Key Insights from the New Email Marketing Benchmarks Report Q3 2019 – Q2 2020
by Michal Leszczynski last updated on 0

Key Insights from the New Email Marketing Benchmarks Report Q3 2019 – Q2 2020

Curious to know what’s new in the world of email marketing? Maybe you’d like to learn which strategies continue to drive positive ROI and which ones may not be worth your effort? Or perhaps you’d like to know how your email campaigns compare with those of others in your industry?

If you said yes to any of these questions, then you’ll want to check out our freshly updated Email Marketing Benchmarks report that looked at over 5.5 billion emails sent by our customers from July 2019 to June 2020.

Inside, you’ll find the latest email marketing statistics and insights that’ll help you make better-informed decisions regarding your email marketing program.

Below, you’ll see a snapshot of the key findings and what they mean for your business.

Table Of Contents

1. Want higher conversion rates? Focus on value and simplicity.

One of the new areas we decided to analyze is the impact of adding extra fields to your landing page subscription forms on the average conversion rates.

It’s an old marketing adage that adding any extra field into your forms will drastically decrease your conversion rates. 

But while it seems like common sense that adding any potential roadblocks will lower your subscription rate, we decided it’s best to see whether the data will tell a similar story.

So, here’s the average landing page conversion rate our customers saw and the length of their forms:

Number of fields in the formTwoThreeFour +
Average landing page conversion rate3.07%1.22%1.16%
Average landing page conversion rate vs. form length

From the table, we can see that the adage was correct. The shorter forms observe higher average conversion rates. If you’ve got only two fields (e.g., name and email), you’re looking at an average conversion rate of 3.07%. If you’re asking for one more piece of information (e.g., phone number), your subscription rate will likely drop by more than half (1.22%). And adding any extra fields will only slightly decrease your fill out rates.

While the trend we see here isn’t surprising, shocking is how drastic the drop is between two and three fields – 3.07% vs. 1.22% gives us a 60.3% drop in the conversion rates.

What this means:

Be careful about asking your website visitors about any additional information (other than the essential) in your landing page signup forms.

While we’re big believers that email list quality is more important than its quantity, you need to be aware of the impact the extra fields may have on your list growth and, eventually, the bottom line.

In most cases, you’ll be better off if you ask for the essential information upfront in the form and only later try to collect more data through your communication. There are many ways to incentivize subscribers to provide more information, like offering them extended warranty or free returns on your products, so you may want to explore that.

Read more: 15 spectacular pop-up examples and what makes them great

2. Want higher engagement from your automated campaigns? Focus on convenience.

We’ve long been preaching that automated email campaigns beat email blasts in pretty much every essential aspect.

They generate higher open rates and click-through rates (presented in the chart below) – and are better for your email deliverability, too.

The effectiveness of different email types.
The effectiveness of different email types.

But as we looked at different types of automated messages – welcome emails, webinar confirmations, and webinar reminders in particular – we’ve noticed that their average open and click-through rates were exceptionally high.

Here’s what we’ve observed:

Message typeAverage open rateAverage click-through rate
Welcome email86.03%24.69%
Webinar invite26.04%3.57%
Webinar reminder – sent at start time108.01%39.26%
Webinar reminder – sent 5 minutes before the webinar104.91%41.10%
Webinar reminder – sent 30 minutes before the webinar115.46%52.86%
Webinar reminder – sent 1 hour before the webinar138.41%64.41%
Webinar reminder – sent 1 day before the webinar133.00%29.89%
The effectiveness of different types of automated emails.

Note: We counted the total number of opens and clicks the recipients made, so a 100%+ result means the average subscriber opened the message more than once.

So, what makes these emails different from the average triggered email that they score so high?

We think it comes down to expectation and practicality. Your audience expects to receive an email reminder or a message confirming that they successfully opted into your list.

These emails are sent directly in response to your subscriber’s actions. While product recommendations and other follow up messages are handy, they’re not nearly as relevant as automated confirmation and reminder emails.

On top of that, these emails usually include a link a user wants to click on. A link that leads them onto your site, your event, or whatever offer they signed up for. They’re super convenient because they save your audience time and provide a shortcut to what they’re really interested in.

What this means:

It’s not news that you should be automating your marketing communications if you want your email engagement rates to soar. 

What we’d like to suggest this time, however, is that you go beyond automating your promotional communications. Think beyond what you want to sell or present to your audience – and consider what information they’d find most helpful.

Think about all kinds of transactional emails, such as confirmation messages, receipts, or abandoned cart reminders.

Example of an abandoned cart transactional email.
Example of an abandoned cart transactional email

Read more: 

What is email automation?

Email marketing best practices for 2021

3. Looking for the best time to send an email? Have an open mind.

We’d all want to know what the best time or day to send an email is. But guess what?

After analyzing the data for different regions and then looking again at it from the global perspective, we know one thing for sure:

There’s no such thing as the single best time to send an email.

(Other than when your recipient is expecting it, that is)

Our data did show that marketers who send their email campaigns early in the day – even at 3-4 am – get the best results.

But given how few marketers deploy their emails at that time, I’d instead suggest that you consider how everything changed about our lives in 2020 and whether the best time isn’t one of those things.

Email engagement rates by hour of day – data from the Email Marketing Benchmarks report.
Best Time to Send Email Global Results.
Email engagement rates by hour of day – data from The Best Time to Send an Email study.

What this means:

If you can, send your email campaigns using send-time optimization algorithms that look at your recipients’ behavior or their time zone (in GetResponse, these features are called Perfect Timing and Time-travel).

If you’re not able to do that because you’re launching a flash sale campaign or your email marketing tool doesn’t have these capabilities, look at our data and run an A/B test to see what works for your audience best. 

Read more: 11 Ways to Increase Your Email Open Rate

4. Want more ROI from your email marketing campaigns? Play the long-term game.

Our report saw that the average open and click-throughs decreased globally compared to the previous edition of this study.

Some of the reasons this may have happened include the fact that we increased our research scope. We analyzed a full-year worth of data, part of which took place during the pandemic.

Another reason for this may be that marketers changed their behavior, particularly in the first half of 2020. Many increased their sending volumes, which usually leads to lower average engagement results.

You can read more on this in our report – Email Marketing During Covid-19 and Beyond

That said, we see that these tried-and-tested tactics continue to drive high results for email marketers around the world:

1. Personalize your email subject lines.

 Emails that used personalization in the subject line saw a higher average open rate of 20.66% – compared to 19.57% observed for the more generic messages. Following this tactic could potentially lead to a 5.6% uplift in your email opens, on average.

Personalized subject line in email from Zest.
Personalized subject line in email from Zest

2. Personalize your email content.

Emails that contained personalized content inside the email body had an average click-through rate of 2.48%. Compared to the 2.33%, following this tactic could lead to a 6.4% uplift in your click-throughs, on average.

Personalized email from Grammarly.
Personalized email from Grammarly

3. Use visuals.

Emails that contained images scored higher in open rates (21.44% vs. 15.02%) and click-through rates (2.68% vs. 1.56%). We observed the same trend for emails that featured videos. Emails that promoted YouTube or Vimeo content saw open rates of 24.68% and 38.89%, respectively (vs. 19.23%), and click-through rates of 3.31% and 7.74% (vs. 2.28%).

Webinar invitation email featuring a video.
Webinar invitation email featuring a video

4. Automate your campaigns.

Even in their simplest form, automated emails beat email blasts in terms of engagement. Autoresponders (26.47%, 3.60%), RSS emails (23.09%, 3.55%), and Triggered emails (38.03%, 6.76%) – all saw higher open and click-through rates than what was reported for newsletters (18.76%, 2.14%).

Simple onboarding workflow consisting of two emails.
Simple onboarding workflow consisting of two emails.

What this means:

We’ve looked at some of the quick-win tactics that include keeping your subject lines short or including specific phrases in them. Not too surprisingly, we didn’t observe any significant effects of these tactics on our customers’ email engagement rates.

Contrary, our Email Marketing Benchmarks report seems to tell a different story. The story that old tried-and-tested strategies and looking at email marketing as the long-term game is the right way forward.

Read more: 
Email design best practices for 2021
30+ best email campaigns and why we loved them

5. Want to optimize your campaigns? Always start by understanding the context.

Finally, once again, in our report, we saw that the average email marketing statistics vary based on several factors.

 For example:

  • Where you’re located
  • What industry you’re in
  • How big your email list is
  • Where your audience lives
  • What content you’re promoting

What this means:

When you look at the report, you’ll notice that these differences play a huge role.

Email marketing statistics in different regions.

And as a result, if you want to make any decisions based on the data you see or best-practices you read, you should always consider your business context first.

Don’t get discouraged – or overoptimistic – just because your engagement rates aren’t similar to the average results. Look into more detail and verify what the rates look like for your industry, location, or list-size, and only then start setting targets for future campaigns.

 Read more: Email marketing KPIs guide

What to do next

Email marketing is always evolving, so it’s worth keeping an eye on the latest trends and developments.

Come back to this article, as we’ll keep adding new insights from our email marketing benchmarks report.

Once you’ve set a goal you’d like to achieve with your email statistics, take a look at this guide that contains 20 tips on how you can improve your opens, clicks, unsubscribes, and spam complaint rates.

To learn more how you can up your email marketing game, visit the GetResponse Resources.

Have a question – or need feedback? Just leave a comment below.

Good luck!

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