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Email marketing statistics 2016

The best email statistics sources to benchmark open and clickthrough rates for your email campaigns in the UK, US, Europe, Asia-Pacific including Australia

Email marketers often ask "how do our campaigns compare?". They're looking for statistics to compare subscriber engagement for open, clickthrough and delivery rates, ideally within their sector.

Fortunately, there are a number of good options to benchmark email response across different sectors. The best stats sources are compilations by email marketing service providers who produce statistics across their clients' campaigns. As we'll see, for the most meaningful comparisons we need to go beyond industry averages and drill down to comparison of email types since transactional emails such as a welcome sequence tend to have much higher interaction and clickthrough rates than a regular newsletter.

Email Statistics - 2016 update

In the Autumn of last year we partnered with Email marketing platform GetResponse to benchmark adoption of email marketing techniques. As part of this project GetResponse has now published one of the first benchmarks comparing email open and clickthrough rates by industry sector. The chart shows that email marketing is considerably more challenging in some sectors such as retail and ecommerce, marketing services and travel compared to others such as  financial services and consumer sectors.

Global Open and clickthrough rate Email statistics 2016

You can download the full State of Email marketing 2016 by industry from the GetResponse site.

Email engagement rates for small and medium size business from MailChimp

We will continue to update this resource through the year as new reports are produced by the main email platforms. Do contact us if you're an email provider with new stats to share. Talking of which... Mailchimp have monthly updates of their Email benchmark stats which give a great source of comparing email response by industry. This Email response data is for April 2016.

OpenOpen rate (%)Clickthrough rate (%)Soft BounceHard BounceAbuseUnsub
Agriculture and Food Services25.17%3.21%0.62%0.48%0.03%0.29%
Architecture and Construction25.06%2.98%1.56%1.16%0.03%0.37%
Arts and Artists27.45%2.89%0.68%0.51%0.03%0.28%
Beauty and Personal Care18.96%2.14%0.44%0.44%0.04%0.33%
Business and Finance21.36%2.75%0.72%0.60%0.03%0.24%
Computers and Electronics21.27%2.32%1.08%0.75%0.03%0.30%
Creative Services/Agency22.65%2.74%1.12%0.91%0.03%0.36%
Daily Deals/E-Coupons13.87%1.81%0.13%0.09%0.01%0.10%
Education and Training21.96%2.75%0.58%0.50%0.02%0.20%
Entertainment and Events21.56%2.37%0.53%0.44%0.03%0.28%
Health and Fitness22.47%2.81%0.47%0.48%0.03%0.38%
Home and Garden24.60%3.77%0.64%0.45%0.04%0.38%
Marketing and Advertising18.31%2.06%0.81%0.66%0.03%0.29%
Media and Publishing22.26%4.62%0.30%0.20%0.01%0.12%
Medical, Dental, and Healthcare22.68%2.49%0.79%0.80%0.30%
Music and Musicians22.99%2.93%0.63%0.47%0.03%0.29%
Photo and Video26.37%3.87%0.77%0.66%0.03%0.41%
Professional Services20.89%2.63%0.92%0.73%0.03%0.30%
Public Relations20.01%1.66%0.80%0.62%0.02%0.22%
Real Estate21.52%1.98%0.69%0.59%0.04%0.32%
Recruitment and Staffing20.17%2.30%0.56%0.59%0.03%0.31%
Restaurant and Venue22.07%1.39%0.60%0.52%0.03%0.41%
Social Networks and Online Communities21.87%3.48%0.40%0.33%0.02%0.23%
Software and Web App21.56%2.40%1.11%0.88%0.03%0.39%
Travel and Transportation20.65%2.30%0.69%0.51%0.03%0.24%
Vitamin Supplements17.45%1.92%0.39%0.28%0.04%0.27%

We do have other industry sector breakdowns of response later in this post, but since Mailchimp send billions of emails a month for more than 10 million users this is probably the largest global sample of email response that has been created. It is skewed to smaller businesses using their free account options though.

Email engagement rates for larger business

The results for Mailchimp are more typical of smaller and mid-size businesses, rather than large brands. This 2015 email benchmark compilation from Silverpop who are now owned by IBM so clients tend to represent larger businesses - they are from 750 companies representing 3,000 brands in 40 countries. So breakdowns by EMEA, UK, US and APAC are available too. I've selected the breakdown by industry which are more useful to compare your performance with.

Here 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 2015 by industry

Rather than clickthrough rates that are also available in the report, I have picked out Click-to-open which shows engagement with the copy and creative. As a rule of thumb you should look for 10 to 15% CTOR, so can compare emails against this benchmark.

Email Click-to-Open Rates 2015 by industry


Finally from this benchmark, I thought it would be useful to share the data on list churn as indicated by hard bounce rates and spam complaint rates. You don't want to go too high on these since you could have a problem with inbox delivery and likely your ESP will get in touch.
Email unsubscribe rates


Email compalaint rates


Breakdown of market share for email clients: Mobile and desktop

Litmus, one of the best sources for stats on Email marketing have produced a Jan 2015 update reviewing the current situation to previous years.

This chart summarising their research shows the rise of mobile email marketing to the point that nearly half of emails are opened on smartphones and tablets—a 500% increase in four years! 

Email statistics 2011 to 2015

The latest Litmus compilation of email client market share from February 2015 shows why it's so important to consider how well your emails render on mobile. It's based on the percentage of opens on different platforms. The uptick in webmail opens is again largely due to Gmail defaulting to open images.

Email clients - January 2015

View post on % reading emails on mobile devices.

Litmus also has additional data aggregating Mobile clients - see their Email marketing client market share site for the latest updates. This shows the need to optimise for the iOS and Android platforms, bit with Android surprisingly low compared to the iPhone.

Mobile email open rates percent

Comparison of Email open and clickthrough rates

Across all industries, the average open and clickthrough rate results according to the most recent Sign-up.To Email statistics for UK SME email marketing campaigns were:


Across all industries the average results for UK SME email marketing campaigns were:

  • Open rate: 22.87% (2013: 21.47%)
  • Click-through rate: 3.26% (3.16%)
  • Unsubscription rate: 0.53% (0.47%)
  • Click-to-open rate: 14.25% (14.72%)
  • Unsubscribe-to-open rate: 2.29% (2.29%)

This data shows that open and clickthrough rates are fairly stable, with opens up a little, in large part to Gmail defaulting to displaying images at the end of 2013.

The 2014 report has a relatively small sample of 1.5 billion emails sent by SMBs during 2013. A larger sample for UK Emails from Epsilon is presented in the European section of this compilation.

But it's a useful report since it has the breakdown of opens, clicks and unsubscribes by industry for B2B and B2C markets. This shows the much lower response in some sectors such as Events, Education and Legal services.

There are also statistics on engagement measured as clicked to open - this info isn't always available in these types of benchmarks. It's useful to compare how effective your creative and offers is at to generating clickthroughs.

Email open to clickthrough rates 2014

Finally, the full report also has a sector breakdown on unsubscribe rates. Again a large difference here by sector.

US Email Statistics

Epsilon Email Benchmark reports

Epsilon is one of the largest email providers broadcasting worldwide and has regular reports making it one of the best sources for industry breakdowns. The Epsilon Email Marketing Research Center has data for North American and some older European Trends.

US email campaign data published February 2015 shows that despite some social media marketing specialists occasionally saying that "email marketing is dead", open and clicks remain stable. This research is is 8.7 billion BAU emails and 340 million triggered emails sent in Q3  2014 across more than 140 large clients. You can see the power of triggered emails which have much higher response levels as expected since these will often include the Welcome sequence when someone first subscribes.

That said, marketers are having to work a lot harder through delivering more personalised relevant creative to achieve this and clickthrough rates are lower overall in 2012 compared to 2011.

Benchmark of open and clickthrough rates for triggered and BAU emails

Triggered email response statistics

The Epsilon data set is interesting since it has insight on triggered emails which aren't usually separated in these types of industry benchmarks. These are often more personalised and occur at an earlier stage in the subscriber relationship before email fatigue has set in - so these are useful for comparing to your welcome emails or abandoned basket emails.

A breakdown is also available by sector.

email response rates by industry

European Email Statistics

Epsilon was also a good source for breakdown of email response for European countries - see their EMEA Email Resource Centre. Breakdown by country below is kept for reference although Epsilon haven't updated this recently to say the least, so we'll update it as soon as we get better longer-term trends - in the meantime, compare these to the open and click rates at the top of the article.

France Email response trends

Germany Email response trends

UK Email response trends

Asia-Pacific Email Statistics

Epsilon is again a source that can be used here. These sources have been recommended to me via Linked In:

Australia Email marketing statistics

The latest compilation of Email marketing statistics for Australian audiences from Vision 6 showing open rate across a range of sectors - B2B sectors have the highest clickthrough rates.

Australia Email marketing statistics

Please let us know of other sources we can share in updates here. Thanks!

Share your thoughts

  • Can we get response rate as well?

  • Nao commented on October 21, 2016

    Is the open rate, unique open rate?

  • Dale Hogeland commented on March 30, 2016

    Do you know the percentage of email marketers or copywriter who fail at email marketing? It other words, what percent of email marketers blow it with their prospects because they don’t understand the purpose of email marketing or how to convert. Any idea?

  • Leigh Chesley commented on November 9, 2015

    Thanks for sharing. It’s great to see the triggered emails broken out so that they aren’t skewing the BAU data. Also points to the importance of triggers as part of the email marketing mix.

    • Cheers Leigh (+Mark, Kristi)

      Great you have pulled out this insight – you see so many overall opens/clicks reported that you have to isolate the triggered emails – particularly Welcomes and Abandons since they skew it – their response rates will be >> XX higher.


      • Hi Dave,

        Hope you are doing great.

        Could you suggest a few good B2B data platforms for email marketing in Australia where one could get large number of contacts of decision makers in all industries? Thanks.


  • Excellent compilation Dave, you’ve saved many people a ton of time.

  • Kristi Bliss commented on October 13, 2015

    This was extremely helpful and useful. Thank you.

    • You’re welcome Kristi – we update the stats regularly from the different sources, so they will remain helpful hopefully!


  • whitney commented on September 29, 2015

    Thank you! So does anyone know what percentage of people who click through to an offer actually purchase the offer? Im sure it varies quite a bit depending on the offer (coupon code vs a educational course for example) but to guestimate roi for a potential campaign I would love to have some benchmark stats if anyone knows where to find those. – Thanks!

    • Glad that’s helpful Whitney – we have another post on your question: Google ‘Smart Insights conversion rates’ its mostly generic – email tends to be higher than other channels depending on whether it’s a new customer or not.

  • Thanks, Dave, this is indeed a very helpful article with a summary. This is a great help for marketers to check how they are performing, comparing their results with that of the industry.

  • This is great info, very helpful

  • That’s very good data, as I started email marketing using the tool mailchimp. It is very helpful for me to identify which device has how much open rate and what is the ideal open rate. Please keep the posting like this. Thank you very much.

  • Some really amazing data here. Thank you.

  • Jack commented on July 14, 2015

    Thanks Dave, this is a great summary and really helps us know if we are doing well or not. We’re averaging at 30% Open Rate and 7% CTR in Professional Services – would you say that we need to widen the net?

    • Cheers Jack – glad that’s useful – there are a lot of stats published, but we like to collate the best / most recent.

      In my experience you have got a good level of engagement / response there, so I’m not sure you will get much better through optimisation.

      But it does depend on:

      1. Level of personalisation/age of subscriber on list – personalised welcome emails will perform much better than standard newsletters. It’s always worth optimising those more as described in our Welcome Email optimisation guide.

      2. Whether you remove inactives from your list – we only mail to people who have been active on mail or on site within last 12 months. How do you tackle this?

      • Jack commented on July 14, 2015

        Interesting… We are dabbling with more personalised emails but most of our emails are general, and provide useful content, which we target on an email-by-email basis, mainly using implicit signals of interest – i.e. they have opened / downloaded something similar, or visited a relevant area of the site.

        In this context, I was thinking that you could see 30% and 8% as TOO high, i.e. we could get more absolute numbers of readers / clicks if we were less selective about targeting. Do you ever think that an open rate/ CTR can indicate that you can increase your list size?

        In terms of recency of activity, we haven’t been using our platform long enough to weed out contacts inactive for over 12 months, but we do sometimes exclude contacts that have never been active, so I guess that’s the same thing at the moment!

  • Last month the Dutch Dialog Marketing Association ( published their yearly email benchmark. For a summary you can visit the website

  • Amazing compilation of statistics here, Dave. Very interesting stuff.

  • Dave, where is the best place to look for email statistics for global and/or US teen and tween usage of email?

  • Shawn commented on April 13, 2015

    Well organized website with really nice information.

  • Hi,

    I Like your post it should help other people.

    Thank you.

  • Spook SEO commented on January 27, 2014

    How about Aweber? Is he dead?

  • Lynn Serafinn commented on December 3, 2013

    Excellent article and great information. I’m currently writing an article on the subject of whether or not email lists/newsletters are as relevant and effective as they were in 2007 (before the Web 2.0 revolution), and I will certainly cite your article as a resource. Don’t have the link to the direct article yet, but it will be posted by Dec 4th, 2013 at Hope you’ll stop by and leave a comment when you get the ‘pingback’ for it, Dave.

    Again, thanks for all the effort you put into compiling all these stats. As I live in the UK, I’m not at all surprised the UK/Euro open rates are significantly lower than in the US!


  • Heather commented on May 27, 2013

    Great information, does anyone have an approximate response rate off of a purchased list – I’ve read it can be anything between 1-2% this obviously depends on the provider and data and message etc. but is there any industry benchmark. Preferably B2B.

    • Hi Heather, thanks for the question. Most of the email compilations are house lists, so not sure I have seen a good source to answer your question. I would say 1% is a maximum since most rented lists are used multiple times and so burned out.

      I would recommend against purchasing lists for this reason. Today, content marketing and social media advertising offer better opportunities to stimulate awareness and response.


  • melissa.mortensen commented on May 3, 2013

    Good info. How are you defining B2B Sales vs. B2B Services?

  • Dave, do you have thes figures for 2012?

  • Peter commented on March 28, 2011

    Great article Dave, I am using some of this information for my thesis.

  • Fantastic! I’ve been looking for benchmark stats like this to compare with our own email marketing efforts for some time but haven’t been able to find something as clear and concise as this. Good work Dave.

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