- Open rate 23.43%
- Click-through rate 3.45%
- Click-to-open rate 14.73%
- Unsubscribe rate 0.32%
- Spam rate 0.01%
We have new data! We’ve updated our report with Q1 2018.
We've analyzed over 2 billion emails sent by our customers from January to March 2018, in 126 countries across 19 industries.
Keep scrolling for loads of useful data on emails, marketing automation, and landing pages.
Can't find the data you're interested in? Just send us an email! We'd love to know what's important to our fellow marketers.
|Continent||Open rate||Click-through rate||Click-to-open rate||Unsubscribe rate||Spam rate|
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.
|Country||Open rate||Click-through rate||Click-to-open rate||Unsubscribe rate||Spam rate|
GDPR will influence results in the EU region
Especially due to new, strict GDPR regulations in the EU, email marketing campaign stats in countries of the region will be on the rise. These strict rules will impose keeping lists clean under the threat of a severe fine. In some other parts of the world, there are barely any regulations concerning email marketing, resulting in low-quality lists, etc.
Another thing is customer preferences. They’re different in the US, where email is a heavily used marketing channel and the results are a little lower, and in countries where companies only just started using email marketing.
When you compare your email marketing results, always consider the market you’re targetting. This is especially important when you're working in a multinational environment and have customers worldwide.
|Industry||Open rate||Click-through rate||Click-to-open rate||Unsubscribe rate||Spam rate|
|Arts & Entertainment||35.44%||6.13%||17.30%||0.29%||0.02%|
|Health & Beauty||25.59%||4.90%||19.16%||0.29%||0.04%|
|Restaurants & Food||39.69%||4.84%||12.21%||0.28%||0.03%|
|Sports & Activities||32.49%||4.45%||13.69%||0.28%||0.02%|
|Technology & High Tech||25.61%||4.08%||15.94%||0.31%||0.02%|
A niche means smaller lists and more opens
Whenever you’re comparing your average email open and click-through rates, look at other companies within your industry.
Things like legal regulations, competition, or simply the industry itself will affect the average performance marketers achieve in their verticals.
In terms of the trends, stats per industry generally haven't changed in comparison to our last report.
Publishers, health care, and non-profits are still getting some of the best results.
Retail, automotive, and internet marketing – some of the most competitive industries – remain at the bottom of the list, similarly to what we’ve observed before.
Something to keep in mind:
The more specific and segmented your area of marketing is, the better results you will get.
|Industry||Average conversion rate|
|Arts & Entertainment||8.69%|
|Health & Beauty||6.47%|
|Restaurants & Food||7.48%|
|Sports & Activities||11.66%|
|Technology & High Tech||7.47%|
Know your audience as much as your competition
Depending on the industry, companies can have different business objectives, naturally reflected in their landing page copy.
Non-profits and legal services, by their very nature, are industries that benefit from copy that evokes trust. We can see that this approach helps them keep their conversion rates high.
On the other hand, retail, real estate, and internet marketing are some of the most competitive industries. So it's not surprising that they have the lowest conversion rates.
My advice for companies in those industries is to research their audience well and use language that their audience uses in everyday life, focusing on their daily challenges and the jobs they want to get done.
If you're in sports and activities, publishing, or legal services, then you can safely aim at a 10% conversion rate.
|Industry||double optin||single optin|
|Arts & Entertainment||10.34%||89.66%|
|Health & Beauty||10.18%||89.82%|
|Restaurants & Food||6.59%||93.41%|
|Sports and Activities||14.35%||85.65%|
|Technology & High Tech||7.54%||92.46%|
Double opt-in – a very underrated way we can grow
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 using double opt-in. It’s also great security-wise, will prevent anyone from injecting spam traps or other harmful emails to your list. It’s also worth mentioning that due to the new GDPR laws in the EU, we should see growth in double opt-ins for European countries.
If you’re interested, you’ll find more insights on the benefits of using confirmed opt-in on our blog.
What's the best time to send emails? Whenever your audience thinks it is.
What's the best time to send your emails to get the highest engagement? Short answer: it depends.
In general, there seem to be two time slots you could aim for.
The first one around 11 AM – shortly after people arrive at work and have their morning coffee.
The second one – which had the biggest spike in average open-rates – around 2 PM. We could theorize that this because the recipients have just returned from lunch and they’re catching up with the emails from the past couple of hours.
At the same time, similarly to our previous reports, we're again seeing an increase in engagement rates later in the afternoon, after 6 PM when most of us return home. This is when we’re seeing the highest click-through rates.
This might mean that especially in the holiday season, you can capture your audiences' attention even later during the day, when they're most likely to make a purchase online.
But while we're at it – don't forget that 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.
What's the best day to send emails? It's different for opens and clicks.
This is another one of the most frequently asked questions among marketers – what's the best day to send emails? All our previous editions showed it to be Tuesday, but for the last two quarters the answer's not as straightforward.
In terms of achieving the highest average open rates, Friday took the lead in the 2018 Q1 edition of our report.
But if we're looking for the highest average click-throughs – after all this is the closest we can get when thinking of conversions – then Tuesday remains the best-performing day.
So as you can see, answering this question is never an easy task. It will always depend on the target audience you want to reach and how they behave. When do they have time to read and act upon your messages? Is it the same time every day? Or does it vary from day to day? It's hard to say.
My gut feeling agrees that Tuesday should be the best day, as most of us have a lot of emails and projects to catch up with on Monday. Having cleared the inbox and planned out the whole week, by the time Tuesday arrives you should be able to check your messages and engage with the communication.
But again, it might be different for different people, especially during the holiday sales season when consumers more willingly spend time searching through their emails looking for great offers and gift ideas. So instead of wondering, just run an A/B test and see for yourself. Check if Tuesday's also the best for you or maybe it's Friday or Monday? Don't just look at opens and clicks. Include conversion rates in your decision-making process as that's what you're really looking to improve.
|# of messages||% of cycles||Open rate||Click-through rate||Click-to-open rate||Unsubscribe rate||Spam rate|
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 your emails remain useful to your subscribers.
The trick is to understand the customer journey and match content to context at every stage. For example, B2B sales cycles are usually complex and might sometimes extend into years. They require long email sequences and create great opportunities to address your target audience’s information needs.
|Opens by hour||% of all message opens||Cumulative %||% of all message clicks||Cumulative %|
Want to get noticed? Make your newsletter open-licious!
Want your email to be opened? Then aim at an immediate effect – more than 20% of all messages are opened within the first hour after sending.
And, by personalizing the subject line you may just make that extra mile. But if your message is not a “day one, exclusive deal”, fear no evil – be patient and wait a bit more than a day to see the first results drip in.
So why is this stat even important?
It’s for all of us who deal with short-term deals and short subscriber life.
Are you in a business with longer sales cycles? Check your stats a day later – give your subscribers the time to engage and check their Gmail promotions tab.
Waiting for email clients
No change of situation compared to our last report.
Still, we’re not ready for video in email. There is no broad support of this feature among the email clients.
For the time being, the best way around it is to use an image (maybe even an animated GIF) that looks like a video player and link it to your page. This way you'll improve your click-throughs and the experience of your contacts.
However, as soon as Google implements this feature (they haven't elaborated on that yet), it will spread quickly throughout email clients.
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 about 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 results in 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 about that when crafting your messages and consider adding the most important information at the beginning of your subject lines. This way you’ll be sure your message is received correctly.
|Emoji||% of messages||Open rate|
Emoji and emails, a match made in heaven (maybe)
I don’t like emoji. There, I said it. But, because I’m still an email marketer from time to time, I’ve come to think that my personal feelings about certain techniques don’t matter a jot if they have a positive impact on conversions.
So, DO emojis have a positive impact on opens rates? Seemingly yes – it’s 30% versus 24.
But, it’s a pretty recent trend, and still, less than 9% of marketers have ever emojified their email subject lines.
I’d say – the proof is in the audience, and the scope of your business.
|Personalized?||% of messages||Open rate|
Hey, you! Here's why subject line personalization matters
Although 87% of marketers don’t personalize their email subject lines, it doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. Because 13% of us did, and we did it right – the OR was pumped by nearly 4%. Every email marketer wants happy and engaged contacts. Happy contacts = increased 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.
|Preheader?||% of messages||Open rate||Click-through rate||Click-to-open rate|
Use a preheader as an extension of the subject line
Use a preheader as an extension of the subject line, and you’ll increase the chances of getting your email opened.
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.
|Personalized?||% of messages||Open rate||Click-through rate||Click-to-open rate|
Personalized content influences clicks and conversions
The most important indicators we should look up when talking about personalization in body content are click-through and click-to-open rates. The reason for that is that the email body doesn’t influence opens – to see it, you need to open the email first! So how does a personalized email body influence clicks? The click-to-open rate in particular will tell you if you want to address your audience with tailored messages or is it not worth it in your case. Be sure to test it out!
|Open rate||Click-through rate||Unsubscribe rate||Spam rate|
Use welcome emails as your secret weapon to high conversion rates
If you had to send only one single email to your target audience then it’d better be a welcome message. Why? Because according to our latest data, the average open rates for welcome emails are over 90%! The click-through rates aren't half-bad either, scoring almost 27%.
That's more than four times as many opens and clicks as with other types of marketing emails. The reason here seems rather obvious – we expect the welcome email to land in our inbox. To confirm the subscription process or transaction we just made. And best of all, setting them up is super easy, especially if you use marketing automation workflow templates.
|Has Graphic?||Open rate||Click-through rate||Unsubscribe rate||Spam rate|
Your communication should be versatile and match your audiences' needs
Should your email marketing campaigns be text-based or image-based? I'm sure you've asked yourself this question at least once.
Unfortunately, there's no simple answer. We've tried hard to narrow down the emails our customers sent and divide them into two groups – those with and without images. The problem here? We don't know how big the images were, whether it was just a simple logo or the whole email was just an image.
What the data from our study suggests is that image-based emails perform better – both in terms of the average open and click-through rates.
But once again, this doesn't necessarily have to be the case for your audience.
What I'd suggest is to make your communication more versatile, try both approaches, and A/B test individual messages to find your winning strategy.
And once you've done that, don't stop evaluating your results and make sure that you're always optimizing your email marketing campaigns.
|List size||Open rate||Click-through rate||Click-to-open rate||Unsubscribe rate||Spam rate|
|1,000 - 2,499||32.41%||5.78%||17.82%||0.37%||0.03%|
|2,500 - 4,999||25.06%||4.23%||16.89%||0.25%||0.02%|
|5,000 - 9,999||20.96%||3.36%||16.05%||0.19%||0.02%|
|10,000 - 24,999||18.72%||2.90%||15.49%||0.15%||0.01%|
|25,000 - 49,999||16.75%||2.07%||12.37%||0.12%||0.01%|
|50,000 - 99,999||15.22%||1.78%||11.67%||0.11%||0.01%|
Email lists: when quality beats quantity!
When it comes to email lists, email marketers have long preached the importance of quality over quantity. Now is this 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.
|Type||% of message opens|
|Standalone (e.g. Apple Mail)||16.99%|
|Web-based (e.g. Gmail)||56.52%|
Design for all devices with your CTA in mind
The data clearly shows that people use email on all devices with a strong trend towards mobile.
It’s great news for email marketers – your customers interact with your emails whenever and wherever they feel like.
That means that in order 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, test your results, and optimize for conversion.
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.