Even though marketers have a number of channels they work with on a daily basis, email continues to be a major part of how they communicate and connect with their customers and prospects. With brands battling for attention in the inbox and focusing on increasing engagement, it’s worth taking a look a new email benchmarks offered in a new Campaign Monitor report.
Open Rates and Unsubscribes Remain Steady
The average email open rate in the US, across all industries, was 17%, per Campaign Monitor’s analysis of more than 30 billion emails sent globally by its customers. Industries including Nonprofit (25.2%), Education (25%) and Government (22.6%) all fared well, with open rates well above average. Media, Entertainment and Publishing also had an above-average open rate (18.1%), while the Financial Services industry fell just below, at 16%.
Retail had the lowest open rate of all the industries, at 12.1%. However, retailers’ open rates varied by day. As it turns out, the best day for retailers to get their emails opened was Tuesdays, when open rates stood at 13%. Don’t wait a day! Wednesdays appear to be the day to avoid, when open rates dropped to 11.4%.
However, midweek appears to be the best time for emails to be opened for the Financial Services industry, with an average open rate of 16.8% on Wednesdays. This is just a slightly higher open rate than seen on Mondays (16.7%).
By contrast, Tuesdays and Thursdays sported the best average open rate for the Media, Entertainment and Publishing industry. On these days the open rate was 19.1%, exceeding the 19% average.
Click-Through Rate (CTR)
While benchmarks vary from industry to industry, there has been a steady rate among US email open rates and unsubscribes. We can infer that subscribers continue only to open emails and subscribe to lists that are relevant to them, promoted by robust preference centers and re-engagement campaigns.
The average CTR across all industries last year was 2.5%.
While the Financial Services industry was a little below-average in its open rates last year, it came out right on average when it came to click-throughs. While the average CTR for Financial Services brands didn’t vary too much during the week, Saturday was the low day, at 2.4%.
Media, Entertainment and Publishing companies, for their part, boasted a CTR well above the average, of 3.0%. As with open rates, Thursdays were the best day for click-throughs for this industry, when its average CTR peaked at 3.3%.
Although Retail did not have the lowest average CTR – Travel, Hospitality and Leisure (1.7%), Professional Services (1.4%) and Food and Beverage (1.1%) all fared worse – it was still below average at 1.9%. As with open rates, Tuesday emerged as the best day for click-throughs on retailer emails (2.0% CTR) while Wednesday was the worst (1.7%).
Click-to-Open Rate (CTOR)
The average CTOR across all industries was 14.8%, per the report. This is one area of email marketing where the Retail industry performs above average, with a CTOR of 15.4%. Media, Entertainment and Publishing and Financial Services also performed better than the average in CTOR, averaging 16.4% and 15.6%, respectively.
Thursday and Saturday tended to be the strongest days for CTOR for Retail, at 15.9% on both days. While Sunday had the lowest CTOR for the Retail industry (14.8%), it was the best day for Financial Services industry, with CTOR of 16.7% that day.
Media, Entertainment and Publishing industry emails averaged the highest CTOR (17.2%) on Thursday. With open, click and click-to-open rates highest on Thursdays, it seems safe to say that emailers in this industry should take a close look at Thursdays for their campaigns. (Individual results may vary.)
Download the full report with additional benchmarks.
About the Data: Benchmarks are based on an analysis of more than 30 billion emails sent globally in 2019 by Campaign Monitor customers.
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