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July 18, 2019

Email Marketing Benchmarks for 2019: How Does Your Performance Compare?

Reading time about 9 min

This article focuses on five key metrics for measuring your email campaign success and gives you an opportunity to compare your results to 2019 email marketing benchmarks.

To maximise the impact of your email marketing, it’s important to constantly monitor and evaluate the KPIs and analytics of your campaigns to optimize performance. To build a successful and repeatable email marketing strategy, you must have the right reporting systems in place to measure your results.

But sometimes when faced with reams of figures, it can be hard to determine how your campaigns are performing. What is a good open rate for a company like yours? How can you know if your click-through rate is above average? How many bounces are too many?

This is why it is important to keep up to date with industry standards. To help you do that, in this article we’ve compiled some essential 2019 email marketing benchmarks for your reference.

It can also be difficult to know which metrics you should be monitoring. Tracking too many KPIs will yield an unmanageable amount of data that can only be detrimental to your efforts. Make sure you highlight the metrics that are most important to the success of your campaigns so you can focus on what matters most to your business.

Once you’ve finished this article, you should have a clear understanding of:

  • The different metrics and KPIs to monitor to track the success of your campaigns
  • How to put the numbers in perspective using the latest 2019 email marketing benchmarks based on other players in your industry

You may also be interested in : 7 Email Marketing Best Practices to Succeed in 2019

5 Key metrics to track the success of your email marketing campaigns

To analyze the results of your campaigns, you need to familiarize yourself with these 5 key performance indicators:

Open rate

Open rate (%) = number of email opens/ number of emails sent * 100

The open rate corresponds to the ratio of emails opened by your contacts compared to the number of emails delivered.

For example, if you deliver 100 emails to your contacts, but only 50 contacts open them, then your open rate is 50%.

Monitoring your open rate helps to evaluate:

Open rates are automatically calculated when you use email marketing software like Sendinblue, so you can easily track performance. 

Want some tips on improving your open rates? Read our article on A/B testing your email subject lines.

Click-through rate

Click-through rate (%) = number of clicks on a link in an email / number of emails sent * 100

The click rate is the ratio of emails where a contact clicked on a link compared to the number of emails sent.

For example, if you send emails to 100 contacts and 20 of them clicked on a link in the email, your click rate is 20%.

Monitoring your click-through rate helps to evaluate:

  • The relevance and interest of your offers
  • The effectiveness of your call-to-action

This is an important indicator to measure the engagement of your contact list with your content and offerings.

Reactivity rate

Reactivity rate (%) = number of clicks on a link in an email / number of open emails * 100

This is a complementary metric to click-through rate. The reactivity rate measures the ratio of emails in which the user clicked on a link, but this time, compared to the number of open emails only.

For example, if you send a message to 100 contacts and 50 of them open it, but only 25 click on a link, then your reactivity rate is 50%.

This helps you to better evaluate which sections of your email need improvement. If lots of contacts are opening your email, but not clicking on your link, it’s likely that your subject line is compelling, but you need to enhance your CTA.

Bounce rate

Bounce rate (%) = number of undelivered messages (DNS or SMTP error) / number of emails sent * 100

The bounce rate (or return rate) refers to the ratio of emails that returned to the sender with an error message because it could not be delivered, compared to the total number of emails sent.

There are two types of bounce:

  • Soft bounce:  the destination address is temporarily unavailable (i.e. Recipient email server is down or the mailbox is full)
  • Hard bounce:  the destination address does not exist anymore.

Remember, your hard bounce metric should always be 0%. If you use email marketing software like Sendinblue, you can automatically remove the addresses generating hard bounces to optimize your deliverability.

Spam rate

Spam rate (%) = number of spam complaints / number of emails sent * 100

The spam rate is the percentage of complaints (reporting as spam) that your campaign generated.

For example, if you send an email to 100 contacts and 5 of them report it as spam, your spam rate is 5%.

These complaints are serious and can harm your sender reputation, deliverability rates, and even get you blocked by ISPs. For example, a rate higher than 0.1% can cause you to be classified as spam at an ISP.

To help you avoid this, SendinBlue automatically blacklists unsubscribers and contacts who mark your email as spam to help keep your lists clean and protect your sending reputation.

Average email marketing statistics to benchmark your performance

How do your results compare to those of your competitors? To give you an idea of email marketing benchmarks in 2019, we have compiled the average and median open and click-through rates from IMB’s  Marketing Benchmark Report  based on country and sector. These figures provide a baseline so you can benchmark your performance against your most important peers and competitors. 

Average open rate and click-through rate by country

The overall average open rate is 22.8% and the average click-through rate is 3.5%. 

The table below shows that Canada and Australia & New Zealand significantly outperform all other markets. Canada claims the highest email open rate, while Australia & New Zealand are leading when it comes to click-throughs. 

Countries where email marketing is less mature, like Asia Pacific and India, continue to see lower results. 

CountryOpen rate % CTR %
Mean MedianMeanMedian
Australia & New Zealand36.7%34.0%4.9%2.5%
United Kingdom & Ireland25.6%22.0%4.4%2.2%
United States23.1%18.2%3.0%1.3%
Continental Europe21.9% 18.2%4.7%2.0%
Latin America & Caribbean 17.4%13.8%2.5%1.2%
Middle East & Africa16.4% 14.3%1.9%0.6%
India 14.5%11.0%1.3%0.5%
Asia Pacific12.5%8.3%2.3%1.0%

Average open rate and click-through rate by industry

The Automotive & Transportation sector is strides ahead of all other industries in terms of open and click-through rates.

The highest average open rates come from the Automotive & Transportation, Insurance, and Energy & Environmental industries. When it comes to click-through rate, Energy is replaced by Computer Hardware & Telecommunications. 

The Consumer Services, Corporate Services, and Media & Publishing verticals have the lowest average open rates. 

IndustryOpen rate % CTR %
Automotive & Transportation41.5%53.2%6.5%5.9%
Energy & Environmental30.9%26.1%3.9%2.0%
Computer Hardware, Telecoms30.0%24.3%4.7%1.3%
Nonprofits, Associations, Government28.4%26.1%3.2%1.4%
Real Estate, Construction & Building28.1%22.8%2.9%1.4%
Schools & Education27.0%20.2%4.2%1.3%
Food & Beverage25.9%22.7%3.8%2.3%
Lodging, Travel Agencies & Services25.5%20.3%3.8%1.3%
Hospitals, Healthcare & Biotech24.7%21.2%3.3%1.2%
Marketing & Advertising24.2%19.9%3.8%1.7%
Retail & Ecommerce23.4%18.5%3.0%1.7%
Computer Software & Online Services22.0%18.4%2.8%1.0%
Consumer Products21.5%16.9%4.5%1.6%
Banks & Financial Services21.0%17.2%2.5%1.4%
Industrial Products19.6%16.6%2.3%1.0%
Leisure, Sports & Recreation19.1%15.5%4.0%1.5%
Media & Publishing18.9%16.1%2.7%1.4%
Corporate Services18.8%15.0%2.8%1.0%
Consumer Services15.0%10.1%2.0%0.5%

It should be kept in mind that these statistics, collected by IBM, are averages. When it comes to industry, open and click-through rates can vary drastically depending on several factors.

You can use these email marketing benchmarks for 2019 as a baseline to determine where your email marketing campaigns are outperforming your competitors and where you need to revise and optimize your efforts.

Track your email marketing performance with Sendinblue

To build a successful email marketing strategy, you must have the right systems in place to track your results in real time. 

If you haven’t done it already, why not sign up for a free trial of the Sendinblue marketing platform?

With Sendinblue, you can analyze and optimize your campaigns in real time with powerful performance monitoring tools. 

Sendinblue's email reporting dashboard
Example of Sendinblue’s analytics dashboard

The Sendinblue analytics dashboard provides a detailed overview of your performance, helping you to gain a clear, quantitative overview of your campaign results at a glance.

You can track conversions, map the behaviour of your contacts, and optimize your emails with heat maps that show you the elements that have generated the most engagement.

Optimizing your email marketing strategy comes down to a deep understanding of your contacts and using real-time data to consistently analyze and improve performance.

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