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How to Use Email Marketing Benchmark Data to Improve Email Performance

With billions of users and an ROI that is unparalleled, email is one of the most effective digital marketing tools that brands can use. While email marketing should be a go-to strategy for all brands, its potency still depends on how you actually leverage the channel for your brand.

Are you sure about your brand’s email marketing performance? How confident are you that your business is getting a sizeable return on your email marketing investment? Is email marketing helping you engage with your audience in a meaningful manner?

These questions are typically answered by email marketing analytics, or looking at a variety of email metrics and using that information to determine how your emails are performing.

Analytics is an indispensable aspect of email marketing, but it has its limitations. It only provides you with insight into your own email marketing performance. If you want to know how your email performance compares to others, you’ll need to take a look at email marketing benchmark data.

Email marketing benchmarks for 2019

Global tech company and email service provider Campaign Monitor recently published an email marketing benchmarks guide.

To get the data, Campaign Monitor analyzed over 30 billion emails from more than 4.2 million campaigns that were sent using the company’s platform in 2018. These emails were from brands across more than 20 industries.

As a result of their meticulous analysis of email marketing data, Campaign Monitor was able to publish an extensive email marketing resource. It contains information that brands from a wide variety of niches can use to further their own email marketing strategies.

Here are a few tidbits of information from the resource.

  • Industries with the highest open rates
    • Nonprofit – 20.39%
    • Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting – 20.13%
    • Government – 19.79%
    • Health – 19.12%
    • Other – 18.94%
  • Industries with the lowest open rates
    • Consumer Packed Goods – 14.53%
    • Retail – 14.98%
    • Food and Beverage – 15.48%
    • Travel, Hospitality, and Leisure – 16.62%
    • Automotive and Aerospace – 17.35%
  • Industries with the highest click-to-open rates
    • Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting – 18.03%
    • Media, Entertainment, and Publishing – 17.15%
    • Real Estate, Design, and Construction Activities – 16.47%
    • Unknown Industry – 15.52%
    • Government – 15.11%
  • Industries with the lowest click-to-open rates
    • Food and beverage – 10.69%
    • Real Estate Agents and Brokers – 11.51%
    • Consumer Packed Goods – 12.26%
    • Automotive and Aerospace – 12.29%
    • Travel Hospitality and Leisure – 12.56%
  • Industries with the highest bounce rates
    • Construction, Contracting, and Manufacturing – 1.51%
    • Logistics – 1.40%
    • Other – 1.39%
    • Education – 1.35%
    • Engineering, Architecture, and Design, Financial Services – 1.30%
  • Industries with the lowest bounce rates
    • Food and Beverage – 0.64%
    • Consumer Packaged Goods – 0.67%
    • Retail  – 0.69%
    • Media, Entertainment, and Publishing – 0.86%
    • Travel, Hospitality, and Leisure – 0.93%

Meanwhile, here are email marketing benchmarks for all industries

  • Email averages for all industries
    • Open rate – 17.92%
    • Click-through rate (CTR) – 2.69%
    • Unsubscribe rate – 0.17%
    • Click-to-open rate – 14.10%
    • Bounce rate – 1.06%
  • Best days to email your subscribers
    • The day with the highest open rate – Thursday
    • The day with the highest click-through rate – Tuesday
    • The day with the lowest unsubscribe rate – Sunday and Monday
    • The day with the highest click-to-open rate – Saturday
    • The day with the lowest bounce rate – Monday
  • Worst days to email your subscribers
    • The day with the lowest open rate – Sunday
    • The day with the lowest click-through rate – Sunday
    • The day with the highest unsubscribe rate – Wednesday
    • The day with the lowest click-to-open rate – Monday
    • The day with the highest bounce rate – Friday

Leveraging benchmarks to measure the success of your own email marketing

Now that you’ve learned various email marketing benchmarks, you can use that information to determine how your emails are performing in relation to:

  • The standards of your niche
  • The standards of outside industries

Say your brand is in the retail industry and its current average email open rate is 20%. This is significantly higher than the average open rate for the retail industry, which sits at 14.98%. With this information, you know that in terms of email opens, your emails are performing much better than the retail industry’s baseline.

Using email benchmarks data, you also determine that your email open rate has exceeded the 17.92% average open rate for all industries. This proves that your emails (at least when it comes to email opens) are likely outperforming your competition as well as brands outside your niche.

Making tweaks to enhance your email marketing performance

There may also be cases where your email performance falls below your industry’s standard and the standard for all industries. Improving this situation is quite simple. Take advantage of email marketing benchmarks to enhance your email marketing performance metric by metric.

Here’s what you need to do.

  • Open rate

When it comes to increasing your email opens, it’s all about optimizing your subject lines. Entice subscribers with subject lines that include their first names. You can also include words that grab attention such as on sale now, today only or last chance.

Try test sending on different days and times. According to email marketing benchmark data, the day with the highest open rate is Thursday. You might want to consider sending your emails on that day to see how your subscribers respond.

  • Click-to-open rate

The best way to boost your click-to-open rate is by making sure that your emails render properly on all devices. To achieve this, use mobile-responsive email templates that are pre-designed to display correctly on both mobile and desktop devices.

  • Unsubscribe rate

Avoid high unsubscribe rates by maintaining proper list hygiene. Use the double opt-in method of confirmation so that only subscribers who confirm their subscription are added to your list. This prevents invalid email addresses from filling up your list, thereby keeping your list clean and healthy from the start.

Wrap up

Now that you have a strong idea of how your brand stacks up against others when it comes to email performance, you can use what you’ve learned to implement the necessary changes to your email marketing strategy.

Want more email marketing benchmark data as well as further details on how to maximize the power of your emails? Check out Campaign Monitor’s Ultimate Email Marketing Benchmarks Guide for 2019.

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