the generic phrase "click here" as click-through text. Many people won't click it because it's unclear where it goes. It also leaves out important information screen readers need for disabled users, and suggests clicking a mouse, when a lot of people view their emails on a touchscreen.

Make your link text descriptive and concise, and point the click-through URL to the most relevant information available. If you're referencing a particular service, send the link directly to that service's webpage instead of your business homepage.

Some users have success with including multiple links to the same content in a single campaign. This is particularly helpful for campaigns with a single call to action, such as prompting your subscribers to donate.

You could put donation buttons in several content areas, or vary link text throughout your campaign. Instead of having a single donation link, you will have several, which increases the odds of someone clicking— even though every link points to the same target webpage. It's always a good idea to test your links.

Testing content with A/B testing campaigns

A/B testing campaigns can help you test a lot of things, including the actual content in your campaign. You'll create different versions of your content in a single A/B testing campaign, and Mailchimp will send each version to a separate set of subscribers in your audience and track engagement. The one that performs better is sent to a remaining set of your recipients who weren't sent any of the test versions.

Open and click rates improve when you provide the most relevant content to the most interested group of people. Make time to review your reports, and test often to get the most out of your campaigns. Testing is an important part of a digital marketing strategy.

Tips for Improving Your Email Marketing Stats

  1. When it comes to subject lines, being straightforward works best. So tell, don’t sell what’s inside. Read our tips on writing effective subject lines.
  2. If you want people to open your emails, you have to get past their email spam filters first. And 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. Make sure you email your subscribers regularly (at least once a quarter), so that your list stays up to date.
  1. 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 5 failed campaigns.
  2. 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.

Abuse complaints happen when recipients click the “This is spam” button in their email programs. That usually means that subscribers don’t remember subscribing to your email list. Make sure your “From” and “Subject” lines contain your company name, so your subscribers will instantly recognize you. You can also use Mailchimp's email templates to ensure proper coding. Here are a few more tips for preventing spam complaints, check them out before sending emails to your subscribers.

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. 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. Ideally, you should aim for somewhere around 21.33 percent, though the industry your business is in may change that figure.

For example, the highest average email open rate is 28.77 percent for government emails, while the lowest average email open rate is 15.03 percent for vitamin supplement emails.

What is a good CTR for email?

The click-through rate (CTR) of an email is one of the most important email marketing benchmarks in determining how successful your email marketing campaign is. The reason this is so is because, no matter how many people are registered on your email, or how many open their emails, if they do not click, it does not matter.

On average, the optimal CTR for an email marketing campaign is around 3 percent, however it may range from 2-5 percent depending on the industry. The lowest CTR of any industry is the restaurant industry, with 1.34 percent, and the highest average CTR is 'Hobbies', with 5.1 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. The average conversion rate is around 3 percent. 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?

Figuring out the difference between compliant vs noncompliant is relatively tricky when it comes to email lists. There are certain things that are not allowed under a company's terms of service. To see if you are compliant, make sure to read through the terms of service of whichever company you are working with.

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