October 24, 2020

Email Marketing KPIs and Benchmarks for Your Industry in 2021 [Free eBook]

Reading time about 9 min

Email marketing KPIs like open and click-through rates are key to understanding the success of your campaigns. But without context these statistics may leave you with more questions than answers. What’s a good open rate? Am I getting too many unsubscribes? Our new ebook shares email marketing benchmarks drawn from worldwide 2020 data across industries to help you better analyze your campaign success. 

Whether you’re a local business, a large corporation, or a nonprofit, email marketing is a powerful tactic in your marketing toolbox for engaging your audience. 

But how do you know you’re getting the results you should from this channel? 

In our new ebook you’ll find benchmarks for the email marketing KPIs you should be following, based on 2020 data. It splits statistics by industry and geographical region so you can see how your campaigns stack up against the competition.

Plus, there’s analysis of companies’ emailing activities throughout the year, which pinpoints the common tactics of those getting the best results. These benchmarks and insights will arm you with the information you need to plan your email marketing strategy for next year and beyond.

5 Email Marketing KPIs to Understand Your Campaign Performance

Before delving into our email marketing statistics for 2021, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the main KPIs for measuring campaign success.

Below you’ll find the definitions for each email KPI along with how to calculate them. Or you can watch this video from the Sendinblue Academy for more detail:

1. Email open rate

Open rate (%) = (number of opens / number of emails delivered) * 100

Your email open rate tells you the percentage of total recipients who opened your campaign. For example, if 100 contacts receive your email but only 50 open it then your open rate is 50%.

2. Email click rate

Click rate (%) = (number of recipients who clicked a link in an email / number of emails delivered) * 100

The click rate shows the percentage of recipients who clicked at least one link in your email campaign. For example, if 100 contacts receive your email and 20 of them click one of the links within it, your click rate is 20%.

3. Click-through rate

Click-through rate (%) = (number of recipients who clicked a link in an email / number of opens) * 100

The click-through rate also represents the percentage of recipients who clicked a link in your email but only for those who opened it. For example, if you send an email to 100 contacts, 50 of them open it, and 25 of these openers click a link, your click-through rate is 50%.

4. Unsubscribe rate

Unsubscribe rate (%) = (number of contacts who unsubscribe / number of emails delivered) * 100

The unsubscribe rate tells you the percentage of recipients who clicked to unsubscribe from your emails in a campaign. For example, if 100 contacts receive your email and 5 of them choose to opt out from future emails, your unsubscribe rate is 5%.

5. Bounce rate

Bounce rate (%) = (number of failed deliveries / number of emails sent) * 100

The bounce rate refers to the percentage of emails that fail to deliver because they were returned by the recipient’s server. For example, if out of 1,000 emails 5 bounce then the bounce rate is 0.5%.

This metric includes two types of bounces:

  • Soft bounces: a temporary delivery failure, for example the recipient’s server is down or their mailbox is full.
  • Hard bounces: the email will never be delivered, for example if an email address is incorrect or no longer exists.

2020 Email Marketing Benchmarks

Our latest email marketing benchmarks eBook provides statistics on the average results for the different KPIs. The analysis will help you gauge your own campaign success, identify where you could improve, and most importantly how to achieve this. 

2020 email marketing benchmarks eBook cover

The report uses data from emails sent in 2020 by just under 700 Sendinblue Enterprise users working in 46 different countries across 25 industries. Below is an overview of the findings.

Average performance across industries

In our Email Marketing Industry Benchmark you’ll find the average results for each KPI, using the median across different industries. These statistics should give you an idea of what to expect from your own email campaigns.

The average email open rate is 25.85%

How many opens you get suggests how interested your audience is in your emails. A key factor that will influence your open rate is your email subject line

The average email click rate is 1.27%

The click rate gives you an impression of overall engagement with your campaign, since it includes subscribers who opened your email and those who didn’t. It’s a good measure of how relevant your emails are for your audience. 

The average email unsubscribe rate is 0.05%

Again, how many unsubscribes you get from a campaign will help you understand if your email content fits what your audience’s needs. If your unsubscribe rate is much higher for one campaign, ask yourself if you did anything different that might have lost you subscribers. 

The average email bounce rate is 1.72%

Your bounce rate reflects the quality of your email list. If it’s higher than average, check out this list of ways to decrease your email bounce rate.

Want to know the average results for your industry and geographic region? For the full breakdown, download the Email Marketing Industry Benchmark.

Email marketing benchmarks by industry

The report includes companies from 25 different industries, including technology, finance, real estate, leisure, fashion, and nonprofit. As well as overall benchmarks, it compares and interprets the average results between sectors. 

Here’s a snapshot of the findings:

Marketing and advertising companies had the highest open rate and were among the lowest for unsubscribes.

Aside from marketing and advertising, companies with high open rates were those that tend to have trusting relationships with their audience, such as religious groups. 

Online gaming ranked among sectors with the lowest bounce rate and those with the highest open rates.

Companies related to leisure activities generally had low bounce rates. This may be because subscribers are more likely to sign up using verified contact information. 

Comparing email marketing statistics by region

The benchmark also splits data into three geographic regions: America, EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa), and APAC (Asia Pacific). Results varied between them, both in overall averages and the performance of different industries. 

Average email open and click rates, unsubscribes, and bounces for the America, EMEA, and APAC regions.

Of the three regions, APAC had the best open rate but also the highest rate for bounces and the lowest for clicks.

To find out the best performing industries for each region, download the Email Marketing Industry Benchmark.

Insights to Boost Your Own Email Campaign Statistics

Not only does the benchmark include email marketing statistics for your industry and region, but it goes further by analyzing what the top performers are doing to get their results. You can use these insights to inform your email marketing strategy going forward and see your clicks and opens soar next year. 

Learn how subscriber behavior and companies’ emailing activity change over the year so you can plan your campaigns accordingly. Plus, find the best day and time to send your emails based on your industry and audience.

There are even real-life examples of how companies have improved results — from automated post-purchase emails that keep customers engaged to subscription preference forms that help you send the emails people want to receive. 

Use our Benchmarks to Guide Your Email Marketing Success

Don’t let your email marketing statistics remain just numbers on a page. Use our latest benchmarks to know what you should be aiming for and where you need to improve. Then put the strategies in place to make it happen. After all, email cab drive between 23% and 30% of your total ecommerce sales. It has huge potential!

For all the insider knowledge, download our Email Marketing Industry Benchmark to help you get your best results yet next year. 

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