Email Marketing Benchmarks for 2020: See Your Industry’s Averages

Sarah Berry is a Google Analytics-certified Web Marketing Consultant at WebFX. She's written over 400 articles on digital marketing, covering topics like SEO, CRO, and Amazon. When she isn't polishing her Time Magazine Person of the Year Award, she's spending time with her flock of ducks.

Is your email marketing campaign missing, meeting, or beating your industry’s averages? Find out with this email marketing benchmark breakdown*, which covers industry averages for:

  • Open rates
  • Click-through rates (CTRs)
  • Unsubscribe rates
  • Bounce rates

Start comparing your company’s performance to your market’s average now!

Table of Contents

  1. Email marketing benchmarks: Terminology
  2. Email marketing benchmarks: Overall averages
  3. Email marketing benchmarks: Industry
  4. Email marketing benchmarks: Open rates by day of the week
  5. Email marketing benchmarks: Click-through rates by day of the week
  6. Email marketing benchmarks: Takeaways
  7. How to improve your email marketing performance

If you’re looking to improve your email marketing benchmarks, ask for help! With email marketing services from WebFX, you can get a custom email marketing strategy that helps your business increase its open rates and even conversion rates. Browse our email marketing plans now to learn more!

Email marketing benchmarks: Terminology

Got some questions about click-through rate or bounce rate? Check out this quick summary:

  • Open rate: Open rate is the percentage of subscribers that opened your email, based on the number of email recipients. If you send an email to 100 recipients, for instance, and 50 open it, your open rate is 50%.
  • Click-through rate: Click-through rate is a strategy-level metric because it measures the percentage of subscribers that clicked on a link or image in an email, based on the total number of emails sent.
  • Unsubscribe rate: Unsubscribe rate is the percentage of subscribers that unsubscribed from an email, based on the total number of recipients. If you send an email to 100 recipients, for example, and 25 unsubscribe, your unsubscribe rate is 25%.
  • Bounce rate: Bounce rate is the percentage of emails that were not delivered, based on the total number of emails sent. Emails can bounce for a variety of reasons, including spam issues, server errors, and more.

Email marketing benchmarks: Overall averages

Email marketing benchmarks studies by Campaign Monitor and Mailchimp featured data from more than 25 industries. With the table below, you can see the overall averages for open rate, click-through rate, unsubscribe rate, and bounce rate:

Overall AveragePercent
Average open rate19.21%
Average click-through rate2.44%
Average unsubscribe rate0.89%
Average bounce rate2.48%

Email marketing benchmarks: Industry

Check out the table below to view email marketing benchmarks by industry:

IndustryOpen rateClick-through rateUnsubscribe rateBounce rate
Advertising and marketing19.30%2.60%0.20%1.10%
Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting20.50%3.50%0.200.50
Automotive and aerospace12.60%1.20%0.20%0.80%
Beauty and personal care16.65%1.92%0.30%0.26%
Construction, contracting, manufacturing22.40%3.20%0.30%2.20%
Consumer packaged goods14.50%1.60%0.10%0.40%
Ecommerce15.68%2.01%0.27%0.19%
Education23.40%3.00%0.20%1.10%
Engineering, architecture, design20.40%3.00%0.20%1.10%
Financial services20.20%2.50%0.20%1.20%
Food and beverage13.00%1.20%0.10%0.30%
Government30.50%4.10%0.20%1.30%
Health and fitness21.48%2.69%0.40%0.30%
Healthcare services19.70%2.70%0.20%1.00%
Insurance21.36%2.13%0.25%0.67%
IT, tech, software services17.60%2.50%0.20%0.90%
Legal22.00%2.81%0.22%0.52%
Logistics and wholesale18.90%2.20%0.30%1.20%
Media, entertainment, publishing18.10%3.10%0.10%0.40%
Nonprofit25.20%2.60%0.20%1.00%
Other19.10%2.40%0.20%1.10%
Pharmaceuticals18.58%2.25%0.17%0.39%
Professional services18.00%1.80%0.20%0.80%
Real estate, design, construction19.90%3.60%0.20%1.40%
Recruitment and staffing21.14%2.53%0.30%0.45%
Restaurants19.77%1.34%0.28%0.37%
Retail13.90%2.10%0.10%0.40%
Travel, hospitality, leisure15.70%1.60%0.10%0.50%
Unknown17.50%2.70%0.20%0.70%
Average19.21%2.44%0.89%2.48%

Email marketing benchmarks: Open rates by day of the week

When should your business send its emails? Use this email marketing benchmark data to find out! In the table below, you can see your industry’s average open rates by day of the week, which you can use to improve your email send strategy.

IndustrySundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
Advertising and marketing18.90%19.20%19.70%19.60%18.60%19.30%19.50%
Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting18.50%20.00%21.10%20.20%19.60%21.50%20.80%
Automotive and aerospace11.40%12.90%12.50%13.80%12.10%12.60%12.80%
Beauty and personal careUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailable
Construction, contracting, manufacturing21.20%22.50%21.30%26.00%22.70%22.00%22.50%
Consumer packaged goods15.90%14.90%14.20%13.70%15.70%14.00%14.90%
EcommerceUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailable
Education25.70%22.20%24.90%23.20%24.90%23.30%20.20%
Engineering, architecture, design21.20%20.00%21.50%20.80%19.50%19.00%20.30%
Financial services20.20%20.50%20.30%21.00%20.10%19.90%19.80%
Food and beverage12.00%12.70%13.20%13.90%12.10%13.50%13.10%
Government30.40%31.10%30.40%30.30%31.90%30.20%29.20%
Health and fitnessUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailable
Healthcare services18.30%20.10%19.70%20.90%18.80%19.70%20.60%
InsuranceUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailable
IT, tech, software services17.30%17.50%17.90%17.70%17.80%17.60%17.50%
LegalUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailable
Logistics and wholesale16.90%20.40%18.40%20.50%18.70%18.00%20.70%
Media, entertainment, publishing18.50%17.90%18.80%17.40%18.70%17.90%17.30%
Nonprofit24.90%25.90%25.00%26.20%24.90%24.60%25.60%
Other16.80%19.40%20.10%20.20%18.60%19.00%19.40%
PharmaceuticalsUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailable
Professional services17.00%18.20%18.00%18.70%17.50%18.20%18.50%
Real estate, design, construction19.70%19.80%19.80%20.60%19.20%20.20%19.60%
Recruitment and staffingUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailable
RestaurantsUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailable
Retail14.90%13.50%14.70%13.00%14.70%13.70%13.90%
Travel, hospitality, leisure15.40%15.70%16.00%15.60%15.50%15.60%15.90%
Unknown17.20%17.70%17.70%17.50%17.40%17.40%17.20%

 

Email marketing benchmarks: Click-through rates by day of the week

Get insight into when your target audience is most likely to engage with your emails by checking out this table. You can learn which days of the week post the highest click-through rates in your industry in this table.

IndustrySundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
Advertising and marketing2.30%2.70%2.60%2.90%2.40%2.60%2.70%
Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting3.40%3.20%3.603.103.503.90%3.50%
Automotive and aerospace1.10%1.30%1.10%1.50%1.20%1.20%1.50%
Beauty and personal careUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailable
Construction, contracting, manufacturing3.50%3.00%3.10%3.23.90%3.20%3.10%
Consumer packaged goods1.60%1.60%1.60%1.50%1.70%1.60%1.60%
EcommerceUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailable
Education3.40%2.80%3.10%2.90%3.50%2.90%2.60%
Engineering, architecture, design3.30%2.90%3.20%3.20%3.10%2.90%3.10%
Financial services2.50%2.60%2.60%2.60%2.50%2.50%2.40%
Food and beverage1.10%1.10%1.20%1.20%1.30%1.30%1.10%
Government4.10%4.20%4.50%4.10%4.60%3.90%3.70%
Health and fitnessUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailable
Healthcare services2.30%2.80%2.60%3.10%2.60%2.80%2.80%
InsuranceUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailable
IT, tech, software services2.50%2.50%2.60%2.50%2.50%2.60%2.50%
LegalUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailable
Logistics and wholesale2.00%2.40%2.30%2.10%2.40%2.10%2.30%
Media, entertainment, publishing3.10%3.00%3.10%3.00%3.20%3.00%2.90%
Nonprofit2.50%2.70%2.60%2.70%2.50%2.50%2.60%
Other2.20%2.70%2.20%2.60%2.60%2.30%2.40%
PharmaceuticalsUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailable
Professional services1.60%1.90%1.70%2.00%1.70%1.90%1.90%
Real estate, design, construction3.40%3.50%3.50%3.70%3.40%3.70%3.50%
Recruitment and staffingUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailable
RestaurantsUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableUnavailable
Retail2.40%2.00%2.60%1.90%2.40%2.10%2.20%
Travel, hospitality, leisure1.60%1.60%1.70%1.50%1.60%1.60%1.70%
Unknown2.60%2.70%2.70%2.60%2.60%2.60%2.60%

Email marketing benchmarks: Takeaways

The email marketing benchmark data from Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor includes more than 500 data points. That’s a lot to analyze and break down, which is why we’ve done the work for you and compiled some of the most notable takeaways.

The top-performing industries in email marketing

Best email open rates by industry. Government at 31%, Nonprofit at 25% and education at 23%. When it comes to email marketing, the following industries lead the way:

When looking at the top-performing industries in email marketing, remember their unique audiences. Someone receiving an email from an educational institute, like their kid’s school, is naturally more inclined to open and interact with those emails.

The best days for sending emails

Across industries, Wednesday and Tuesday performed when it came to open rates — even when looking at some business-to-business (B2B) email marketing benchmarks. Best email open rates by day. Tuesday and Wednesday are tied at 50. It’s critical to achieve a high open rate because that’s the gateway to people interacting with your email, whether by reading your content, visiting your site, or contacting your team.

If you’re looking to increase your average click-through rate for email, though, the day is highly dependent on your industry. Refer to the table “Email marketing benchmarks: Click-through rates by day of the week” to determine the best day for earning high click-through rates.

The worst days for sending emails

Monday, Thursday and Friday have the worst email open rates by day at 35. When sending emails, most businesses see the least return from the following send days:

  • Monday
  • Thursday
  • Friday

Why do Monday, Thursday, and Friday often underperform? In some cases, federal holidays and the upcoming weekend can cause people to unplug from their email. On Mondays, many people also spend time catching up on important emails, like work email, leaving your emails left unopened.

For the best results with your send days, reference your industry’s email marketing benchmark data. This information will help you focus on the best days for your market, which you can test in your email campaigns.

How to improve your email marketing performance

With insight into your industry’s email marketing benchmark data, you can start to make plans for improving yours. Whether you’re looking to improve your open rate (which is a great place to start) or decrease your unsubscribe rates, the following how-to tips can help:

How to improve your average email open rate

Your business can increase its average email open rate with a few strategies, like:

  • Running A/B tests on your subject lines
  • Experimenting with different sender names and email addresses
  • Changing send times, whether time of day or day of the week
  • Trying different email lengths
  • Personalizing email subject lines
  • Making subject lines more concise and transparent

If you’d like to learn more about improving your average open rate for email, check out these articles:

How to improve your average email click-through rate

Your company can start to improve its average email click-through rate with strategies like:

  • Creating more targeted subscriber segments
  • Writing more transparent and to-the-point calls to action (CTAs)
  • Offering more compelling incentives, like limited-time free shipping
  • Developing a consistent and clear brand voice

You can learn more about increasing your average click-through rate for email with these resources:

How to improve your average email bounce rate

Your business can work on improving its average bounce rate with these tips:

  • Avoid purchasing email lists
  • Remove invalid email addresses
  • Require a double opt-in
  • Send email content to fresh vs. stale email lists
  • Stay away from sending spammy content

Get more advice for decreasing your average bounce rate for email with these articles:

How to improve your average email unsubscribe rate

Your company can begin improving its average email unsubscribe rate by:

  • Developing subscriber segments to keep emails relevant
  • Reducing how often you send emails
  • Building a subscriber list vs. purchasing a subscriber list
  • Implementing a double opt-in strategy

Remember, churn is normal for email marketing. Someone with zero chance of recommending your brand or purchasing your products doesn’t offer much value to your business and its email marketing strategy. You can learn more about improving your average unsubscribe rate for email with these resources:

Beat your industry’s email marketing benchmark data

No one wants to settle for average, which is why email marketing benchmark data is so handy. With this market data, you can map your goals for increasing your open rates, click-through rates, and more. Improving these email marketing metrics isn’t easy, though, which is why many businesses partner with an email marketing agency like WebFX.

At WebFX, we build a custom email marketing strategy for your business — and we tailor it to drive results. Just in the past five years, we’ve helped our clients use channels like email to generate more than $2.4 billion in revenue and over 6.3 million leads. If you’re ready to achieve similar results, contact us online or give us a ring at 888-601-5359 today!

  *A note about this benchmark data: This email marketing benchmark data comes from Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor, two respected email software companies. Both businesses analyzed millions of emails — in fact, Campaign Monitor analyzed more than 30 billion emails — to compile this data.

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