Email Marketing Benchmarks – Are You On Par or Lagging Behind Top Performers?

How does your online marketing compare? What kind of open rates and click-through-rates can you realistically expect?

A recent article in Entertainment Close-Up published a study to assist business owners and marketers figure if their email campaigns are on par, ahead of, or lagging behind top performers.

Apparently, Education, Computer Hardware, Telecom and Electronics and Retail were the highest performing industries. And I think even if you’re in a different industry the findings should still provide some insight into the effectiveness of your marketing email programs.

So where do you stand against your peers?

Silverpop studied email messages of 2,787 brands distributed throughout 2012, with the follwoing metrics and analysis in mind:

  • Open rates (including gross, opens per opener)
  • Click-through rates (including click-to-open and clicks per clicker)
  • Message size
  • List churn (including hard bounce, unsubscribes and spam complaints)

I want to ask you, how do YOU track your email campaigns? Perhaps the list above offers some valuable suggestions. But what’s really interesting are the findings, and here I include the highlights for your information:

-Education industry. Emails sent by top performers had the open rate (46.1 percent) and highest click-through rate (12.8 percent)

-Healthcare industry. Healthcare had the best click-to-open rate (33 percent), which measures click-through rates as a percentage of messages opened

-Top-quartile performers achieved click-through rates nearly four times higher than the median, 8.8 percent vs. 2.3 percent

-Bottom-quartile performers had a hard bounce rate of 6.9 percent, while top quartile companies experienced a rate of only 0.1 percent

-Top quartile performers achieved a rate of 2.37 opens per openers, 45 percent higher than the median and 67 percent higher than the bottom quartile

-Top-quartile performers had click-through rates nearly four times higher than the median (8.8 percent vs. 2.3 percent)

Are You On Par or Lagging Behind Top Performers?

What’s the key to their success? The article provides some clues by saying: ‘[the top performers have] very personalised and oftentimes time-sensitive information to share with their recipients. [A good lesson is that] all email communications should be highly personalised, relevant and targeted.’

A great lesson indeed. If you’re tired of receiving irrelevant emails in your inbox then make sure that the email communication and copywriting pieces you send to clients are relevant and personalised. Batch-and-blast emails are out of fashion!


(Report provides a breakdown of data by top-quartile, median and bottom-quartile performers and analysis by industry and geography.)