Email Marketing

What Are Good Open and Click-through Rates for Email Marketing Campaigns?

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We get this question all the time. The answer is: It depends. It’s like asking, “What’s a good price for a car?” So many factors go into what drives open and click-through rates. Here we list examples of benchmark statistics for these metrics. Plus, we suggest some areas in your email marketing program to focus on to help optimize your open and click-through rates.

Examples of Average Open and Click-through Rates

The following recent email marketing studies show some of the wide variations in email open and click-through rates based on different industries and types of email campaigns sent:

  • According to the 2012 Silverpop Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study, open rates in the United States averaged 19.9%. Out of 20 industries studied, computer software was a top email open rate performer at 24.7%, while education emails demonstrated the lowest open rates at 15%. Click-through rates averaged 5.4% in this study, with media and publishing at 8.9% and travel and leisure at 2.3%.
  • MailChimp tracked 65,536 email campaigns with nearly 6.7 million email sends and compared open and click-through stats by industry: Average unique open rates ranged from 21.6% (games industry) to 48.6% (religion industry), while click-through rates ranged from 1.3% (gambling industry) to 5.5% (photo and video industry).
  • In the fourth quarter of 2012, Epsilon’s quarterly analysis of 7.3 billion emails sent across multiple industries showed an overall open rate of 27.4% and click rate of 4.5%. Open rates for triggered emails averaged 46.7%, however, which was 70.5% higher than “business as usual” (BAU) emails. Plus, click rates for triggered emails were more than double the rate for BAU emails.

Email List Quality Has a Major Impact on Open and Click-through Rates

Even when we can pull data that compares similar email blasts across an industry, there are still many other factors that influence both open and click-through rates. These include:

  • The quality of your email list
  • How proactively you manage your email list for inactive subscribers
  • The extent to which new, high-quality subscribers are added to your list.
  • Whether you refine your email blast targeting by segmenting your email list.

Improve Your Own Open and Click-through Rates by Testing and Optimizing

The bottom line is that you should focus on improving your own open and click-through trends by continually testing and optimizing such factors as:

  • Subject lines and from lines
  • Copy, including headlines, incentives and offers
  • Calls to action
  • Design, including preview pane, layout, and graphics
  • Day/time sent


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