Increasing engagement and ROI is a top priority for any email marketer. After all, engagement and ROI are two of the best ways to measure the success of your email marketing campaigns.

When trying to improve these two factors, the majority of email marketers will undoubtedly lean on analytics—this is nothing new. Sometimes, though, it pays to think outside the box. Email marketing is no different.

What if there was another way you could increase email engagement and ROI? What if that way involved focusing on current email marketing benchmarks? 2019 Email marketing benchmarks – by industry and by day

Earlier this year, email marketing service provider Campaign Monitor published an email marketing benchmarks guide. The company analyzed billions of emails sent in 2018 through its platform by businesses from 22 industries.

By using the guide, email marketers can get a strong idea of the health of their email sends.

Take a look at some of the most crucial data found in the guide. 

  • Email averages for all industries
    • Average open rate – 17.92%
    • Average click-through rate – 2.69%
    • Average unsubscribe rate – 0.17%
    • Average click-to-open rate – 14.10%
    • Average bounce rate – 1.06%

Source: Campaign Monitor

  • Top industries (by open rate)
    • Nonprofit – 20.39%
    • Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting – 20.13%
    • Government – 19.79%
    • Healthcare services – 19.12%
    • Other – 18.94%

Source: Campaign Monitor

  • Top industries (by click-to-open rate)
    • Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting – 18.03%
    • Media, entertainment, and publishing – 17.15%
    • Real estate, design, and construction activities – 16.47%
    • Unknown – 15.52%
    • Government – 15.11%

Source: Campaign Monitor

  • Best days for email marketing
    • Day with the highest open rates – Thursday
    • Day with the highest click-through rates – Tuesday
    • Day with the highest click-to-open rates – Saturday
    • Day with the lowest unsubscribe rates – Sunday and Monday
    • Day with the lowest bounce rates – Monday

Source: Campaign Monitor

  • Worst days for email marketing
    • Day with the lowest open rates – Sunday
    • Day with the lowest click-through rates – Sunday
    • Day with the lowest click-to-open rates – Monday
    • Day with the highest unsubscribe rates – Wednesday
    • Day with the highest bounce rates – Friday

Leverage benchmarks to increase your email engagement and ROI

You can take advantage of Campaign Monitor’s benchmark data to boost email engagement and, therefore, ROI. Here are useful yet easy tips you can follow.

Open rate

According to benchmark data, the average open rate is 17.92%.

The best way to get an open rate similar to this (or even higher) is to optimize your subject lines. Keep these pointers in mind when writing your subject lines.

  • Personalize your email by adding the subscriber’s first name to the subject line.
  • Create excitement with time-sensitive language (ex. 24-hour sale, today only, last chance).
  • Include a number when applicable. Data from Yesware suggests it can increase open rates as much as 60%.

Click-through rate

According to benchmark data, the average click-through rate is 2.69%.

Your click-through rate (CTR) is a measure of how the percentage of subscribers who are making purchases through email. Here’s how you can increase your CTR.

  • Take advantage of subscriber data to create stronger segments. This gives you the opportunity to send promotions and offers that are relevant to each segment, which increases the likelihood of subscribers making a purchase.
  • Optimize the design and copy of your CTAs. Use buttons rather than plain links, and include benefit-focused copy (ex. Start your free trial today)
  • Catch your subscribers’  attention with unique and valuable promos and offers.

Click-to-open rate

According to benchmark data, the average click-to-open rate is 14.10%.

Your click-to-open rate measures how many subscribers open your email and also click on the link within. If you want your email viewers to also purchase your offer, you need to:

  • Ensure that your email renders perfectly on both desktop and mobile devices.
  • Make changes to your email signup forms and ask for information that will help you create better segments.
  • Make your emails simple and easy to digest—a one-column email looks much better than emails with multiple columns, especially on mobile devices.


According to benchmark data, the average unsubscribe rate is 0.17%.

When subscribers opt-out of receiving emails from you, you lose your chance of converting them into paying customers. This is why you need to avoid a high unsubscribe rate at all costs.

Here are effective ways to keep your unsubscribe rate even lower than the current benchmark.

  • Automate certain customer journeys for easier engagement. These journeys include your welcome emails, your newsletters, your product announcements, and various holiday emails.
  • Re-engage disengaged subscribers.
  • But don’t be afraid to remove them from your list if they still don’t respond.
  • Remember that email list decay is un unavoidable reality in email marketing. Engaging with your existing subscribers in the most meaningful way possible is still more important than trying to change the minds of uninterested subscribers.

Wrap up

Email marketing benchmarks provide you with a more holistic view of your email program. They allow you to compare your brand’s email marketing with others, which isn’t possible if you only look at your own data.

By taking advantage of benchmark data to find areas you need to improve on, you’ll be able to ensure maximum email marketing engagement and ROI.

To find more information on benchmarks, check out Campaign Monitor’s Ultimate Marketing Benchmarks Guide for 2019.