Having the ability to measure your email marketing campaigns against competitors in your industry can give you high-level insight into how well your campaign is really doing compared to others.

Email marketing within this digital age can be tricky for any business considering the low open rates of emails. Constant Contact conducted research in 2018 in order to analyze the average open, click-through and bounce rates of emails sent to customers in different industries and summarized the findings.

The results from this research were quite interesting.

The statistics showed that across all industries the average total open rate of emails in 2018 was 18.09%. Breaking this figure down according to device showed that open rates for emails sent to mobile devices was 61.03%, emails sent to tablets had a 13.52% open rate, while emails sent to computers had a 60.36% open rate.

The research also showed that emails sent from religious organizations and educational institutions had the highest open rate, while the technology, retail and marketing/advertising industries had the lowest open rates.

Keep in mind though that the higher performers likely have an established relationship with the people they are sending emails to, while the lower performers probably don’t have such an established relationship with their target audience.

Transactional and non-transactional emails

When analyzing statistics there are always a few factors to keep in mind when it comes to emails, for starters, are the emails transactional or non-transactional emails? Transactional emails are emails that are triggered by something a person has done, such as complete a purchase or request a password reset for example, an action that usually results in an email being sent, so the person will expect it.

A non-transactional email is an email that a user did not trigger, such as a marketing or sales email. It is safe to say that transactional emails will obviously have a higher open rate than non-transactional emails.

While transactional emails are normally sent to confirm or respond to a request, marketers could use this to their advantage by selling more products or services through cross-sells, up-sells and even promotions related to the product or service that was already purchased.

Click-through rates vs open rates

While high open rates are important to businesses, it is the click-through rates that are a lot more important. Getting someone to take action is a lot harder than just getting them to open an email.

Click-through rates mean more in terms of making purchases and getting a return on investment, but without good open rates, click-throughs are less likely.

Unsubscribe rates

While the focus is usually on open and click-through rates, the number of people unsubscribing from a mailing list is an issue that should not be ignored.

People unsubscribe for a number of reasons, from receiving emails too frequently to receiving emails that lack value, identifying the reason can help businesses better their email campaigns.

Having people unsubscribe from a mailing list is a reality that cannot be avoided but being able to keep the unsubscribe rate down should be a main focus for all businesses. Identifying the unsubscribe rates in your industry will help shed light on whether or not your email campaign is on par with those of competitors. Constant

Contact also provided statistics for unsubscribe rates in various industries, and the industries with the highest unsubscribe rates include home and building services, animal services and health professionals, while the industries with the lowest unsubscribe rates include the fitness industry, and surprisingly, the marketing/advertising industry.

Although a strange picture, keep in mind that industries that email more heavily may have lower unsubscribe rates because their total number of emails sent is much higher.

Mobile email

It is becoming more and more popular for people to check their email on their mobile phones.

This is supported by Constant Contact’s statistics that show that open rates for emails sent to mobile devices in 2018 was 61.03%. Most of the time mobile phones are more readily accessible than computers, so this needs to be taken into consideration when setting up an email campaign.

Creating emails that can be viewed easily on a mobile device is crucial.

Bounce rates

Digital marketers should also always keep track of bounce rates. A bounce rate is determined by measuring the number of emails that are sent compared to the number of emails that are delivered. If bounce rates are high then it is important to try and identify why.


Having access to these statistics can help give marketers a good idea of how well their email campaigns are doing compared to competitors, however, these statistics will have much more meaning and will paint a much more accurate picture when their own business or industry is taken into consideration.

Marketers should make a habit of analyzing important data like this as it might shed light on possible shortcomings of the campaigns.

If you would like to learn about digital marketing or specifically email marketing. Be sure to have a look at the Digital School of Marketing array of accredited online marketing courses.