A Guide to Email Marketing Benchmarks by Industry

Discover the complete guide to email marketing benchmarks by industry, compare yours to industry standards and learn how to imrove your benchmarks

Email benchmarks by industry

Industries everywhere are using email as a core marketing channel, and why wouldn’t they? Not only is email incredibly effective, but it also boasts an impressive return on investment. For every $1 spent, email marketing creates $38 in ROI.

Not only that, but it blows fan favorites like Facebook and Twitter out of the water. Email is 40x more effective for customer acquisition than social media, giving you all the more reason to use it as part of your marketing funnel.

Not everyone is going to experience such bountiful returns, however. You might have all the best email marketing tools in the world, but the effectiveness of your email campaign is still down to you. You can’t just send out a garbled email and expect tons of engagement.

The performance of your email campaign will have a massive influence on the effectiveness of your marketing. You want to make sure you’re getting it right and not lagging miles behind your competitors. It’s time to check out the benchmarks.

This is what we’ll cover

What Are Email Marketing Benchmarks?

What Are Email Marketing Benchmarks?

When you want to reveal the success of your email campaign, email marketing benchmarks are your friends. They’re the metrics that show you all sorts of valuable information, from the percentage of subscribers who opened your email, to the number of emails that couldn’t be delivered.

Think of benchmarks as a bit like key performance indicators. Much like how call center KPIs help improve a call center’s performance, email benchmarks help enhance your marketing performance.

Studying your own benchmarks is an essential step to improving the effectiveness of your marketing over time. Studying your industry’s benchmarks gives you an idea of how well you’re doing against your competitors.

If you’re lagging behind, you know you need to add a healthy dose of improvement to your email marketing strategy.

Unlike customer feedback, benchmarks can’t lie, and they certainly don’t have any bias. This makes them an incredibly reliable tool for creating the email marketing campaign of your dreams.

Email Marketing Benchmarks to Watch

Email Marketing Benchmarks to Watch

So, now that you know what email marketing benchmarks are, you’re probably wondering what you need to watch. Here are the main metrics you need to keep your eye on. These apply to everyone from apparel companies selling t-shirts, to software companies that provide the best video conferencing for small businesses.

  • Email Open Rate - Measures the percentage of people who opened the email.

  • Email Click-Through Rate - Measures the percentage of people who clicked on a link in the email out of the total number of people who opened the email.

  • Email Bounce Rate - Measures the percentage of your emails that were not successfully delivered.

  • Email Unsubscribe Rate - Measures the percentage of people who unsubscribed from receiving emails.

Email Marketing Benchmarks By Industry

Email Marketing Benchmarks By Industry

Before looking at the fine details of each industry’s email marketing benchmarks, let’s have a look at the average benchmarks across all industries. The information has been sourced from research by Mailchimp.

  • Average Open Rate: 21.33%

  • Average Click-Through Rate: 2.62%

  • Average Hard Bounce Rate: 0.4%

  • Average Soft Bounce Rate: 0.58%

  • Average Unsubscribe Rate: 0.26%

Electronics Industry Average Benchmarks

The electronics industry is one of the largest industries on the globe. The industry is split up into various sectors, with the largest being ecommerce. Other sectors include nanotechnology and computer hardware.

  • Average Open Rate: 19.29%

  • Average Click-Through Rate: 2.08%

  • Average Hard Bounce Rate: 0.47%

  • Average Soft Bounce Rate: 0.79%

  • Average Unsubscribe Rate: 0.27%

Business and Finance Industry Average Benchmarks

The business and finance industry includes many services that help brands succeed, such as marketing and consultancy. The financial sector provides economic services such as banking, accounting, and investment funds.

  • Average Open Rate: 21.56%

  • Average Click-Through Rate: 2.72%

  • Average Hard Bounce Rate: 0.43%

  • Average Soft Bounce Rate: 0.55%

  • Average Unsubscribe Rate: 0.2%

Software Industry Average Benchmarks

The software industry produces, maintains, and trades computer programs to businesses and organizations or the everyday consumer.

  • Average Open Rate: 21.29%

  • Average Click-Through Rate: 2.45%

  • Average Hard Bounce Rate: 0.65%

  • Average Soft Bounce Rate: 0.97%

  • Average Unsubscribe Rate: 0.37%

Media & Publishing Industry Average Benchmarks

The media and publishing industry is a collection of organizations that produce and publish content. These include TV shows, films, radio, music, and more.

  • Average Open Rate: 22.15%

  • Average Click-Through Rate: 4.62%

  • Average Hard Bounce Rate: 0.14%

  • Average Soft Bounce Rate: 0.27%

  • Average Unsubscribe Rate: 0.12%

Telecoms Industry Average Benchmarks

The telecommunications industry provides both telephone and internet services.

  • Average Open Rate: 20.92%

  • Average Click-Through Rate: 2.27%

  • Average Hard Bounce Rate: 0.63%

  • Average Soft Bounce Rate: 0.87%

  • Average Unsubscribe Rate: 0.23%

Health & Fitness Industry Average Benchmarks

The health and fitness industry provides goods and services to keep people healthy. This involves everything from pharmaceuticals, to hospitals, to alternative medicine and fitness classes.

  • Average Open Rate: 21.48%

  • Average Click-Through Rate: 2.69%

  • Average Hard Bounce Rate: 0.3%

  • Average Soft Bounce Rate: 0.4%

  • Average Unsubscribe Rate: 0.4%

Retail Industry Average Benchmarks

The retail industry sells goods and services to consumers for profit. Goods include products you can buy in stores or online. Retail services include hair salons, entertainment venues, and museums.

  • Average Open Rate: 18.39%

  • Average Click-Through Rate: 2.25%

  • Average Hard Bounce Rate: 0.22%

  • Average Soft Bounce Rate: 0.32%

  • Average Unsubscribe Rate: 0.25%

Education & Training Industry Average Benchmarks

The education industry facilitates learning for all ages. This can be everything from e-learning to higher education organizations such as universities.

  • Average Open Rate: 23.42%

  • Average Click-Through Rate: 2.9%%

  • Average Hard Bounce Rate: 0.32%

  • Average Soft Bounce Rate: 0.51%

  • Average Unsubscribe Rate: 0.21%

How to Improve Your Benchmarks

How to Improve Your Benchmarks

If your company’s benchmarks aren’t keeping up with the industry average, it’s time to step up your email marketing game.

A great email marketing strategy needs a lot more than studying the latest ecommerce trends. There are a few steps you can start taking today to really get the benchmarks you want to see.

Change The Day You Email

The day of the week you choose to send your email on is going to influence your engagement. Unsurprisingly, Sunday has the lowest open rates at 18.18%. People are out enjoying their weekends, not checking their inboxes. Try to refrain from sending out emails over the weekend if you want great engagement.

If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, send your marketing emails on a Friday. It has the best open rates with an average of 20.58%, based on the same study.

Improve Your Subject Lines

Improving your subject lines is a sure-fire way to increase your open rates. One way you can do this is to keep them short and easy to understand. Make sure to tailor your subject line to your audience. If your subject line doesn’t resonate with them, they’re not going to open it.

Personalize each email, using the recipient’s name in the subject line for that magic touch. Any marketer who’s serious about their customer engagement strategy needs to nail their subject lines.

Create Strong Customer Segments

Your customers are a diverse bunch. Their needs, wants, and experience with your brand are going to differ. Identifying customer needs for each segment is a great step in the right direction.

Make sure to understand who your audience is and split them into segments. When you email each segment, you can ensure they only receive the most relevant content to them. This will do wonders for your click-through rate.

Creating strong customer segments will help keep that unsubscribe rate down, too. As your audience receives content that relates to them, they have one less reason to jump ship.

Improve Your Call to Action

To get a great click-through rate, you’re going to need a solid call to action. Make sure your copy is precise and clear so people are enticed to click on your links.

Remove Some Email Addresses

Keen to improve your bounce rate? Stop sending emails to invalid addresses. Remove email addresses that experience a hard bounce and watch that bounce rate go down.

Get Emailing

Get Emailing

Email marketing gets an impressive ROI, so you’re going to want a slice of the action. Maybe you’ve just discovered your organization is cruising way above the industry averages. If this is you, it’s time to let off the party poppers and get straight back to work doing what you’re doing.

If you’re falling behind, take some of the steps above to improve your email benchmarks. It might just be the best thing your organization ever did.

If you’re new to email marketing and needed some helpful tips and tricks to get you going, that’s great! It’s time to grow your email list, examine the bulk email services out there, and get to work marketing your business. Whatever your business gets up to, it’s time to get emailing!

Grace Lau

Grace Lau is the Director of Growth Content at Dialpad, an AI-powered cloud phone system for better and easier team collaboration. She has over 10 years of experience in content writing and strategy. Currently, she is responsible for leading branded and editorial content strategies, partnering with SEO and Ops teams to build and nurture content. Here is her LinkedIn.

Related articles

3 Automated emails that will boost your affiliate program
5 Proven Strategies to Drive Customers to Your Website in 2022
5 Steps to Creating an Affiliate Marketing Funnel to Drive Conversions