Stats on Email Open Rates

On January 10, 2011, in Email Marketing, by Brett Duncan

I’ve been digging around lately, looking for some standard email open rates and click-through rates to compare my own projects against. There are obviously so many variables in every campaign that it’s hard to compare apples to apples (the data is normally only as specific as comparing fruits to vegetables). But I did run across the links below that are quite useful.

The long and short of it is this:

  • Average open rate across the board seems to hover at 22%.
  • Click-through rate varies wildly, but circles in around 3.5%.
  • No industry suffers from more than an average 0.85% unsubscribe rate.

Email Open Rate, Click-Through Rate Resources

  1. Email Marketing Benchmarks for Small Business: this is an excellent and rather comprehensive list of stats by industry, provided by MailChimp.
  2. All About Email Open Rates: a very handy little page that explains how to calculate open rate and some broad numbers, provided by CampaignMonitor.
  3. The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing: Blue Sky Factory put this little gem together. It’s a great first step when wanting to go deeper into your own email marketing.

I myself am trying to stay consistent for a change with my own email marketing. My goal is to offer small biz folks and entrepreneurs practical tips and a free resource every 14 days or so. Sign up now if that’s sounds interesting to you. Here are the stats from my last campaign as a comparison to all the great data we’ve seen above:

  • Open Rate: 56%
  • Click-Through Rate: 9%
  • Unsubscribe Rate: 1.4%

Don’t let the numbers fool you; my list is small right now and so I wouldn’t put much stock in the stats. But it’s certainly a benchmark.

How do you improve your opens and click-throughs? What piece of advice has made the most difference for your email marketing?

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11 Responses to “Stats on Email Open Rates”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Frank Barnett. Frank Barnett said: RT @bdunc1: Some standard stats on email open, click-through rates, in case you're wondering: [...]

  2. [...] recently shared some stats on email open and click-through rates. Shortly after, I found this post from Drew on a study sharing ideas on what a good open rate for [...]

  3. ben says:

    How do you calculate these rates

    Open Rate: 56%
    Click-Through Rate: 9%
    Unsubscribe Rate: 1.4%

    Currently I calculate them like this:

    Open Rate = emails opened / delivered emails (not bounced emails) /
    Click Through Rate = Unique clicks / Delivered
    Unsubscribe Rate = clicks on unsubscribed / opened emails

  4. Brett Duncan says:

    Ben – to be honest, I simply go with what MailChimp (my email service provider) tells me. But, I think your math is how it’s typically calculated.


  5. [...] a response rate of three hundredths of a percent. By contrast email open rates seem to hover in the area of at least single percentage points (more here, and here too). Even FSI’s seem to score better (also, here) in terms of [...]

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  7. [...] out your open rate is key. Different industries usually have different standard open rates, but according to Brett Duncan from Marketing In Progress, this seems to be around 22% across the board. So, if your email campaigns have lower open rates, [...]

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