Email Marketing
Benchmarks

A word from us at GetResponse

You're busy doing your best to improve your online campaign results. You run A/B tests, segment your lists, and try different approaches to connect with your audience.

While you're checking your analytics, you may be wondering – How do I stack up against others in my industry? What are the best practices I should follow to be more successful?

We've come to help. We've analyzed almost 2 billion emails sent by our customers from March to May 2017, in 126 countries across 19 industries.

Keep scrolling for loads of useful data on emails, marketing automation, webinars, 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.

Michal LeszczynskiContent Marketing Manager @GetResponse

Average results by continent

Oceania

  • Open rate 28.02%
  • Click-through rate 3.30%
  • Click to open rate 11.78%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.31%
  • Spam rate 0.02%

North America

  • Open rate 20.73%
  • Click-through rate 3.23%
  • Click to open rate 15.59%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.21%
  • Spam rate 0.02%

Europe

  • Open rate 28.03%
  • Click-through rate 4.98%
  • Click to open rate 17.78%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.26%
  • Spam rate 0.04%

Africa

  • Open rate 17.20%
  • Click-through rate 2.61%
  • Click to open rate 15.17%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.14%
  • Spam rate 0.01%

Asia

  • Open rate 24.81%
  • Click-through rate 3.53%
  • Click to open rate 14.23%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.15%
  • Spam rate 0.02%

South America

  • Open rate 25.02%
  • Click-through rate 3.46%
  • Click to open rate 13.85%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.17%
  • Spam rate 0.01%
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Continent Open rate Click-through rate Click to open rate Unsubscribe rate Spam rate
All24.29%3.90%16.05%0.22%0.03%

Email marketing is huge in Europe, North America, and Asia, with over 80% of the world’s most powerful economies. While engagement is lower in North America, engaged European peers value quality in communication, reflected in the complaint and unsubscribe rates for that area.

Asia and South America demonstrate high email marketing engagement, too. This is reflected in open and click rates close to the average, and low unsubscribe rates. Africa, at the BoP, continues to climb the digital marketing ladder. While it’s still facing many digital infrastructure problems, growth is steady, compared to the 2015 numbers.

Justyna BakkerEmail Marketing Manager @GetResponse

Average results by country

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Country Open rate Click-through rate Click to open rate Unsubscribe rate Spam rate
Australia
28.21%3.22%11.41%0.32%0.02%
Belgium
20.66%4.26%20.61%0.21%0.01%
Brazil
26.86%4.27%15.90%0.16%0.01%
Canada
23.45%4.18%17.81%0.24%0.02%
Colombia
24.03%2.96%12.33%0.17%0.01%
France
39.82%6.68%16.78%0.36%0.02%
Germany
43.12%7.69%17.82%0.43%0.01%
Great Britain
22.37%3.71%16.58%0.25%0.02%
India
20.45%3.59%17.58%0.18%0.01%
Indonesia
26.10%2.51%9.61%0.10%0.01%
Israel
24.77%3.73%15.07%0.25%0.02%
Italy
27.16%3.52%12.96%0.24%0.01%
Malaysia
14.51%2.16%14.91%0.10%0.01%
Mexico
25.53%3.67%14.37%0.11%0.01%
Netherlands
42.11%7.80%18.53%0.41%0.01%
Peru
23.49%2.25%9.59%0.21%0.01%
Philippines
20.15%3.08%15.28%0.15%0.02%
Poland
23.11%4.30%18.58%0.18%0.01%
Romania
23.41%3.23%13.82%0.19%0.03%
Russia
27.99%6.03%21.55%0.26%0.11%
Singapore
21.63%3.30%15.26%0.15%0.02%
Spain
34.07%4.94%14.49%0.23%0.02%
Ukraine
32.99%7.86%23.81%0.32%0.09%
United States
19.99%3.07%15.37%0.21%0.02%
Vietnam
43.93%6.08%13.84%0.14%0.01%
All24.29%3.90%16.08%0.22%0.03%

The world is diverse in terms of email marketing results. Consumer habits, legal environment, and the level of marketing expertise strongly influence average results in each country.

For example, in Germany, only the double opt-in subscription method is considered legal for list building, and open rates are typically high, compared to the rest of the world.

On the other hand, in Russia and Ukraine the level of complaints is typically higher than anywhere else, as it’s common for consumers to opt out by clicking the "this is spam" button.

Mateusz RuzikCustomer Education Team Manager @GetResponse

Average results by industry

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Industry Open rate Click-through rate Click to open rate Unsubscribe rate Spam rate
Agencies26.64%3.05%11.46%0.28%0.03%
Arts & Entertainment37.72%6.66%17.65%0.28%0.03%
Automotive16.05%2.72%16.97%0.22%0.04%
Communications21.76%2.81%12.91%0.18%0.02%
Education31.79%5.59%17.57%0.25%0.04%
Financial Services25.29%4.70%18.60%0.27%0.03%
Health & Beauty27.07%4.89%18.06%0.28%0.05%
Health Care38.05%5.91%15.54%0.39%0.03%
Internet Marketing14.61%2.52%17.27%0.20%0.02%
Legal Services29.70%3.32%11.18%0.19%0.03%
Non-profits37.94%5.36%14.12%0.20%0.02%
Publishing40.08%9.15%22.82%0.20%0.02%
Real Estate32.01%3.83%11.97%0.22%0.03%
Restaurants & Food35.68%3.79%10.62%0.28%0.03%
Retail25.97%3.79%14.60%0.22%0.04%
Sports & Activities31.77%4.56%14.34%0.22%0.02%
Technology & High Tech27.26%4.08%14.98%0.30%0.02%
Travel20.49%2.79%13.62%0.19%0.02%
All24.29%3.90%16.05%0.22%0.03%

It’s natural that industries like healthcare and law get the highest open rates worldwide. These are specialized, narrow areas in which subscribers are much more involved, as they represent professional groups – lawyers or doctors. It also comes with volume: the more specialized a group is, the lower the volume and the higher the open rates.

For the same reason, internet marketing or the automotive industry get the lowest open and click rates. I mean, everyone likes to peek at a beautiful new car now and then, but how often do you buy one?

Mateusz RuzikCustomer Education Team Manager @GetResponse

Landing page conversion by industry

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Industry Average conversion rate
Agencies8.66%
Arts & Entertainment9.84%
Automotive8.65%
Communications7.51%
Education8.46%
Financial Services7.00%
Health & Beauty8.31%
Health Care8.48%
Internet Marketing5.31%
Legal Services12.92%
Non-profits14.07%
Publishing13.10%
Real Estate4.80%
Restaurants & Food6.96%
Retail4.20%
Sports & Activities11.82%
Technology & High Tech5.83%
Travel5.80%
All7.11%

Average results by list size

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List size Open rate Click-through rate Click to open rate Unsubscribe rate Spam rate
1,000 - 2,49931.19%5.22%16.75%0.33%0.03%
2,500 - 4,99925.92%4.09%15.77%0.24%0.03%
5,000 - 9,99919.20%3.28%17.07%0.17%0.02%
10,000 - 24,99918.58%2.81%15.12%0.14%0.02%
25,000 - 49,99915.57%2.10%13.51%0.11%0.02%
50,000 - 99,99912.42%1.98%15.96%0.09%0.02%
100,000+8.15%1.59%19.52%0.08%0.02%
All24.29%3.90%16.05%0.22%0.03%

Email marketers have long preached that the quality of a list beats the quantity. Now is that true? Without the information about overall conversions, it's hard to say for sure.

What we can see clearly, however, is that marketers with smaller lists are better at engaging their audience, and their messages tend to get higher open and click-through rates.

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 store just around the corner. Your audience will appreciate it and pay you back with interest.

The lesson here? Be sure to compare your results to the market where you operate!

Michal LeszczynskiContent Marketing Manager @GetResponse

Average results by message type

Triggered

  • Open rate 57.67%
  • Click-through rate 14.99%
  • Click to open rate 25.99%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.63%
  • Spam rate 0.10%

Autoresponder

  • Open rate 35.52%
  • Click-through rate 6.89%
  • Click to open rate 19.39%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.36%
  • Spam rate 0.04%

RSS

  • Open rate 22.82%
  • Click-through rate 4.81%
  • Click to open rate 21.09%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.11%
  • Spam rate 0.01%

Relevance is the key to high engagement (high open and click-through rates). And to be relevant, you need to know your audience. This is why marketing automation cycles bring the best results.

With marketing automation, you can collect important data along the customer journey and use it to segment your list and personalize marketing communication.

Irek KlimczakContent Marketing Expert @GetResponse

Results by hour of day

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What's the best time to send your emails to get the highest engagement? According to our study, if you send your messages from 9 to 11 AM and from 3 to 5 PM, you'll get the highest open and click-through rates. This makes sense, as people usually read their emails just as they walk in and before they leave their office. There’s also one more peak later in the evening, around 7 PM, so around the time most of us have just returned home and finished dinner.

Don't forget, every audience is different! You can find out the best time to contact your email subscribers by checking your email analytics or using the Perfect Timing or Time Travel features.

Michal LeszczynskiContent Marketing Manager @GetResponse

Results by day of week

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Number of newsletters per week

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# of newsletters Open rate Click-through rate Click to open rate
137.08%5.58%15.05%
229.35%4.07%13.87%
324.37%3.23%13.27%
422.55%3.24%14.38%
521.47%2.98%13.86%
619.64%2.66%13.54%
719.68%2.61%13.24%
819.25%2.73%14.20%
916.41%1.82%11.07%
1018.88%2.40%12.69%
1117.35%2.39%13.76%
1216.98%2.23%13.13%
1314.74%2.04%13.86%
149.90%1.32%13.34%
1513.10%2.16%16.46%

There’s no gold standard as to how often you should send emails. It depends on your industry and buyer personas. But here’s a rule of thumb: minimum once a month, maximum once a day. Most marketers go for a weekly newsletter, which returns the highest open and click-through rates.

Justyna BakkerEmail Marketing Manager @GetResponse

Number of autoresponders in a cycle

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# of messages % of cycles Open rate Click-through rate Click to open rate Unsubscribe rate Spam rate
127.28%89.12%26.90%30.18%0.81%0.13%
29.58%71.52%18.65%26.07%0.71%0.10%
37.72%65.26%18.44%28.26%0.76%0.09%
46.78%61.14%13.48%22.04%0.67%0.08%
56.59%55.38%11.73%21.18%0.63%0.08%
64.92%51.15%11.78%23.02%0.60%0.09%
74.20%51.52%11.24%21.81%0.57%0.07%
83.79%55.20%12.89%23.36%0.45%0.06%
93.66%44.65%9.65%21.62%0.41%0.08%
103.16%53.55%11.78%22.00%0.38%0.04%
112.57%40.29%9.71%24.10%0.42%0.04%
121.85%41.19%6.58%15.97%0.37%0.06%
132.53%38.18%7.34%19.23%0.39%0.06%
141.40%36.20%7.59%20.97%0.37%0.06%
151.40%44.21%10.41%23.55%0.36%0.05%
161.90%29.99%5.73%19.10%0.28%0.06%
171.81%30.08%5.37%17.84%0.30%0.04%
181.08%50.42%10.41%20.65%0.36%0.05%

Shorter 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 cycles, and create great opportunities to address your target audience’s information needs.

Irek KlimczakContent Marketing Expert @GetResponse

Use of video

  • Open rate 31.90%
  • Click-through rate 5.56%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.24%
  • Spam rate 0.04%
  • Open rate 47.35%
  • Click-through rate 12.50%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.35%
  • Spam rate 0.02%
  • Open rate 19.80%
  • Click-through rate 5.14%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.21%
  • Spam rate 0.06%
  • Open rate 10.92%
  • Click-through rate 1.77%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.15%
  • Spam rate 0.02%

Other / None

  • Open rate 23.71%
  • Click-through rate 3.79%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.22%
  • Spam rate 0.02%

The use of embedded videos in emails is not a common practice yet. The reason? Technology. As of today, only a couple of internet service providers (responsible for hosting email accounts) are compatible with this functionality. Therefore, it is much more common to use animated GIFs or thumbnails linking to the video.

It’s also no surprise that YouTube is the most popular hosting platform. They dominate video, and not just in email marketing.

However, my opinion on the future of email marketing is that this is one of the main directions the industry will go. So be sure not to miss out when this technology spreads

Mateusz RuzikCustomer Education Team Manager @GetResponse

Number of characters in email subject lines

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Your subject lines need to be compelling enough to get people to open the email. So 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.

Irek KlimczakContent Marketing Expert @GetResponse

Emoji in email subject lines

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Emoji % of messages Open rate
YES7.69%26.67%
NO92.31%24.07%

Personalization in email subject lines

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Personalized? % of messages Open rate
YES9.73%28.46%
NO90.27%23.82%

The use of personalization and emoji in subject lines is not very popular among marketers, even though personalized subject lines return a 4% higher open rate. Emoji in subject lines perform slightly better, too.

Justyna BakkerEmail Marketing Manager @GetResponse

Preheader

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Preheader? % of messages Open rate Click-through rate Click to open rate
YES11.57%28.98%5.03%17.34%
NO88.43%23.66%3.77%15.92%

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.