We have new data! We’ve updated our report with Q2 2018.

Email Marketing Benchmarks

About the new Email Marketing Benchmarks report

Do you ever wonder how your email marketing and automation campaigns stack up against others in your industry? You’re in the right place.

We analyzed over 2 billion emails sent by our customers from April to June 2018, in 126 countries across 19 industries

Keep scrolling for loads of useful data on emails, marketing automation, and landing pages.

Can't find what you need? Just send us an email! We'd love to know what's important to our fellow marketers.

Michal LeszczynskiContent Marketing Manager @GetResponse

Fresh find

Welcome
emails

82.57%Open rate
22.76%Click-through rate

Location & industry

Average results by continent

Oceania

  • Open rate 22.58%
  • Click-through rate 3.30%
  • Click-to-open rate 14.62%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.30%
  • Spam rate 0.01%

North America

  • Open rate 20.78%
  • Click-through rate 3.41%
  • Click-to-open rate 16.40%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.21%
  • Spam rate 0.02%

Europe

  • Open rate 26.77%
  • Click-through rate 4.58%
  • Click-to-open rate 17.12%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.28%
  • Spam rate 0.02%

Africa

  • Open rate 19.21%
  • Click-through rate 2.71%
  • Click-to-open rate 14.12%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.15%
  • Spam rate 0.01%

Asia

  • Open rate 22.11%
  • Click-through rate 3.20%
  • Click-to-open rate 14.47%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.15%
  • Spam rate 0.01%

South America

  • Open rate 28.34%
  • Click-through rate 3.85%
  • Click-to-open rate 13.59%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.16%
  • Spam rate 0.02%
Just swipe to see the whole table
Continent Open rate Click-through rate Click-to-open rate Unsubscribe rate Spam rate
All23.67%3.83%16.18%0.23%0.02%

Segmentation and focus – email marketing across continents

The latest email marketing data across continents doesn’t let us down. In fact, it reveals that focusing on your subscriber and their geolocation are worth considering when you’re catering to a truly global audience.

For instance, Europe beats North America hands down – in everything: the open, click, and complaint rate.

What's more, the 4 times smaller population of Oceania sends nearly as many messages as the 1.3 billion big Africa.

So, what can you do to beat the average benchmarks?

Try modifying your offer, play with calls to action and email design – one size fits all won’t take you further than average in email marketing.

Przemysław Depka ProndzinskiContent Marketing Manager @GetResponse

Average results by country

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Country Open rate Click-through rate Click-to-open rate Unsubscribe rate Spam rate
Australia
26.14%3.89%14.87%0.32%0.01%
Belgium
22.34%4.28%19.15%0.21%0.01%
Brazil
30.02%4.57%15.22%0.19%0.02%
Canada
23.59%4.73%20.04%0.23%0.02%
Colombia
27.78%3.30%11.88%0.12%0.01%
France
35.68%6.26%17.54%0.38%0.02%
Germany
29.31%5.25%17.91%0.32%0.01%
Great Britain
21.28%3.14%14.75%0.25%0.01%
India
17.18%2.44%14.18%0.17%0.01%
Indonesia
21.01%2.38%11.32%0.10%0.00%
Israel
21.86%3.27%14.94%0.22%0.01%
Italy
32.75%4.81%14.69%0.30%0.01%
Malaysia
21.96%2.71%12.33%0.16%0.01%
Mexico
27.06%3.50%12.94%0.16%0.02%
Netherlands
41.84%7.08%16.92%0.49%0.01%
Peru
24.02%2.50%10.41%0.11%0.01%
Philippines
20.71%2.51%12.12%0.26%0.01%
Poland
25.23%4.13%16.38%0.24%0.02%
Romania
18.02%3.11%17.25%0.15%0.01%
Russia
24.04%5.64%23.47%0.27%0.08%
Singapore
18.02%3.52%19.53%0.13%0.01%
Spain
35.93%5.07%14.10%0.32%0.02%
Ukraine
28.92%6.19%21.41%0.30%0.05%
United States
19.86%3.11%15.65%0.21%0.02%
Vietnam
29.65%4.40%14.84%0.09%0.01%
All23.67%3.82%16.12%0.22%0.02%

The impact of GDPR

We predicted the GDPR would affect email marketing performance across the globe. But we didn’t foresee just how big that impact would be.

Compared to our previous report, we can see a significant drop in average opens and clicks for most countries. This may be because many marketers – afraid of the impact of stricter regulations – got back in touch with old subscribers. However, that should have sparked higher unsubscribe and complaint rates, which we didn’t see in this report.

Putting that aside, there are of course clear winners. The Netherlands, France, and Spain usually observe similar results to those we see now. But Germany has surprisingly fallen from top spot. This could is a once-off, but let’s wait and see what the data looks like in Q3 – after the GDPR dust settles.

In any case, you should always consider the market you’re targeting and compare your results to those observed in your country. Customer preferences are different across markets, so comparing your campaigns to those outside of your market may not be ideal.

Mateusz RuzikProduct Manager @GetResponse

Average results by industry

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Industry Open rate Click-through rate Click-to-open rate Unsubscribe rate Spam rate
Agencies22.48%2.88%12.80%0.23%0.02%
Arts & Entertainment33.71%5.91%17.55%0.26%0.02%
Automotive17.69%2.44%13.80%0.30%0.01%
Communications26.74%5.34%19.96%0.14%0.01%
Education31.90%5.34%16.73%0.25%0.03%
Financial Services26.84%4.88%18.18%0.24%0.02%
Health & Beauty24.09%4.03%16.74%0.28%0.02%
Health Care32.49%5.35%16.46%0.34%0.04%
Internet Marketing15.82%2.58%16.28%0.21%0.01%
Legal Services30.66%3.46%11.28%0.24%0.03%
Non-profits37.54%4.65%12.39%0.22%0.02%
Publishing32.17%6.90%21.44%0.19%0.01%
Real Estate27.57%3.05%11.08%0.20%0.02%
Restaurants & Food41.37%5.62%13.59%0.28%0.02%
Retail22.86%3.72%16.29%0.22%0.02%
Sports & Activities32.01%4.33%13.52%0.28%0.02%
Technology & High Tech25.96%3.95%15.23%0.29%0.01%
Travel23.06%2.84%12.30%0.21%0.02%
All23.67%3.84%16.20%0.23%0.02%

A niche means smaller lists and more opens

When comparing your average email open and click-through rates, look at other companies within your industry.

Things like legal regulations, competition, or simply the nature of the industry will affect average performance.

In terms of trends, we’re seeing a global drop in average performance across most industries. I suspect it’s related to the sudden GDPR flurry, but we won’t know ‘til after next quarter.

So for now, let’s focus on tailoring our communications to customers’ needs.

Mateusz RuzikProduct Manager @GetResponse

Landing page conversion by industry

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Industry Average conversion rate
Agencies6.63%
Arts & Entertainment7.95%
Automotive4.84%
Communications6.84%
Education7.11%
Financial Services4.36%
Health & Beauty6.71%
Health Care5.44%
Internet Marketing5.66%
Legal Services7.55%
Non-profits6.51%
Publishing12.38%
Real Estate7.19%
Restaurants & Food6.80%
Retail5.93%
Sports & Activities10.26%
Technology & High Tech7.67%
Travel4.28%
All6.89%

Earn trust for landing page success

Compared to last quarter, legal services had an almost 70% increase in conversions. So we can say the industry still benefits from copy that evokes trust.

The travel industry has also increased average conversions, which is expected at the start of the holiday season. It’s worth creating seasonal offers to take advantage of the hype.

Once again, I want to stress how important it is to research both your audience and your competition to build successful lead generation campaigns.

Use it as a starting point and a benchmark for your work. If you're in sports and activities, publishing, or legal services, then you can safely aim for a 10% conversion rate.

Sezgin HergülProduct Marketing Specialist @GetResponse

Use of double opt-in by industry

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Industry double opt-in single opt-in
Agencies0.97%99.03%
Arts & Entertainment2.92%97.08%
Automotive0.11%99.89%
Communications0.31%99.69%
Education15.24%84.76%
Financial Services2.86%97.14%
Health & Beauty3.45%96.55%
Health Care2.17%97.83%
Internet Marketing4.34%95.66%
Legal services0.09%99.91%
Non-profits7.00%93.00%
Publishing3.99%96.01%
Real Estate0.51%99.49%
Restaurants & Food0.64%99.36%
Retail2.44%97.56%
Sports and Activities2.26%97.74%
Technology & High Tech1.99%98.01%
Travel1.02%98.98%

Double opt-in: an underrated growth tool

I’m a huge fan of double opt-in. Lean lists mean better results, and email deliverability is so much better when you have proven your list with double opt-in. It’s also a good security measure, to prevent anyone from injecting spam traps or sending other harmful emails to your list.

Unfortunately, it appears many marketers used single opt-in lists this quarter. This could partly explain why we’ve seen such a drop in global opens and clicks.

Why have they gone for single opt-in? My bet is they wanted to maximize their list size before the new GDPR regulations. Many will now have to adjust their approach to gain customer consent. So hopefully in Q3, we’ll see a rise in double opt-in use – and greater takeup of tools like the GetResponse GDPR fields.

Mateusz RuzikProduct Manager @GetResponse

Time & frequency

Results by hour of day

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When’s the best time to send emails?

Short answer: it depends.

In general, there seem to be two time slots you could aim for. The first is around 11AM – shortly after people arrive at work and have their morning coffee.

The second slot is around 2PM. This could be because people are catching up on email after lunch.

Like our last reports, we're again seeing an increase in engagement rates later in the afternoon, around 5PM when many of us return home.

This might mean that especially in the holiday season, you can capture your audience’s attention even later during the day, when they're most likely to buy online.

Just remember every audience is different! You can find out the best time to contact your email subscribers by checking your analytics – or using the Perfect Timing or Time Travel features.

Michal LeszczynskiContent Marketing Manager @GetResponse

Results by day of week

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What's the best day to send emails? It's different for opens and clicks.

Our data says Friday.

In our Q2 report, Friday had the highest average open and click through rates. Monday came in second.

Interestingly, Tuesday used to take the lead.

Bear in mind the answer’s not that simple, and it could be different for you.

It always depends on who you want to reach and how they behave. When do they have time to read and act on your messages? Is it the same time every day – or does it vary day to day? It's hard to say.

If you ask me, Friday sounds a bit counterintuitive. But if the data says so, all we can do is test it or accept it.

And if you do run an A/B test, remember to look beyond opens and clicks. Include conversion rates, as that's what you're really looking to improve.

Michal LeszczynskiContent Marketing Manager @GetResponse

Number of newsletters per week

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# of newsletters Open rate Click-through rate Click-to-open rate % of messages
134.00%5.17%15.20%50.11%
228.34%4.03%14.21%19.71%
325.23%3.28%13.00%9.54%
423.24%3.29%14.16%5.67%
520.98%3.50%16.68%3.94%
618.97%2.73%14.37%2.87%
719.38%2.89%14.91%2.59%
819.77%2.65%13.39%1.41%
919.05%2.76%14.49%0.88%
1017.61%2.42%13.76%0.70%
1118.28%3.01%16.46%0.55%
1216.53%2.33%14.07%0.49%
1314.58%1.92%13.20%0.46%
1411.93%1.95%16.36%0.79%
1514.61%1.89%12.97%0.31%

The fewer, the better

You might be familiar with the quote, “In sales, persistence pays off”.

Is it also true for email marketing? Without knowing conversion rates, we say it’s email relevance that pays off. Why?

Your audience will reward you with higher open and click rates if you don't send more than five newsletters a week.

Bear in mind we’re only talking about percentages here. When analyzing your messages, you should also look at the total number of conversions.

It may turn out that sending one more message lowers your opens and increases unsubscribe rates. Or it could generate more conversions, outweighing the cost to land new subscribers. This is especially the case with high-value offerings, where each sale makes a big difference to revenue.

Przemysław Depka ProndzinskiSenior Account Manager @GetResponse

Number of autoresponders in a cycle

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# of messages % of cycles Open rate Click-through rate Click-to-open rate Unsubscribe rate Spam rate
129.68%85.52%30.48%35.64%0.07%0.08%
210.42%67.11%16.66%24.82%0.06%0.06%
38.90%53.56%15.11%28.21%0.04%0.04%
46.64%53.22%12.98%24.39%0.04%0.07%
55.99%47.95%11.68%24.36%0.05%0.04%
66.21%59.23%12.70%21.45%0.03%0.06%
75.40%45.84%10.94%23.86%0.04%0.05%
85.18%51.35%11.41%22.22%0.04%0.06%
94.05%44.95%8.96%19.94%0.04%0.03%
103.29%47.03%9.22%19.61%0.04%0.04%
112.27%47.65%9.32%19.56%0.05%0.04%
122.81%41.69%8.03%19.27%0.02%0.05%
131.89%44.74%9.07%20.27%0.07%0.08%
142.00%44.22%10.67%24.12%0.05%0.07%
151.51%42.95%10.81%25.17%0.03%0.03%
161.30%28.79%5.32%18.46%0.02%0.03%
171.35%32.07%4.53%14.11%0.03%0.02%
181.13%35.31%7.22%20.44%0.02%0.02%

It’s not about length. It’s about value.

Shorter autoresponder cycles tend to produce better results. But it’s not really about length – it’s all about delivering value. You can easily run engaging long-term campaigns if subscribers keep finding your emails useful.

The trick is to understand the customer journey, and create marketing automation workflows that match every stage. For example, B2B sales cycles are usually complex and might even extend into years. They call for long email sequences that seize every potential opportunity to address your audience’s needs.

When planning your email marketing communication, start with your subscribers. Which of their problems do you solve? How exactly can you help them? What do they need to know to help them decide to buy your product? The answers will fuel your automated email campaigns – and convert your prospects into satisfied customers.

Irek KlimczakContent Marketing Expert @GetResponse

Tactics

Average results by message type

Triggered

  • Open rate 45.88%
  • Click−through rate 10.38%
  • Click−to−open rate 22.62%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.56%
  • Spam rate 0.05%

Autoresponder

  • Open rate 33.59%
  • Click−through rate 6.83%
  • Click−to−open rate 20.33%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.38%
  • Spam rate 0.03%

RSS

  • Open rate 25.00%
  • Click−through rate 6.08%
  • Click−to−open rate 24.32%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.11%
  • Spam rate 0.01%

Relevance is the key to high engagement

To be relevant, you need to know your audience (specifically their information needs and preferences). That’s why marketing automation cycles bring the best results.

With marketing automation, you can collect important data along the customer journey – and use it to segment your list and personalize your content. For instance, you can add tags to your contacts based on the products they click and browse. The more actionable data you have, the more relevant your messages will be.

Irek KlimczakContent Marketing Expert @GetResponse

Use of video

  • Open rate 30.02%
  • Click-through rate 5.67%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.25%
  • Spam rate 0.03%
  • Open rate 38.68%
  • Click-through rate 6.89%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.30%
  • Spam rate 0.01%
  • Open rate 6.13%
  • Click-through rate 0.72%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.13%
  • Spam rate 0.02%

Other / None

  • Open rate 23.15%
  • Click-through rate 3.69%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.23%
  • Spam rate 0.02%

Waiting for email clients

Emails with video still bring the best results.

But not all email clients support it, which is why only around 8% of the emails our customers send contain links to videos.

For now, the best workaround is to use an image (maybe even an animated GIF) that looks like a video player and links to your page. That way, you'll boost your click-throughs and enhance your contacts’ experience.

As soon as Google implements this feature (they haven't said when), it will spread to most major email clients.

Mateusz RuzikProduct Manager @GetResponse

Number of characters in email subject lines

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Give the reader an idea of what’s inside

Your subject lines need to be compelling enough to get people to open the email. So in most cases, it’s not about the length of the subject line but rather conveying the message.

The title of the email should give the reader an idea of what’s inside. If the content is relevant to your audience, it's easy to come up with a subject line that scores a high open rate.

Bear in mind that some email clients, especially those on mobile devices, show fewer characters and may cut out some of the words from your subject lines.

Remember that when crafting your messages, and consider adding the most important information to the start of your subject lines. Then you can be sure your message is seen.

Irek KlimczakContent Marketing Expert @GetResponse

Emoji in email subject lines

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Emoji % of messages Open rate
YES8.69%25.46%
NO91.31%23.50%

Emojis don't bite!

Still scared of using emojis in your subject lines? You’re not alone. Our statistics confirms only about 9% of messages include the little icons.

Even if you’re not a big emoji fan and feel it doesn’t fit your brand, this quarter’s results confirm it’s worth a shot. Here’s what to keep in mind using emojis:

  • Use emojis that make sense for your email
  • Don’t go overboard
  • Run an A/B test to check your results

Emojis in subject lines can improve open rates, attract subscribers and much more. They can also help you express an idea with less space – crucial in the mobile era. I hope we’ll know more about emojis next quarter, so test them out and let’s see what works.

Przemysław Depka ProndzinskiSenior Account Manager @GetResponse

Personalization in email subject lines

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Personalized? % of messages Open rate
YES12.20%24.43%
NO87.80%23.57%

Hey, you! Here's why subject line personalization matters

Even though 88% of marketers don’t personalize their email subject lines, it’s still worth doing.

Those who did (12%) enjoyed an almost 4% higher open rate.

Every email marketer wants happy and engaged contacts

Happy contacts = more engagement and revenue potential.

So be authentic, and take the time to show your contacts they really matter.

How?

By personalizing your subject lines, for starters.

Przemysław Depka ProndzinskiSenior Account Manager @GetResponse

Preheader

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Preheader? % of messages Open rate Click-through rate Click-to-open rate
YES11.35%29.67%5.32%17.94%
NO88.65%22.90%3.65%15.93%

Use a preheader to expand on the subject line

Use a preheader as an extension of the subject line, and you’ll increase the chances of getting your email opened. Here’s an example from Interaction-Design.org:

Subject line: Do not seek praise, seek criticism
Preheader: - Learn how to conduct effective usability testing

As you can see, the subject and the preheader combine to tell the story.

In fact, you should make use of all the elements that subscribers see in the inbox before they open the email. Used well, the so-called envelope (sender, subject line, and preheader) can make a difference.

And your average open rates will reflect that.

Irek KlimczakContent Marketing Expert @GetResponse

Other

Average results by list size

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List size Open rate Click-through rate Click-to-open rate Unsubscribe rate Spam rate
1,000 - 2,49930.03%5.33%17.76%0.35%0.02%
2,500 - 4,99924.71%3.95%16.01%0.24%0.02%
5,000 - 9,99919.82%3.13%15.79%0.18%0.01%
10,000 - 24,99918.36%2.80%15.23%0.14%0.01%
25,000 - 49,99916.63%2.19%13.16%0.12%0.01%
50,000 - 99,99914.19%1.80%12.72%0.10%0.01%
100,000+13.37%1.91%14.25%0.14%0.01%
All23.69%3.89%16.43%0.24%0.02%

Email lists: when quality beats quantity!

When it comes to email lists, email marketers have long preached the importance of quality over quantity. Is this still true? Without knowing the overall conversion rates, it's hard to say for sure.

What we can see clearly, though, is that marketers with smaller lists are better at engaging their audience, and their messages tend to get higher average open and click-through rates. In fact, this trend's been visible over the last two quarters.

The lesson? When you're growing your lists, don't lose touch with your customers! Build relationships just like you would if you were running a corner store. Personalize your subscriber experience and make sure the conversation keeps delivering value to them. Your audience will appreciate it and pay you back with interest.

Michal LeszczynskiContent Marketing Manager @GetResponse

Types of email clients

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Type % of message opens % of message clicks
Mobile25.53%42.81%
Desktop (e.g. Apple Mail)16.95%29.25%
Web-based (e.g. Gmail)57.52%27.93%

Design for all devices, with your CTA in mind

The data clearly shows people use email on all devices, with a strong trend towards mobile.

That’s great news for email marketers: your customers interact with your emails whenever and wherever they feel like.

So to be successful, you need to apply responsive design principles that make your emails look great on any device – and work well with all email clients.

That’s why you should start designing your templates with a CTA in mind, cut out the clutter, go finger-friendly, test your results, and constantly optimize for conversion.

Irek KlimczakContent Marketing Expert @GetResponse

Email address length

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Aim for all

The growth of your contact list depends heavily on the performance of your lead capture forms.

When designing and optimizing forms and landing pages, keep it in mind that people can have long email addresses. Make sure that your forms are big enough to fit them.

You can also try asking for business emails in your forms since they’re often shorter than personal emails.