2019 Email Benchmarks: Which Industries Performed Well, on Which Days?

February 5, 2020

CampaignMonitor US Email CTR by Industry and Day Feb2020Even though marketers increasingly feel that email effectiveness is on a downward slope, the channel remains a digital workhorse. With brands battling for attention in the inbox and focusing on increasing engagement, it’s worth taking a look a new email benchmarks from 2019 offered in a new report from Campaign Monitor.

Open Rate

The average email open rate in the US, across all industries, was 17%, per Campaign Monitor’s analysis of more than 30 billion emails sent globally by its customers. Industries including Nonprofit (25.2%), Education (25%) and Government (22.6%) all fared well, with open rates well above average. Media, Entertainment and Publishing also had an above-average open rate (18.1%), while the Financial Services industry fell just below, at 16%.

Retail had the lowest open rate of all the industries, at 12.1%. However, retailers’ open rates varied by day. As it turns out, the best day for retailers to get their emails opened was Tuesdays, when open rates stood at 13%. Don’t wait a day! Wednesdays appear to be the day to avoid, when open rates dropped to 11.4%.

However, midweek appears to be the best time for emails to be opened for the Financial Services industry, with an average open rate of 16.8% on Wednesdays. This is just a slightly higher open rate than seen on Mondays (16.7%).

By contrast, Tuesdays and Thursdays sported the best average open rate for the Media, Entertainment and Publishing industry. On these days the open rate was 19.1%, exceeding the 19% average.

Click-Through Rate

The average click-through rate (CTR) across all industries last year was 2.5%.

While the Financial Services industry was a little below-average in its open rates last year, it came out right on average when it came to click-throughs. While the average CTR for Financial Services brands didn’t vary too much during the week, Saturday was the low day, at 2.4%.

Media, Entertainment and Publishing companies, for their part, boasted a CTR well above the average, of 3.0%. As with open rates, Thursdays were the best day for click-throughs for this industry, when its average CTR peaked at 3.3%.

Although Retail did not have the lowest average CTR – Travel, Hospitality and Leisure (1.7%), Professional Services (1.4%) and Food and Beverage (1.1%) all fared worse – it was still below average at 1.9%. As with open rates, Tuesday emerged as the best day for click-throughs on retailer emails (2.0% CTR) while Wednesday was the worst (1.7%).

Click-to-Open Rate

The average click-to-open rate (CTOR) across all industries was 14.8%, per the report. This is one area of email marketing where the Retail industry performs above average, with a CTOR of 15.4%. Media, Entertainment and Publishing and Financial Services also performed better than the average in CTOR, averaging 16.4% and 15.6%, respectively.

Thursday and Saturday tended to be the strongest days for CTOR for Retail, at 15.9% on both days. While Sunday had the lowest CTOR for the Retail industry (14.8%), it was the best day for Financial Services industry, with CTOR of 16.7% that day.

Media, Entertainment and Publishing industry emails averaged the highest CTOR (17.2%) on Thursday. With open, click and click-to-open rates highest on Thursdays, it seems safe to say that emailers in this industry should take a close look at Thursdays for their campaigns. (Requisite disclaimer: individual results may vary!)

The full report with additional benchmarks can be found here.

About the Data: Benchmarks are based on an analysis of more than 30 billion emails sent globally in 2019 by Campaign Monitor customers.

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