How Do You Rate? Email Performance Benchmarks By Industry

Maybe you should read this offsite before your boss gets a glimpse at it. Campaign Monitor has assembled email performance benchmarks for several industries.

First, the overview. Here are average metrics for all fields:

  • Open rate — 17.92%
  • Click-through rate — 2.69%
  • Unsubscribe rate — 0.17%
  • Click-to-open rate — 14.10%
  • Bounce rate — 1.06%

How do you measure up? You’re doing well if you exceed the averages. Now let’s get into the metrics by industry.

The top average open rates:  

  1. Nonprofit — 20.39%
  2. Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting — 20.13%
  3. Government — 19.79%
  4. Healthcare Services — 19.12%
  5. Other — 18.94%

On the other end of the list, the lowest open rates are those of consumer packaged goods (14.53) and retail (14.98%).

  1. Here are the average click-to-open rates by industry:
  2. Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting — 18.03%
  3. Media, Entertainment, & Publishing — 17.15%
  4. Real Estate, Design & Construction Activities — 16.47%
  5. Unknown — 15.52%
  6. Government — 15.11%



“One of the questions we typically hear as an email service provider (ESP) is "what is the best day to send an email?", says Shane Phair, chief marketing officer of Campaign Monitor. “Individuals who read this report might be surprised to find that there's not one magic answer to that question, which is why we decided to analyze millions of emails sent from our platform.”

Phair adds that “some of our readers may also be surprised by how vastly different email performs based on industry — in regards to email open rates, click through rates and more. 

Meanwhile, the highest unsubscribe rate belongs real estate agents & brokers: 0.22%. Second is logistics & Wholesale at 0.20%.

The highest bounce rates belong to the Other category (1.39%) and Education (1.35%), and the lowest are consumer packaged goods (0.67%) and retail (0.69%). 

The report also examines the optimal timing for emails. Here are the best days:

  • Open rates — Thursday
  • Click-through rates — Tuesday
  • Lowest unsubscribe rates — Sunday or Monday
  • Highest click-to-open rates — Saturday
  • Lowest bounce rates — Monday

Now the worst days:

  • Lowest email open rates — Sunday
  • Lowest click-through rates — Sunday
  • Highest unsubscribe rates — Wednesday
  • Lowest click-to-open rates — Monday
  • Highest bounce rates — Friday

Campaign Monitor advises email marketers to use both internal and external benchmarks. 

“Benchmarks are useful to see how your own email program compares to industry standards,” it writes. “They can help establish a baseline for figuring out how and where you can improve. But we also recommend using your own past results as the benchmark. It’s one of the easiest ways to determine what success looks like for your brand.”

Phair concludes that “The key takeaway from the report is to test, test and test some more! While these benchmarks offer industry standards, every audience and their needs are different. Testing will allow marketers to find exactly what their subscribers are wanting.” 

Campaign Monitor analyzed over 30 billion emails sent across 4.2 million campaigns it sent for clients in 2018.



Next story loading loading..