Blog posts

Email Benchmarks 2019: Is Your Email Marketing Up to Par?

email open rate benchmarks

Email consistently provides among the best returns of all marketing channels. But even if your email program is delivering ROI, how can you tell if it’s contributing as much as it could or should to your bottom line?

One of the best ways to check the pulse of a marketing strategy, team or channel is to compare it to the performance of others. If you can match or beat the average, odds are good you’re heading in the right direction. If you’re lagging behind par…well, you might need to hit a hole in one to catch up.

So where does your brand stand compared to overall email marketing performance? What about when compared to companies similar to yours: businesses of similar size and structure, other brands in your industry, and your closest competitors?

These are important questions, but they’re difficult to answer without a reliable baseline to gauge yourself against. Fortunately that measuring stick is now available to marketers in the form of this comprehensive email marketing benchmarks guide recently published by Campaign Monitor.

The Benchmark for Email Benchmarks

When it comes to publicly-available data, this email marketing benchmarks report is the gold standard. Campaign Monitor has visibility into the performance of millions of email campaigns across industries, and has made its findings available to marketers with no strings attached.

You probably won’t anything more up-to-date and broadly reaching than what Campaign Monitor has assembled. Best of all, the data is freely available and accompanied by a helpful explanation of what it all means!

Email Open Rate Benchmarks

Take a moment and go check your marketing team’s email open rate.

Got it? Now compare that to the email open rate benchmark for all industries: 17.92%.

How does your marketing program compare?

The complete benchmarks report lists email open rate benchmarks down to the individual industry. Interestingly, the verticals winning the open rate battle include:

  • • Nonprofit
  • • Agricultural, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting
  • • Government

Make sure to see where your emails stand against the competitors in your own industry!

Campaign Monitor reports that Sunday is the lowest performing day for overall open rate metrics. Find the best day for open rates in your industry in the complete email marketing benchmarks guide!

How to Improve It:

There are lots of levers you can pull to lift your open rate to meet or exceed the benchmark.

The most obvious is subject line optimization. Make your subject lines personalized, relevant, intriguing and exciting to attract interest and earn more opens. Just approach with caution; if the contents of your email don’t meet the expectations your subject lines set, you’ll receive high spam and unsubscribe rates in return.

The other way to improve open rates is to make each of your emails so phenomenally irresistible that once a subscriber opens one they’ll feel compelled to open future messages. That can come in the form of high-value exclusive deals, awesome content, or engaging, interactive and highly personalized in-email experiences.

With the right tools you can even design emails that will draw users to open an email over and over again. We show examples of this tactic in our latest ebook, Automating Personalization: 5 Ways to Scale Relevance in Your Email Marketing.

Email Click-Through Rate Benchmarks

How many of your email openers go on to click on the content and links within your messages? For marketing emails overall, it’s about 14.1%

CTR is not the definitive measure of an email campaign’s success or failure. But it can be a good indicator of overall engagement.

Some industries seem to be better than others at soliciting clicks. Verticals leading the way include:

  • • Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting (These marketers see to be doing something right!)
  • • Media, Entertainment, & Publishing
  • • Real Estate, Design & Construction

Monday seems to be the worst day for click-through rate benchmarks, coming in at just 13.48%. Make sure you understand what days are best for your specific industry!

How to Improve It:

Need a way to increase your engagement rates? We explained some accessible, scalable ways to make emails more relevant and interactive in our latest webinar. Watch it now!

Email Unsubscribe Rate Benchmarks

Campaign Monitor found an overall email unsubscribe rate benchmark of .17%.

A certain amount of email list churn is normal and even beneficial for email marketers. There’s no point in sending emails to people who genuinely are not interested in your messages or did not intend to subscribe to your lists.

But if your unsubscribe rate is much higher than average, it’s a good indicator that something’s not right: you’re sending too many emails, your content isn’t bringing value to your audience, your email formats aren’t providing a good experience, and so on.

Emails sent on Sunday or Monday tend to have lower unsubscribe rates, according to the report. Can you guess what day has the highest?

How to Improve It:

Improving unsub rates begins with building a healthy, fully-opted in list from the start. If everyone you’re mailing know exactly what they’re getting into when signing up, they’ll be less likely to ditch your brand later.

And of course, amazing emails that consistently bring value and relevance to openers are much less likely to prompt an unsubscribe. For more helpful tips on managing unsubscribe rates, check out this great guide.