The Ultimate Email Marketing Benchmarks for 2019: By Industry and Day

Metrics such as open, clickthrough and bounce rates are monumentally important parts of any email marketing program. That’s why our friends at Campaign Monitor compiled The Ultimate Email Marketing Benchmarks for 2019: By Industry & Day. Read on to see their findings in full:

 Email marketing benchmarks provide you with valuable information about the health of your email sends. They allow you to see how your campaigns compare to industry standards and find opportunities to improve your strategy and, ultimately, get better results. 

And over the past several years, we’ve had countless users ask for industry benchmarks based on real campaign data, but we didn’t have it — until now. Today, we are excited to share our findings for 2019 email marketing benchmarks by industry and day, based on millions of Campaign Monitor customer emails.

We analyzed over 30 billion emails sent across 4.2 million campaigns sent through Campaign Monitor in 2018. Then we compiled the results into a single, comprehensive resource so that any email marketer can easily see industry norms and see how they stack up.

Explore the data below to discover how your emails perform compared to others in your industry based on key metrics like open rate, click-to-open rate, unsubscribes and more.

Email Marketing Benchmarks By Industry and Data, Based on Real Campaign Data

Average Email Benchmarks for All Industries

  • Average open rate: 17.92%
  • Average unsubscribe rate: 0.17%
  • Average click-to-open rate: 14.10%
  • Average bounce rate: 1.06%

So what did we learn? Here are the top takeaways for email marketers, based on an analysis of over three billion emails.

Best Days for Email Marketing

  • Best day for highest email open rates: Thursday
  • Best day for lowest unsubscribe rates: Sunday or Monday
  • Best day for highest click-to-open rates: Saturday
  • Best day for lowest bounce rates: Monday

Worst Days for Email Marketing

  • Worst day for lowest email open rates: Sunday
  • Worst day for highest unsubscribe rates: Wednesday
  • Worst day for lowest click-to-open rates: Monday
  • Worst day for highest bounce rates: Friday

Top Industries by Open Rate

  • Nonprofit (20.39%)
  • Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting (20.13%)
  • Government (19.79%)
  • Healthcare Services (19.12%)
  • Other (18.94%)

Top Industries by Click-to-Open Rate

  • Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting (18.03%)
  • Media, Entertainment, & Publishing (17.15%)
  • Real Estate, Design & Construction Activities (16.47%)
  • Unknown (15.52%)
  • Government (15.11%)

Understanding Email Marketing Metrics and How to Improve Them

Email Open Rate

Email open rate is the percentage of the total number of subscribers who opened an email campaign.
These rates can vary depending on the subject line and the relevancy of the subject matter for subscribers, but we found an average open rate of 17.92%.

How to improve your email open rate:

Email Click-to-Open Rate

The email click-to-open rate is the percentage of email viewers (those that open an email) who click on a link or image within an email. The email click-to-open rate may be considered a measure of the immediate response rate of an email.

It’s often a key metric used to measure the success—or lack of success—of a specific email campaign. We found an average email click-to-open rate of 14.10%.

How to improve your email click rate:

  • Make sure your email renders well across devices
  • Collect the right data to segment and personalize
  • Optimize your email design and copy
  • Include an irresistible, easy-to-click call to action
  • A/B test each email element individually
  • Automate your emails to scale what works

Spam Rate

Email spam is also called junk mail, and it sometimes includes phishing links from sites that host malware and viruses. It is sometimes sent in large, bulk quantities, while other times it appears as unsolicited commercial emails.

The spam rate is how often the recipient marks your emails as spam, based on information that ISPs report to ESPs via a defined path. Campaign Monitor emails have an average spam rate of 0.002%.

How to improve your spam rate:

  • Use a familiar ‘From’ name so subscribers recognize you
  • Don’t send from email addresses like ‘’
  • Only email people who have given you permission to email them
  • Send from a business-configured domain
  • Avoid using spam-like formatting

Unsubscribe Rate

Unsubscribe is the action a user takes to opt out of getting any more emails. The percentage of people who unsubscribe is often displayed as a reporting number on each email campaign you send.
This is an important number to study on every campaign to see if certain topics, subject lines, or templates drive up your unsubscribe number, as this is an indicator of an unhappy or disinterested audience. We found an average unsubscribe rate of 0.17%.

How to improve your unsubscribe rate:

  • Grow a healthy list from the start
  • Use automation to build long-term brand engagement
  • Segment your audience to send more relevant emails
  • Re-engage your audience to maintain list hygiene
  • Remember that some list churn is normal and healthy

Email Bounce Rate

A bounced email is an email that couldn’t be delivered. Specifically, it’s an explanation of delivery failure related to server or spam issues, whether these issues are permanent or temporary.

Typically, bounce rate is a metric expressed as a percentage of subscribers who didn’t receive your message. There are two types of bounces: hard and soft. We found an average bounce rate of 1.06%.

How to improve your email bounce rate:

  • Don’t send to stale lists
  • Never use purchased lists
  • Remove invalid email addresses
  • Use confirmed opt-in
  • Never use free webmail addresses
  • Avoid spammy content
  • Suppress previous bounces

Email Deliverability

Email deliverability is the ability to deliver emails to subscribers’ inboxes. It’s what some marketers use to gauge the likelihood of their email campaigns reaching their subscribers’ inboxes related to actual delivery.

Issues with ISPs, throttling, bounces, spam issues, and bulking hurt your deliverability and thus reduce the number of your emails that will land in your subscribers’ inboxes.

That’s why your deliverability will impact everything from open rate to clicks to spam reports, so prioritizing this will have a huge impact on your email marketing success.

How to improve your email deliverability:

  • Send using custom authentication
  • Using double rather than single opt-in
  • Make it really easy to unsubscribe
  • Avoid using URL shorteners
  • Don’t send from a free domain email address
  • Don’t send emails with too many images

How to Use Benchmarks to Improve Your Email Marketing

Benchmarks are useful to see how your own email program compares to industry standards. 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.

Take a look at your average open rates over time. Are they improving even as your list continues to grow, or are they declining as your list becomes fatigued?

How much revenue or site traffic do you typically drive with each email? Those trends often signal exactly what you need to know to optimize your strategy.

You’ll also want to account for all the variables involved. For instance, a broadcast send to your entire audience probably won’t do as well as one to a small segment of engaged subscribers.

Finally, your best bet for optimizing each area of your email strategy is testing, so test, test, and test again! It’s the very best way to get to know your audience and get your best results yet.

This post originally appeared on the Campaign Monitor blog.

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