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What Should My Email Open Rate Be?

How can you tell if you are getting the most out of your email campaign? While platforms such as Hubspot or Mailchimp provide you with detailed analytics, these numbers mean less if you don’t have a benchmark to compare them to. Fortunately, Mailchimp put together an impressive set of data that compares averages between industries – information pulled from billions of emails a month for millions of users. Here are some of the highlights from what they found scanning the system. 

There are a wealth of performance metrics available, but in this case we will be looking at open rates and click-through-rates.

Open rates are one of the best ways to tell whether your email strategy is effective. This number shows what percentage of your audience opens the emails you send them. If you have a great open rate, it usually means your subject lines resonate with your audience. Here are Mailchimp’s examples of successful open rates:

  • The most opened emails are related to hobbies, with an open rate of 27.35%.
  • Emails sent by government entities come in second, with a 26.52% open rate.
  • With a 26.03% open rate, emails about the arts and artists came in third.
  • The average open rate for all industries we analyzed is 20.81%.

Another good way to check how well your emails are working is to take a look at the click rates. The click rate is a percentage that tells you how many successfully delivered emails got at least 1 click. This number shows whether or not your audience finds the emails you send relevant enough to click through for more. Here are Mailchimp’s examples of what standard click rates look like:

  • Hobbies also have the highest click rate, which is 4.78%.
  • Media and publishing emails see the second highest click rate, at 4.55%.
  • Government comes in third, with a 3.65% click rate.
  • The average click rate for all industries we looked at is 2.43%.

And here are some typical rates for a few of the industries we work with.

  • Real Estate has a 19.67% and a 1.80% click rate
  • Architecture and Construction has a 23.13% and a 2.55% click rate
  • Business and Finance has a 20.47% and a 2.59% click rate
  • Construction has a 21.01% and a 2.03% click rate
  • Manufacturing has a 20.51% and a 2.18% click rate
  • Healthcare has a 21.09% and a 2.25% click rate
  • Professional Services has a 20.77% and a 2.39% click rate
  • Consulting has a 18.96% and a 2.15% click rate

It is also important to consider the type of email when it comes to open rates and click-through-rates. Here is a great example of data from SmartInsights of 3 different pieces of content – a triggered email, an autoresponder and a newsletter.

“It's no surprise that triggered and autoresponder (welcome) emails have higher open and click rates since they are more relevant or immediate, more in the context of an action that a subscriber has taken. It shows the power of marketing automation.”

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