E-mail Marketing Open and Click-Through Rates Worldwide

Welcome back!

Back in March 2009, we reviewed how to measure the click-through rate (CTR) of your e-mail permission marketing campaign with Google Analytics, so I believe it would be very useful to now provide you a benchmark to compare your collected CTRs. For Internet startups, these will be critical benchmarks.

Earlier this July 2009, eMarketer just released a list of e-mail marketing open rates worldwide, by industry and list size for the second half of 2008.

But before I show you these e-mail marketing open rates, let’s review some e-mail permission marketing fundamentals that you must gather:

  1. Number of e-mails sent
  2. Number of opened e-mails
  3. Number of bounced e-mails
  4. Number of unsubscriptions ( You MUST provide this option! Remember that we are doing e-mail permission marketing. No permission = no e-mail.)

With these metrics you will determine:

  1. Delivery rate = (number of e-mails sent – number of e-mails bounced) / number of e-mails sent
  2. Unsubscribe rate = number of unsubscriptions / number of e-mails delivered
  3. Open rate = number of opened e-mails / number of emails delivered
  4. Click-through rate (CTR) = number of clicks / number of e-mails opened

Once you have your open rate and CTR, now you can compare them to these benchmarks provided by eMarketer:

E-Mail Marketing Open and Click-Through Rates - eMarketer


E-Mail Marketing Open and Click-Through Rates - eMarketer

How well do you rank against these open and click-through rates?

Author: Damian Davila

Ideas and concepts from Damian Davila, Ecuatoriano thriving in Hawaii. Pro marketer and blogger. Find him at @idaconcpts on Twitter.

2 thoughts on “E-mail Marketing Open and Click-Through Rates Worldwide”

  1. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing this. I have always wondered what the benchmarks were for e-mail campaigns.

    I am a big fan of e-mail campaigns and send out a weekly news update to 5,000 subscribers each week. According to ConstantContact, I average a 33% open rate and a 52% click through.

    My numbers look higher than average but that’s probably because I am not directly selling anything in the newsletter but trying to attract people to my site with news so that they can consider/see my premium service.

  2. Hello John, thanks for stopping by idaconcpts.

    I had found CTRs for Europe earlier on this year and I was real pleased to get these stats.

    A weekly update of 5,000 subscribers sounds like a very interesting task. My experience is with smaller list sizes, in the range of 1,000 – 2,500. From my experience, I average a 40% open rate but only a 10% click-through. Usually my CTR is higher on image ad campaigns, maybe because a good picture is worth a 1,000 words.

    Your strategy makes a lot of sense: giving something useful enacts the “law of reciprocity” of Robert Cialdini in his book, Influence: Science and Practice (New York: Harper Collins, 1993). Basically, the law of reciprocity boils down to this: “a person can trigger a feeling of indebtedness by doing us an uninvited favor”. Consider this example from Cialdini (p. 29):

    For instance, the American Disabled Veterans organization reports that its simple mail appeal for donations produces a response rate of about 18 percent. But when the mailing also includes an unsolicited gift (gummed, individualized address labels), the success rate nearly doubles to 35 percent.

    Your higher CTR are a perfect example of the “law of reciprocity”. Excellent work! : )

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