E-mail marketing engagement and response statistics 2018

David Linder

David Linder

MSc in Marketing from the University of Salford. Facebook Certified Planning Professional Facebook Certified Buying Professional
7 min read

The best email statistics sources to benchmark open and clickthrough rates for the email promotions in your industry sector

Email marketers often ask “how do our campaigns compare“? They’re searching for email statistics to compare subscriber engagement for open, clickthrough and delivery rates, ideally of their sector.

Fortunately, there are numerous of good options to benchmark email response across different sectors. The very best stats sources are compilations by e-mail marketing providers who produce statistics across their clients’ campaigns. We’ve ordered them in to the 4 top questions asked:

As we’ll see, for probably the most meaningful comparisons we have to exceed industry averages and drill right down to the comparison of email types since transactional emails like a welcome sequence generally have higher interaction and click-through rates when compared to a regular newsletter.

Email Statistics – 2018 update

Q1. Do you know the email engagement rates for small to medium businesses?

We will continue steadily to update these stats through 2018 as new reports are made by the primary email platforms.

The latest (published April 2018) may be the GetResponse E-mail marketing benchmarks giving an internationally average of open and clickthrough rates by country and by sector. This is actually the sector summary which also contains unsubscribe and spam rates in the entire report.

Also recent compilation may be the 28th Dec 2017 may be the Constant Contact Average Email open and clickthrough rates by industry – click to expand.

Do e mail us if you’re a contact provider with new stats to talk about. Talking which… Mailchimp has monthly updates of these Email benchmark stats which provide a great way to obtain comparing email response by industry. This Email response data was last updated on 1st February 2017 (no updates in 2018 whenever we last checked).

Open Open rate (%) Clickthrough rate (%) Soft Bounce Hard Bounce Abuse Unsub
Agriculture and Food Services 24.71% 2.98% 0.58% 0.43% 0.02% 0.29%
Architecture and Construction 24.78% 2.90% 1.50% 1.08% 0.03% 0.36%
Arts and Artists 27.23% 2.85% 0.61% 0.44% 0.02% 0.29%
Beauty and Personal Care 18.48% 1.96% 0.38% 0.38% 0.03% 0.32%
Business and Finance 20.97% 2.73% 0.66% 0.55% 0.02% 0.23%
Computers and Electronics 20.87% 2.16% 1.02% 0.70% 0.02% 0.31%
Construction 22.10% 1.95% 1.56% 1.20% 0.04% 0.43%
Consulting 19.54% 2.26% 0.92% 0.71% 0.02% 0.29%
Creative Services/Agency 22.41% 2.61% 1.09% 0.89% 0.02% 0.38%
Daily Deals/E-Coupons 15.22% 2.39% 0.10% 0.07% 0.01% 0.10%
E-commerce 16.75% 2.32% 0.30% 0.24% 0.02% 0.23%
Education and Training 22.00% 2.63% 0.55% 0.46% 0.02% 0.20%
Entertainment and Events 21.21% 2.33% 0.49% 0.41% 0.02% 0.28%
Gambling 18.75% 3.35% 0.39% 0.46% 0.03% 0.17%
Games 20.82% 3.33% 0.44% 0.50% 0.02% 0.25%
Government 26.33% 3.62% 0.48% 0.39% 0.01% 0.13%
Health and Fitness 21.93% 2.57% 0.43% 0.44% 0.03% 0.39%
Hobbies 28.46% 5.13% 0.31% 0.24% 0.02% 0.23%
Home and Garden 23.82% 3.47% 0.57% 0.40% 0.03% 0.37%
Insurance 21.56% 2.11% 0.76% 0.82% 0.03% 0.26%
Legal 22.49% 2.99% 0.76% 0.67% 0.02% 0.23%
Manufacturing 21.74% 2.33% 1.41% 0.99% 0.03% 0.36%
Marketing and Advertising 17.81% 1.92% 0.77% 0.61% 0.02% 0.28%
Media and Publishing 22.14% 4.70% 0.28% 0.18% 0.01% 0.12%
Medical, Dental, and Healthcare 22.43% 2.42% 0.72% 0.72% 0.03% 0.30%
Mobile 19.43% 2.10% 0.57% 0.63% 0.02% 0.36%
Music and Musicians 22.86% 2.84% 0.56% 0.42% 0.02% 0.29%
Non-Profit 24.98% 2.76% 0.49% 0.40% 0.02% 0.19%
Other 23.06% 2.81% 0.78% 0.60% 0.02% 0.28%
Pharmaceuticals 20.02% 2.51% 0.79% 0.74% 0.02% 0.22%
Photo and Video 25.36% 3.49% 0.71% 0.61% 0.02% 0.40%
Politics 22.23% 2.17% 0.42% 0.38% 0.03% 0.21%
Professional Services 20.89% 2.47% 0.92% 0.72% 0.02% 0.31%
Public Relations 20.12% 1.64% 0.80% 0.60% 0.01% 0.21%
Real Estate 20.84% 1.91% 0.61% 0.51% 0.03% 0.31%
Recruitment and Staffing 20.73% 2.18% 0.53% 0.60% 0.02% 0.32%
Religion 26.46% 3.11% 0.19% 0.17% 0.01% 0.13%
Restaurant 21.17% 1.25% 0.24% 0.22% 0.02% 0.26%
Restaurant and Venue 21.71% 1.33% 0.53% 0.45% 0.02% 0.42%
Retail 20.96% 2.50% 0.35% 0.30% 0.02% 0.28%
Social Networks and Online Communities 21.71% 3.33% 0.37% 0.29% 0.02% 0.23%
Software and Web App 20.95% 2.29% 1.06% 0.85% 0.02% 0.39%
Sports 25.41% 3.19% 0.46% 0.41% 0.02% 0.29%
Telecommunications 21.57% 2.43% 1.13% 0.92% 0.02% 0.27%
Travel and Transportation 20.69% 2.17% 0.65% 0.48% 0.02% 0.24%
Vitamin Supplements 17.26% 1.80% 0.28% 0.22% 0.03% 0.25%

We do have other industry sector breakdowns of response later in this article, but since Constant Constant and Mailchimp send vast amounts of emails per month for a lot more than 10 million users that is most likely the largest global sample of email response that is created. They’re skewed to smaller businesses utilizing their free account options, though.

Q2. Do you know the Email engagement rates for larger businesses?

The results for Mailchimp tend to be more typical of smaller and mid-size businesses, instead of large brands. This Email benchmark compilation from Silverpop that are now owned by IBM so clients have a tendency to represent larger businesses – they’re from 750 companies representing 3,000 brands in 40 countries. So breakdowns by EMEA, UK, US and APAC can be found too. I’ve selected the breakdown by industry that is more beneficial to compare your performance with. There wasn’t an update because the takeover, but we’re longing for an update in the stats this season.

But what’s the common email open rate? Listed below are the open rates with the mean showing the variation from the poorest performing sectors like publishing and tech to consumer brands and non-profits.

Email open rates by industry

Rather than click-through rates which are also obtainable in the report, I’ve chosen Click-to-open which ultimately shows engagement with the copy and creative. Generally of thumb you need to search for 10 to 15% CTOR, so can compare emails from this benchmark.

Click to open rate by industry

Finally, out of this benchmark, I thought it will be beneficial to share the info on list churn as indicated by hard bounce rates and spam complaint rates. You do not desire to go too much on these because you could have an issue with inbox delivery and likely your ESP are certain to get in contact.

Unsubscribe rate for email promotions by country or region

Email complaint rate by country or region

Q3. What’s the break down of market share for email clients on mobile and desktop?

Litmus, among the best sources for stats on E-mail marketing regularly create a summary of the email experience of different users – this is their start of 2018 round-up of the previous year.

This chart summarising their research shows the rise of mobile e-mail marketing to the stage that nearly 1 / 2 of emails are opened on smartphones and tablets. 

The latest Litmus compilation of email client market share shows why it’s so vital that you consider how well your emails render on mobile. It’s in line with the percentage of opens on different platforms. The uptick in webmail opens is again largely because of Gmail defaulting to open images.

Q4. Exactly what is a good open rate? And exactly what is a good click on through rate for email?

Although we have been presenting averages in this post, to answer this question it is important to exceed averages in your analysis of one’s email marketing so that you can compare ‘apples with apples’. It’s worth segmenting your email response in this manner:

  • By Email type (see below)
  • By offer type
  • By audience demographics

This will provide you with an improved indication of performance as will analysis by revenue per 1000 emails sent. Showing the difference of email type, the GetResponse E-mail marketing benchmarks include these averages by email opens:

It’s no real surprise that triggered and autoresponder (welcome) emails have higher open abd click rates being that they are more relevant or immediate, more in the context of an action a subscriber has had. It shows the energy of marketing automation.

Across all industries, the common open and clickthrough rate results based on the latest Sign-up.To Email statistics for UK SME e-mail marketing campaigns were:

Open and click-through rate by sector

Across all industries the common results for UK SME e-mail marketing campaigns were:

  • Open rate: 24.79% (2016: 24.88%)
  • Click-through rate: 4.19% (3.42%)
  • Unsubscription rate: 0.49% (0.52%)
  • Click-to-open rate: 11.88% (10.88%)
  • Unsubscribe-to-open rate: 2.59% (2.72%)

This data implies that open rate has already established hook decrease, click-through and click-to-open rates have slightly increased. While unsubscribe-to-open rates showed hook decrease.

The 2017 report includes a relatively small sample of just one 1.5 billion emails sent by SMBs during 2016.

But it is a useful report because it gets the breakdown of opens, clicks and unsubscribes by industry for B2B and B2C markets. This shows the lower response in a few sectors such as for example Events, Education and Legal services.

There may also be statistics on engagement measured as clicked to open – this info isn’t always obtainable in these kinds of benchmarks. It’s beneficial to compare how effective your creative and will be offering reaches to generating clickthroughs.

Click-to-open rate by sector

Finally, the entire report also offers a sector breakdown on unsubscribe rates. Again a big difference here by sector.

Unsubscribes by sector

 Please tell us of other sources we are able to share in updates here. Thanks!
David Linder

David Linder

MSc in Marketing from the University of Salford. Facebook Certified Planning Professional Facebook Certified Buying Professional

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