Jonas from MailerLite

Jonas5 min readTips and resourcesFebruary 6, 2019

Compare your email performance metrics: 2018 industry benchmarks

Compare your email performance metrics: 2018 industry benchmarks

If you’re an Olympic runner, it’s great to beat your personal best time. But your own time means nothing unless you compare it with the other runners in the race.

In the same way, you need to know the average performance metrics of similar companies to gauge your own success.​

Every week you open your dashboard with anticipation to see if your email campaign is performing well. Among the most important metrics that you look at first are your open, bounce, click and unsubscribe rates. These stats help you determine if your emails are breaking through and resonating with your subscribers.

MailerLite has analyzed these metrics across every industry to help you establish realistic benchmarks for your campaigns. Every industry has a different email marketing success rate, so it is important that you compare your performance with companies in the same industry.


Campaign Metrics of MailerLite Customers by Industry

IndustryOpened %Clicked %Unsubscribed %Bounced %
Agriculture and Food Services27.43%4.15%0.29%0.52%
Travel and Transportation30.69%7.03%0.26%0.71%
Public Relations26.28%4.55%0.16%2.92%
Arts and Artists22.20%3.92%0.41%0.38%
Legal27.45%2.76%0.49%1.61%
Home and Garden25.89%5.80%0.24%0.40%
Religion26.91%4.63%0.17%0.32%
Creative Services/Agency25.18%3.96%0.38%0.47%
Photo and Video23.58%4.32%0.27%0.47%
Telecommunications24.96%5.26%0.12%0.54%
Media and Publishing21.47%4.01%0.29%0.27%
Insurance22.28%2.35%0.44%1.69%
Government34.79%3.81%0.30%2.19%
Hobbies24.71%4.61%0.30%0.44%
Software and Web App20.85%1.36%0.42%0.62%
Education and Training23.69%3.68%0.29%0.50%
Non-Profit24.39%4.27%0.18%0.67%
Politics16.85%1.02%0.47%2.34%
Consulting16.77%1.75%0.32%0.94%
Real Estate19.24%1.91%0.37%1.74%
Recruitment and Staffing17.64%2.77%0.34%1.14%
Entertainment and Events16.12%2.44%0.33%0.34%
Manufacturing19.02%3.43%0.49%2.32%
Architecture and Construction17.34%1.96%0.47%3.97%
Beauty and Personal Care21.35%2.72%0.49%0.65%
Sports18.34%3.00%0.19%0.61%
Health and Fitness18.63%3.30%0.27%0.34%
Restaurant22.85%1.15%0.33%1.01%
Retail18.98%2.47%0.35%0.73%
Music and Musicians12.09%1.41%0.22%1.03%
Medical, Dental, and Healthcare23.46%3.62%0.42%1.19%

How to Improve Your Success Metrics Right Now

If your current metrics are falling below the industry standards, don’t worry! We are passionate about providing the tools to help you succeed in email marketing. Our features are designed for any type of user no matter your skill level.

Here are five ways you can start increasing your open and click rates today.

  1. Personalize Your Subject Line:

    If your open rates are low, the first thing to look at is your subject line. The key here is relevance. Trying to entice readers with a catchy headline is actually not as effective as being descriptive. One tactic that we see working well is to personalize the subject line with the recipient’s name. In fact, Experian found that personalized subject lines have a 26% higher open rate.

  2. Read more: Five reasons to use the reader’s name in a subject line

  3. Segment Your List:

    Every email you send is valuable to a portion of your subscribers, but most of the time it isn’t important to everyone. By segmenting your list into smaller groups, you will have a much better open and click rate. Email marketing is all about targeting the right message to the right audience.

  4. Read More: 5 ways to use email segmentation

  5. Automate Emails:

    Instead of sending out your email campaign at the same time, create an automated flow that delivers an email to each individual at the perfect time. Sound technical? It’s not hard to do with MailerLite’s user-friendly automation feature.

  6. Watch Video: Email automation made easy

  7. Encourage Clicks:

    Sometimes you need to help your readers with a little nudge. If they don’t realize that you want them to click, they probably won’t. A strong call-to-action (CTA) is the best way to motivate readers to go deeper and engage. Check out our post below about best practices for using a CTA.

  8. Read More: How to make your CALL TO ACTION stand out

  9. A/B Testing:

    If you are not sure what works, try split testing different parts of the email. It’s important to only test one thing at a time so you can know the exact variable that is making the difference. Try testing the subject line first to improve open rates or the call-to-action for clicks.

  10. Read More: Email A/B split testing: 6 ideas to start with

By understanding these industry standard benchmarks, you can set smarter campaign goals and work to improve your email tactics.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in February 2018 and has been updated with 2018 benchmark data.


For those companies that are exceeding these benchmarks, what is your secret? We’d love to hear how you are winning with email marketing!

Jonas Fischer

Hi, my name is Jonas. I’m not the 4th Jonas Brother, but I do write content for MailerLite (which is similar to being a teen heartthrob). After writing for a bunch of companies over the years, I discovered my professional passion—helping add some humanity to B2B marketing. Email is the perfect place to start!