Industry Email Marketing Benchmarks: A compilation of 2017 email campaign reports by sector

“How do my email marketing campaigns stack up to my competition?”

That’s a natural question to ask, and one we receive very often.

Benchmarks give companies an important barometer to see how your emails are performing…

…and some indication how you can improve your numbers.

But not all benchmark data is the same.

B2C emails are different than B2B emails.

Nonprofit emails are different than emails sent out by universities.

It’s only fair to businesses to see an apples-to-apples comparison within their sector to truly determine where their email campaigns stand.

And that’s exactly what we’ve done.

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What you’ll find below is benchmark data we’ve collected from our own database.

We’ve broken down each industry into helpful graphs so you can determine your performance by business type.

It’s also important to note our customers range from Fortune 500 companies to startups, and our entire spectrum is represented in the data we present.

Ready to see how your email marketing strategy and campaigns stack up?

Here’s what we learned…

Overall Average Open, Click, and Unsubscribe Rates

To start off, let’s take a look at a compilation of overall email marketing benchmarks across all sectors:

industry email marketing benchmarks overall email benchmark data

The average open rate for email campaigns is 31.92 percent.

Average click rate across all sectors came in at 3.57 percent.

And the unsubscribe rate for all sectors averaged in at 0.25 percent.

But you have to remember…

…These are the averages of all sectors.

Now let’s break each of these down by sector.

What’s the Average Industry Open Rate for an Email Campaign?

Marketers all want to know what a solid open rate looks like for our specific industry.

First, let’s see where emails are being opened most often:


Average Email Marketing Open, Click, and Unsubscribe Rates

And just so we’re clear, here’s how we define what an open is for desktop, mobile, and web:

Desktop is pretty simple…

Any open from a desktop or laptop using a thick email client, like Outlook or Thunderbird.

Mobile opens are those emails a user reads from a smartphone or tablet device.

A web device open is counted as those from a browser-based client like Gmail or Yahoo from a desktop or laptop device.

To no surprise, more emails are opened on mobile devices…

…but just by a hair.

This graph clearly shows the need to design emails for all devices.

We gathered all of our customer data and broke it down by industry.

Here are the industry email marketing benchmarks for open rates:


industry email marketing benchmarks open rates by sector

A few things to note from the graph above:

Sports Teams and Leagues led in open rates by industry with a 55.9 percent open rate.

A total of 12 sectors were above the overall average open rate of 31.92 percent.

More B2B industries tended to have lower open rates.

B2C, nonprofits, and educational institutions or colleges tended to have higher open rates.

One thing is for certain…

…There is a wide range of open rates across all sectors.

» Free Bonus: These drip campaign templates help our top customers increase their open rates. Grab your copy here.

How Can I Improve My Open Rates?

Here are some great articles on improving your open rates:

What’s the Average Industry Click Rate for an Email Campaign?

Half the battle is getting subscribers to open your emails…

…The other half is getting them to click through.

Similar to the open rate graph above, here’s a graph breaking down industry email marketing benchmarks for click rates:


industry email marketing benchmarks click rates by sector

Again, we find Sports Teams and Leagues led in click rates by industry.

This time we see only 10 sectors with click rates above the median average.

We also see more of a balance between B2B and B2C companies here.

A lot of contributing factors will play into a click rate…

…Things like A/B testing, email list quality, and seasonal trends should be taken into account when gauging these results as well.

How Can I Improve My Click Rates?

Here are some great articles on improving your click rates:

What’s the Average Industry Unsubscribe Rate?

Unsubscribe rates aren’t the flashiest of benchmarks when it comes to email marketing…

…But they are certainly important.

Let’s take a look at industry email marketing benchmarks for unsubscribe rates:

industry email marketing benchmarks unsubscribe rates by sector

Educational institutions and colleges saw the highest unsubscribe rates at 0.45 percent.

For as often as retailers send email campaigns, Retail/B2C saw the lowest unsubscribe rate of all sectors at 0.04 percent.

We see 11 sectors with unsubscribe rates above the median average.

Similar to click rates, we see a healthy mix of B2B and B2C spread across from top to bottom.

» Increase Engagement: These marketing automation workflow templates drove more engagement and increase revenue for our top customers.

How Can I Improve My Unsubscribe Rates?

Here are some great articles on lowering your unsubscribe rates:

Well, There It Is

We hope these industry email marketing benchmarks provide your company with some context to your email campaigns and overall performance metrics.

If you feel like your email campaigns are under performing, or are not getting the support you need, it may be time to switch to a new email service provider.

We have a platform video tour you can view, or some additional resources to help you become a better email marketer.


Join the email marketing community at an upcoming event near you.