Ever wonder how your emails are doing compared to others? Email campaign KPIs, like average open rates, click-through rates and click-to-open rates, can be difficult to benchmark. That’s because across sectors, different types of businesses often have different use cases and audiences for emails. Some kinds of emails naturally drive more opens and clicks.
For example, ecommerce retailers may send lots of “Here’s your purchase receipt” and “Your order has shipped” emails to recent shoppers (who’ll probably open them to check the status). Media sites likely send more “daily newsletter” emails to their magazine subscribers (who may or may not care about the stories included).
That said, there are a few things that will make a positive difference in your email performance metrics regardless of your industry. In this post, we’ll share the current state of average marketing email open rates, click-through rates, and some tips on how to send better ones.
The Average Marketing Emails: Opens, Clicks, and Engagement
According to the DMA’s Email benchmarking report 2018, email open rates across industries are strong, at 18.1% on average, despite a slight decline compared to last year. Click-through rates remain 1.9% YoY.
B2C emails are much more likely to be opened, and have a 19.7% open rate compared to 15.1% for B2B. However, B2B emails win on engagement, with a click-through rate of 3.2% compared to 2.1% for B2C emails.
The most-opened emails come from finance (25%), not-for-profits (21.8%), and retail (19.3%). Utility companies send the least opened emails (14.7%). However, utilities lead when it comes to click-through rates (3.4%), followed by not-for-profits (2.7%), and travel (2.4%).
Open Rates Depend on Interest, Click-Through Rates Rely on Relevance
The differences between industry marketing emails make sense: Emails from banking institutions often have more relevant, time-sensitive content — information that could impact a person’s investments, for example. Once opened, recipients may easily get the update they came for (no need to click). Recipients that actually open an email from say, their natural gas provider, may be more likely to click-through to their accounts to pay a bill, for example.
“These numbers reveal that clicks are still driven by relevance, but opens are driven by interest.” – Skip Fidura, Strategy and Insight Director, dotmailer.
Across the board, transactional emails (like an onboarding sequence) tend to have higher open and click rates versus informational emails (like periodic newsletters). Transactional emails, often triggered by an action a subscriber has taken and thus automatically deployed, will naturally be more relevant to the recipient.