4 Vital Email Marketing Benchmarks


by KC Chow Agency

Have you ever wondered how well your email marketing performs in comparison to other brands? There’s a saying that goes “comparison is the thief of joy,” but in the world of marketing and business, comparison is highly important. Knowing what your competition and counterparts are up to is greatly essential to ensure that your business strategies stay afloat.

Staying afloat is not enough though; as a business owner, you need to STAY AHEAD. If you’d like to maximize your email marketing strategies, you must know these four benchmarks to make sure that you don’t miss out on opportunities, leads, and profits.


The Importance Of Having Email Marketing Benchmarks

Having a benchmark, something to compare your emails with, can help you check if your marketing emails are optimized.

Benchmarking is also a basic secret used by huge business owners to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their email marketing strategy. Take note of this because this is a very useful hack that can be used by both newbies and veterans in the business.If you’re not sure about the email benchmark numbers, don’t worry.

We’ve done the work for you and compiled the latest email marketing stats for 2021 based on data from sources like MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, and Get Response.

These figures have been pulled from 30+ Billion emails. In short, we’ve done the nitty gritty work so you don’t have to. Instead, you can focus your attention in navigating through email marketing benchmarks so you can polish your email marketing strategies to a tee.

Average Email Benchmarks For All Industries

Average Open Rate: 20.4%

An email open rate is the percentage of customers or subscribers who open a specific email out of your total number of customers.

Email open rates are one of the most tracked email marketing benchmarks for email marketers. Low open rates are associated with low conversion, low profit, low retention – you get the idea. If you happen to have a low open rate, don’t despair. There’s always room for improvement starting with

1) Improve Your Email Subject Lines:

Keep it short, sweet, but personalized. Some just do the “short and sweet” part and forget all about personalization. You know why most businesses (both physical and online) use their customers’ first names? It’s a great way to give a personalized approach. Customers love it when they feel acknowledged or recognized.

We’re not saying that you need to call all your clients by their first names – you just need to make them feel like your email is “not just a marketing email.”

Don’t use ALL CAPS (like this), curse words (yikes) or overuse exclamation points. When it comes to an email subject line, clients tend to avoid lines that look “spammy.” The approach you want to give out is interesting and personalized, not spammy and suspicious.

2) List Segmentation:

Send emails to filtered engagement profiles and suppress inactive profiles. Don’t waste your time (or manpower) reaching out to inactive profiles. Email marketing is just like working on a garden – take out the weeds, focus on the blossoms. In short, steer away from inactive profiles and focus your attention to profiles that convert or engage actively.

3) Optimal Sending Time:

Split test different sending times and see what time profiles are most engaged. Klaviyo has a unique feature called Smart Sending to help you find this out.


Average Click-Through Rate: 2%

Your Click-Through-Rate (CTR) measures the percentage of people who clicked links inside your email out of all recipients. 

Marketers use CTR to determine whether their content is engaging, compelling, and interesting enough to get subscribers to click. 

If you have a low CTR, here are a few tips to help boost the numbers:

1) Number Of CTAs:

Have only one Call-To-Action, one goal, for each email to eliminate confusion. Have no more than 3 buttons or links. Remember that the goal of the email subject line is to entice, attract, and hook your audience. Confusing them will definitely fizzle out the fire.

2) Personalize Your Message:

According to Esperian, the unique click rate for brands that send emails is 27 percent higher than brands that don’t personalize. When it comes to any kind of business marketing strategy, personalization is key.

3) Refresh Your Templates:

If it’s too predictable, it can get boring. Familiar, right? This concept can be applied not only in real life relationships but also in email marketing. As an email marketer, make it your goal to be exciting and attractive to your clients. Don’t be monotonous, don’t be too complacent with your marketing materials. Make an effort to refresh your templates and keep your campaign concepts up-to-date and varied.

Average Unsubscribe Rate: 0.19%

Your campaign unsubscribe rate is the percentage of recipients who opt out after receiving your email. People opt out over too much spam or because they are simply uninterested or do not like your campaigns. 

See to it that you are sending relevant messages. You can do this quantitatively by reviewing your segments, analyzing past data, and targeting emails based on website behavior, product interests, and past purchases. 

If you have a high unsubscribe rate, here are a few tips that can help:

1) Add A Custom ‘Unsubscribe Message’:

Adding a heartfelt message before the unsubscribe link can reduce the unsubscribe rate. Yes, clients are humans, not robots. Once you’ve struck an emotional chord, things may just turn around for the better. The ‘unsubscribe message’ can be something to remind them why they subscribed in the first place, or can highlight what are the perks if they stay subscribed. You can also segway your current promotions as part of the ‘unsubscribe message’ to give them more reasons to stay!

2) Set Email Signup Expectations:

Add a disclaimer of what type of emails the user will receive upon signing up to your list so they know what to expect.

3) Ask For Feedback:

Ask your readers why they opted out (in a nice or catchy way, of course). Getting constructive feedback will not only improve user experience but can also give you insights on how to tweak your customer’s onboarding process.

Average Bounce Rate: 0.64%

Bounce rates are emails that can’t be delivered due to spam or server issues. There are 2 types of bounce types you should know: 

Hard Bounce (Permanent reason): The recipient’s email address is invalid or marked your emails as spam.

Soft Bounce (Temporary reason): This issue can be due to a problem with the recipient’s server, like their mailbox being full or email server being down.

If you have a high bounce rate, here are a few tips to improve the numbers:

1) Regularly Show Up:

Make your readers anticipate and look forward to your emails by sending frequent interesting emails. Consistency is the key. We suggest doing 1-3 emails each week consisting of both content and sale emails.

2) Avoid Free Sender Domains:

Do not use an address from free platforms like Gmail or Yahoo. Send emails from your owned domain like [email protected], this verifies you as a legitimate business and you’re less likely to hit spam.

3) Daily List Cleaning:

Create segments for Hard Bounce and Soft Bounce, and clean them regularly.

Know Your Numbers:

As an email marketer, profits, followers, and sales are not everything. You need to dig deeper into several business points, one of which includes learning about email marketing benchmarks.

By knowing and evaluating your email marketing strategies and performance, you will have a solid basis of the strengths and weaknesses of your business. The metrics will help you figure out which areas in your email marketing strategies need improvement and help you anchor on the email marketing strategies that work.

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