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.
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.
|Open||Open rate (%)||Clickthrough rate (%)||Soft Bounce||Hard Bounce||Abuse||Unsub|
|Agriculture and Food Services||25.17%||3.21%||0.62%||0.48%||0.03%||0.29%|
|Architecture and Construction||25.06%||2.98%||1.56%||1.16%||0.03%||0.37%|
|Arts and Artists||27.45%||2.89%||0.68%||0.51%||0.03%||0.28%|
|Beauty and Personal Care||18.96%||2.14%||0.44%||0.44%||0.04%||0.33%|
|Business and Finance||21.36%||2.75%||0.72%||0.60%||0.03%||0.24%|
|Computers and Electronics||21.27%||2.32%||1.08%||0.75%||0.03%||0.30%|
|Education and Training||21.96%||2.75%||0.58%||0.50%||0.02%||0.20%|
|Entertainment and Events||21.56%||2.37%||0.53%||0.44%||0.03%||0.28%|
|Health and Fitness||22.47%||2.81%||0.47%||0.48%||0.03%||0.38%|
|Home and Garden||24.60%||3.77%||0.64%||0.45%||0.04%||0.38%|
|Marketing and Advertising||18.31%||2.06%||0.81%||0.66%||0.03%||0.29%|
|Media and Publishing||22.26%||4.62%||0.30%||0.20%||0.01%||0.12%|
|Medical, Dental, and Healthcare||22.68%||2.49%||0.79%||0.80%||0.30%|
|Music and Musicians||22.99%||2.93%||0.63%||0.47%||0.03%||0.29%|
|Photo and Video||26.37%||3.87%||0.77%||0.66%||0.03%||0.41%|
|Recruitment and Staffing||20.17%||2.30%||0.56%||0.59%||0.03%||0.31%|
|Restaurant and Venue||22.07%||1.39%||0.60%||0.52%||0.03%||0.41%|
|Social Networks and Online Communities||21.87%||3.48%||0.40%||0.33%||0.02%||0.23%|
|Software and Web App||21.56%||2.40%||1.11%||0.88%||0.03%||0.39%|
|Travel and Transportation||20.65%||2.30%||0.69%||0.51%||0.03%||0.24%|
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Please let us know of other sources we can share in updates here. Thanks!