What open rates should you expect from email marketing?

King of all email metrics! Open rates are a foundational email metric that provides a simple measure of engagement.

We’ve broken this down by industry, so you’ll be able to compare your performance.

While not perfectly accurate due to image blocking, connection speed and other factors, open rate provides a comparative picture of how well your brand, its perceived value and even your subject lines translate into a recipient deciding to open (and hopefully read) your marketing communication.

The greatest value of the open rate metric is that it serves as a longer -term internal benchmark that signals progress or problems with engagement.

Benchmark your open rates to compare against your messages sent over time, but don’t rely on it as a holistic measure of message or campaign success. 

The holy of holy! Why? The more people who open, more people who are likely to click through, meaning more sales, in theory

And it usually works for us! 

The tough part? These aren’t always accurate sadley. But let’s be real, half the data we’re shown still isn’t quite as tight as we’d like it.

But it is still a great indicator of what’s working for your brand. It’s still something you can stick with for your own benchmarks.

Get this towards 20% and you’re in a great place! 

Just don’t forget to make sure you’re still getting the response you need. Likely those $$$

So, what can you expect from your email marketing open rates?

Mean: 24%

Median: 19.8%

Top quartile: 48%

Bottom quartile: 6.9%

And from your particular industry?

IndustryMeanMedianTop quartileBottom quartile
Airlines & Transportation32.428.761.39.9
Automotive48.252.361.728.3
Banks & Financial Services25.321.846.99.2
Computer Hardware & Telecoms34.827.069.010.4
Computer Software & Online Services22.518.743.78.0
Consumer Products & Services26.022.351.85.9
Corporate Services23.019.746.45.7
Energy & Environmental40.840.262.819.6
Food & Beverage26.118.156.18.1
Hospitals, Healthcare & Biotech26.422.551.28.9
Industrial Manufacturing & Services26.320.554.07.8
Insurance32.628.960.411.4
Leisure, Sports & Recreation19.616.039.55.7
Lodging, Travel Agencies & Services24.019.619.67.5
Marketing & Advertising26.522.951.96.4
Media & Publishing19.516.438.46.0
Nonprofits, Associations & Government25.522.946.28.8
Real Estate, Construction & Building28.122.453.911.2
Retail & Ecommerce22.318.544.36.8
Schools & Education28.021.559.45.8

So guess what – Maslow, you remember him from your undergraduate days, well he was right.

Your essential needs take a focus here.

People are more concerned with the most important financial commitments. Major expenses like cars (48.2%) and energy bills, (40.8%) take place over emails relating to less essential products, or those that require less of a financial commitment, like products or services for leisure. 

In fact, people are almost twice as likely to open an email from an energy company than they are their local gym! (19.6%)

Partly thanks to Media (19.5%), Ecommerce & Retail (22.3%) all sending high volume messages in past years.

Keep an eye out for our next blog post – Transactional open rates vs non transactional open rates which dives into how transactional emails can 3x sales with a few simple clicks!

What is a good open rate for email marketing in 2020?

The mean open rate for global email marketing across all industries is 24%.

The median open rate is 19.8%

So being near 20% is a good aim – but remember to also measure you businesses email marketing efforts against past performance and industry specifics.

How are marketing email open rates calculated?

Email open rates are a simple calculation – it’s the percentage of people who opened your email.

So if you sent your email to 100 people, and 40 of the them opened your email, your open rate would be 40%

Open rates don’t include any emails which failed to send, or bounced emails.

Why is open rate important?

The hardest part of email marketing is getting people to open your emails. If we don’t have a strong open rate, people aren’t seeing the information in our emails.

What are the email open rates for Airlines and Transportation Businesses

The mean email marketing open rate of global Airlines & Transportation businesses is 32.4%.

The median open rate is 28.7%

What are the email open rates for the Automotive industry?

The Automotive industry has the highest email marketing open rates. The mean email marketing open rate of global Automotive businesses is 48.2%.

The median open rate is 52.3%

What are the email open rates for Banking and Financial Services?

The mean email marketing open rate of Banks and Financial businesses is 25.3%.

The median open rate is 21.8%

What are the email open rates for Computer Hardware & Telecoms businesses

Mean open rate: 34.8%.
Median open rate is 27%

What are the email open rates for SaaS companies?

SaaS companies can vary hugely, but the averages for Computer Software & Online Services are:

Mean open rate is 22.5%.
Median open rate is 18.7%

What are the email open rates for Corporate Services?

The mean email marketing open rate of Corporate Services businesses is 23.0%.

The median open rate is 19.7%

What are the email open rates for the Energy & Environmental industry?

The Energy & Environmental industry sees mean email marketing open rate of 40.8%.

The median open rate is 40.2%

These are huge! And thats mostly as energy is an essential service for most people.

What are the email open rates for the Food & Beverage Industry? (Hospitality)

The mean email marketing open rate of Food & Beverage businesses across the globe is 26.1%

The median open rate is 18.1%

What are the email open rates for Hospitals, Healthcare & Biotech companies?

The mean email marketing open rate of healthcare businesses is 26.4%.

The median open rate is 22.5%

What are the email open rates for Industrial Manufacturing & Services

The mean email marketing open rate of Industrial Manufacturing & Services businesses is 26.3%.

The median open rate is 20.5%

What are the expected open rates for Insurance companies email marketing efforts?

The mean email marketing open rate of Insurance businesses is 32.6%.

The median open rate is 28.9%

Are Leisure Industry marketing open rates lower than average?

Yes, they are. The mean email marketing open rate of Leisure, Sports & Recreation companies is 19.6%.

The median open rate is 16.0%

What are the average open rates in the Tourism Sector?

The mean email marketing open rate of the Lodging, Travel Agencies & Services industry is 24%. The median open rate is 19.6%.

Almost exactly the mean and median across all industries!

What email open rates can a Marketing and Advertising agency expect?

The mean email marketing open rate of Marketing & Advertising businesses is 26.5% across the globe.

Median open rates are 22.9%, performing above average, but not sky rocketing like Automotive and Insurance industry emails.

What open rates should I expect for my Media and Publishing business?

Open rates in this industry are less than average, as many people see the content as unessential.

The mean global email marketing open rate is 19.5%.

The median open rate is 16.4%

What open rates can Non-profit and Government Associations expect from their email marketing?

The mean email marketing open rate of Nonprofits, Associations & Government businesses is 25.5%.

The median open rate is 22.9%

Real Estate and Construction email marketing open rate averages

The mean email marketing open rate of Real Estate, Construction & Building businesses is 28.1%.

The median open rate is 22.4%

What are the typical open rates for an eCommerce retail business?

The mean email marketing open rate of businesses solely focused on eCommerce is is 22.3%.

The median open rate is 18.5%

What open rates should Schools expect from their emails to parents?

When a school sends an email to their students, or the parents of their students, a mean open rate of 28.0 and median of 21.5% can be expected

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