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Exploring Global Email Marketing Benchmarks

Through Mailigen’s dashboard, you can easily access real-time analytics that measure the success of your email marketing campaigns. Millions of emails are sent through our platform and we track all of that data to provide you with tools that can help you tailor your campaigns to your customers. 

But have you ever wondered how you compare to your industry peers? Learning how the competition fares compared to you might help you to see if you are lacking in certain categories. 

We tried to cover the entire range of our different clients, ranging from startups to large 500+ employee companies. Our goal – to provide you with enough clues and data to help you refine your emails for greater engagement and therefore increase your email marketing campaign success. 





Understanding email marketing benchmarks

Now that you’ve had the pleasure to explore all of these statistics, it is of course even more important to understand what they actually mean. 

Improving these key email marketing benchmarks, especially when compared to other companies in the same industry as yours, can help you get your email marketing campaigns on the right track.

Let’s explore the significance of every one of these so we can ultimately find the best way to enhance your customer reach through your emails. 

What is Email Open Rate?

This measure is used by marketers to see how many of the sent emails of a given campaign have been opened by their recipients. 

Open rate statistics mostly depend on the subject line and how relevant these are to your subscribers. 

Having a good open rate is crucial because no matter how good the content or the promotions in the actual email are, your subscribers will never get to see them. 

Most people will quickly scan the subject lines of their unopened emails, looking for hints on which ones are actually worth their time. Sometimes a single word can make a difference on getting that ultimate click from your potential readers.

There’s no perfect subject line, but we have done extensive research on what might work best and what are some good practices to adopt for a better email open rate. 

Improve your open rate by creating effective subject lines

Here are a few tips you can follow to make a great subject line.

1. Keep it short and relevant

Long subject lines have proven to be ignored more than not. A lot more emails are getting opened on mobile phones, and if your subject takes more than half of their screen, you probably lost a potential reader. Avoid words like “update” or “newsletter” in your subject lines, as they create a feeling of a series, making your readers think they can pass on and get the next one. 

2. Create a sense of urgency

Of course every one of your emails is important, otherwise you wouldn’t bother sending them. But sometimes adding a word like “urgent” or “important” creates a feeling of scarcity and urgency compelling your readers to click. 

Used sparingly, these subject lines that require immediate action could push that crucial promotion to more customers. 

3. Personalize the subject

Sending content that is catered directly to your customers can often yield good results. With all the CRM tools marketers have at their disposal nowadays, you should already know what your customers like or dislike beforehand. 

4. Keep your promises

Delving a bit into ethics now, but if you try to lure your readers with bombastic lines, make sure that you will deliver on your promise. You don’t want to be a brand that cries “wolf” and ultimately gets ignored by the user base. 

5. Optimize your previews with preheaders

The preheader will appear right after your subject line in most email clients. Use this to give your readers a glimpse of the content that awaits them inside. If you skip this step, the email client might pull some content from your email body for the preview, making it messy and confusing. 

6. Use A/B testing 

Using our A/B split testing feature, which allows you to split your audience and test two different variations to see what works better. You can test your subject lines but also other parts of your campaign like the content, day of sending or the “from” name to fine-tune your emails for optimal open rate. 

Hopefully, these few tips will get you started on making your Subject lines more engaging. 

Other tips on how to improve open rates

  • Test out the best open days
    Don’t stay fixated on content schedule, and try to probe what type of email works best on given days of the week. 
  • Try out different sending frequencies.
    Try daily, monthly, bi-weekly schedules for sending your content. Some types work better on shorter time spans, others on longer. But beware, as this specific point can quickly backfire. Make sure that your subscribers are well aware of your tendency to irregular sending frequencies at the moment of signup, or your unsubscribe rates may increase.

While your open rate is a very important aspect of your campaign results, it’s not the only one. You will want to know how your public reacts to the content you are delivering. For this purpose, let’s have a look at the click-through rate of your emails. 

What is email Click Through Rate (CTR)?

The email click-through rate is the percentage of subscribers that have clicked on a picture or a link in your campaign, out of the total of emails you send.

This number will likely be a lot smaller than your open rate because it takes into account all of the emails that you sent, regardless if they were opened or not. 

One of the most important email marketing benchmarks, CTR tells you how effective your campaigns are at generating leads. If the subscriber doesn’t take any action when opening your email, it might mean that the content that you are sending them could be more appealing. 

While email opens are a great metric to consider when building brand presence, click-through rates are important when trying to sell products or services. 

Seeing as the average click-through rate, all industries included, is about 2.5%, you can set your goals a bit higher and try to reach that sweet 4% spot. Not a lot of companies can boast about higher click-through rates than that without resolving to unethical marketing techniques. 

Improve your click-through rate 

Now that we have established how important this metric is, it’s about time we talk about what tricks you can use to improve it.

1. Pay attention to your email formatting

  • Make your emails mobile-friendly. Surveys show that more than 70% of commercial emails are opened on mobile devices, so optimizing them as mobile-first should be one of your priorities. 
  • Create “scannable” emails as your readers will often just glance at your email when they open it. Make sure you have separated important information with headers, sub-headers and images to make it easily accessible to the human eye. 
  • Don’t put important information in images. Take into account that images are blocked by default in most email clients. Putting your catchphrase or your promo deal in one might make it inaccessible to the reader at first sight. 

2. Seize the opportunity with your Call-to-Action

A clear call to action (CTA) will get you those clicks. Make your subscribers focus on one thing to do, and they’ll probably do it. Don’t give too much choice to your readers, as fewer CTAs in a mail yield better results. 

CTA placement is also important. As always, you will need to test where your CTA placement works best. Our A/B testing will help you figure it out. 

3. Ensure your subject line covers your content

Try not to disappoint someone who opened your email with irrelevant content. Like we mentioned before, you need to keep your promises when creating your emails. If you presented a topic in your subject, chance is the person that opened the email wants to learn more about that. 

4. Don’t be afraid to keep your lists clean

If you think you should rely on email marketing benchmarks, this is an important thing to do. Email marketing is a dynamic space. Once you start getting a higher bounce rate and lower open rates, it’s time to clean your list. A lot of factors could be at play here, like people losing interest in your products over time or switching to another email address, but for your metrics to remain relevant, you should get rid of the dead weight from time to time.

How to counter a high Unsubscribe Rate

The unsubscribe rate is the number of your readers that actively opted out of receiving your email marketing campaigns. Even if it looks like a small number on paper, unsubscribing can add up if you aren’t careful how you convey your message.

It’s an important indicator you should be following to see if some subjects, images or email formatting templates increases your unsubscribe rate. 

In addition to all the tips we already stated previously, here are some key tips on how to avoid high unsubscribe rates:

  • Keep your content relevant
    You should always be talking in your brand voice and stick to it whenever you can. Add value to your campaigns that will make your subscribers come back for more, whether it be advantageous offers or sometimes, just great copy. 
  • Segment your audience
    By separating your audience into different segments, you will be able to send them more engaging and personalized content, reducing the chance they become disinterested.

Remember that losing subscribers from time to time is a natural process and healthy for your lists and your email marketing benchmarks.

What is the Bounce Rate?

This metric shows the emails you sent that could not be delivered. A high bounce rate is never a good thing. Why you might ask? Well, even if your content is great, it will rarely reach its target. The cool promos your marketers put out or all that work that went into that magnificent Ebook will be all for nothing if your lists are full of garbage contacts that don’t exist. 

Tips on limiting email bounces

  • Keep your lists fresh
    This means that your subscribers should be cleaned up from time to time. Check their user rating and email open rates and don’t be afraid to hit that delete button if they seem irrelevant. 
  • Don’t purchase email lists on the internet
    Most of the time, lists sold on the internet are obtained by shady practices like phishing. These are also quickly flagged by any decent email marketing platform as such, so you will probably be wasting your money in the first place by buying one.
    Still, if you do manage to send your campaign to such a list, rest assured that those that didn’t bounce will end up in the spam folder. In short, avoid at all costs. 
  • Use opt-ins for your subscriptions
    The chances of your email bouncing decrease greatly if you give your potential subscribers a chance to confirm their intention of receiving your marketing campaigns. 

Wrapping it up

To summarize, you should keep an eye on your open rates, your click-through rates, and other relevant stats if you want to rely on your email marketing. 

Understanding all the aforementioned email marketing benchmarks will at least help you determine when your campaigns are falling short. If something goes awry, you have the information needed to get back to the drawing board and correct the situation to optimize your campaigns. 

Email marketing is still considered one of the best ways to engage audiences, just keep in mind to have realistic goals and deliver relevant content. 

Exploring Global Email Marketing Benchmarks
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