We have new data! We’ve updated our report with Q1 2018.

Email Marketing Benchmarks

About the new Email Marketing Benchmarks report

Do you ever wonder how your email marketing and marketing automation campaigns stack up against others in your industry? If so, we've come to help.

We've analyzed over 2 billion emails sent by our customers from January to March 2018, in 126 countries across 19 industries.

Keep scrolling for loads of useful data on emails, marketing automation, and landing pages.

Can't find the data you're interested in? Just send us an email! We'd love to know what's important to our fellow marketers.

Michal LeszczynskiContent Marketing Manager @GetResponse

Hot finding


91.43%Open rate
26.90%Click-through rate

Location & industry

Average results by continent


  • Open rate 23.43%
  • Click-through rate 3.45%
  • Click-to-open rate 14.73%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.32%
  • Spam rate 0.01%

North America

  • Open rate 21.97%
  • Click-through rate 3.69%
  • Click-to-open rate 16.78%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.23%
  • Spam rate 0.02%


  • Open rate 28.91%
  • Click-through rate 5.15%
  • Click-to-open rate 17.83%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.29%
  • Spam rate 0.03%


  • Open rate 18.20%
  • Click-through rate 2.53%
  • Click-to-open rate 13.87%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.14%
  • Spam rate 0.01%


  • Open rate 22.47%
  • Click-through rate 2.93%
  • Click-to-open rate 13.03%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.14%
  • Spam rate 0.01%

South America

  • Open rate 26.59%
  • Click-through rate 3.94%
  • Click-to-open rate 14.83%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.17%
  • Spam rate 0.02%
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Continent Open rate Click-through rate Click-to-open rate Unsubscribe rate Spam rate

Segmentation and focus – email marketing across continents

The latest email marketing data across continents doesn’t let us down. In fact, it reveals that focusing on your subscriber and their geolocation are worth considering when you’re catering to a truly global audience.

For instance, Europe beats North America hands down – in everything: the open, click, and complaint rate.

What's more, the 4 times smaller population of Oceania sends nearly as many messages as the 1.3 billion big Africa.

So, what can you do to beat the average benchmarks?

Try modifying your offer, play with calls to action and email design – one size fits all won’t take you further than average in email marketing.

Justyna BakkerInternational Marketing Coordinator @GetResponse

Average results by country

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Country Open rate Click-through rate Click-to-open rate Unsubscribe rate Spam rate
Great Britain
United States

GDPR will influence results in the EU region

Especially due to new, strict GDPR regulations in the EU, email marketing campaign stats in countries of the region will be on the rise. These strict rules will impose keeping lists clean under the threat of a severe fine. In some other parts of the world, there are barely any regulations concerning email marketing, resulting in low-quality lists, etc.

Another thing is customer preferences. They’re different in the US, where email is a heavily used marketing channel and the results are a little lower, and in countries where companies only just started using email marketing.

When you compare your email marketing results, always consider the market you’re targetting. This is especially important when you're working in a multinational environment and have customers worldwide.

Mateusz RuzikProduct Manager @GetResponse

Average results by industry

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Industry Open rate Click-through rate Click-to-open rate Unsubscribe rate Spam rate
Arts & Entertainment35.44%6.13%17.30%0.29%0.02%
Financial Services25.99%5.27%20.29%0.25%0.03%
Health & Beauty25.59%4.90%19.16%0.29%0.04%
Health Care35.85%5.38%15.01%0.40%0.02%
Internet Marketing16.73%2.88%17.19%0.22%0.02%
Legal Services29.15%3.96%13.57%0.22%0.03%
Real Estate27.66%3.24%11.72%0.22%0.03%
Restaurants & Food39.69%4.84%12.21%0.28%0.03%
Sports & Activities32.49%4.45%13.69%0.28%0.02%
Technology & High Tech25.61%4.08%15.94%0.31%0.02%

A niche means smaller lists and more opens

Whenever you’re comparing your average email open and click-through rates, look at other companies within your industry.

Things like legal regulations, competition, or simply the industry itself will affect the average performance marketers achieve in their verticals.

In terms of the trends, stats per industry generally haven't changed in comparison to our last report.

Publishers, health care, and non-profits are still getting some of the best results.

Retail, automotive, and internet marketing – some of the most competitive industries – remain at the bottom of the list, similarly to what we’ve observed before.

Something to keep in mind:

The more specific and segmented your area of marketing is, the better results you will get.

Mateusz RuzikProduct Manager @GetResponse

Landing page conversion by industry

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Industry Average conversion rate
Arts & Entertainment8.69%
Financial Services5.11%
Health & Beauty6.47%
Health Care6.48%
Internet Marketing5.87%
Legal Services12.77%
Real Estate8.27%
Restaurants & Food7.48%
Sports & Activities11.66%
Technology & High Tech7.47%

Know your audience as much as your competition

Depending on the industry, companies can have different business objectives, naturally reflected in their landing page copy.

Non-profits and legal services, by their very nature, are industries that benefit from copy that evokes trust. We can see that this approach helps them keep their conversion rates high.

On the other hand, retail, real estate, and internet marketing are some of the most competitive industries. So it's not surprising that they have the lowest conversion rates.

My advice for companies in those industries is to research their audience well and use language that their audience uses in everyday life, focusing on their daily challenges and the jobs they want to get done.

If you're in sports and activities, publishing, or legal services, then you can safely aim at a 10% conversion rate.

Sezgin HergülProduct Marketing Specialist @GetResponse

Use of double opt-in by industry

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Industry double optin single optin
Arts & Entertainment10.34%89.66%
Financial Services12.26%87.74%
Health & Beauty10.18%89.82%
Health Care12.03%87.97%
Internet Marketing5.71%94.29%
Legal services4.21%95.79%
Real Estate7.99%92.01%
Restaurants & Food6.59%93.41%
Sports and Activities14.35%85.65%
Technology & High Tech7.54%92.46%

Double opt-in – a very underrated way we can grow

I’m a huge fan of double opt-in. Lean lists mean better results, and email deliverability is so much better when you have proven your list using double opt-in. It’s also great security-wise, will prevent anyone from injecting spam traps or other harmful emails to your list. It’s also worth mentioning that due to the new GDPR laws in the EU, we should see growth in double opt-ins for European countries.

If you’re interested, you’ll find more insights on the benefits of using confirmed opt-in on our blog.

Mateusz RuzikProduct Manager @GetResponse

Time & frequency

Results by hour of day

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What's the best time to send emails? Whenever your audience thinks it is.

What's the best time to send your emails to get the highest engagement? Short answer: it depends.

In general, there seem to be two time slots you could aim for.

The first one around 11 AM – shortly after people arrive at work and have their morning coffee.

The second one – which had the biggest spike in average open-rates – around 2 PM. We could theorize that this because the recipients have just returned from lunch and they’re catching up with the emails from the past couple of hours.

At the same time, similarly to our previous reports, we're again seeing an increase in engagement rates later in the afternoon, after 6 PM when most of us return home. This is when we’re seeing the highest click-through rates.

This might mean that especially in the holiday season, you can capture your audiences' attention even later during the day, when they're most likely to make a purchase online.

But while we're at it – don't forget that every audience is different! You can find out the best time to contact your email subscribers by checking your analytics or using the Perfect Timing or Time Travel features.

Michal LeszczynskiContent Marketing Manager @GetResponse

Results by day of week

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What's the best day to send emails? It's different for opens and clicks.

This is another one of the most frequently asked questions among marketers – what's the best day to send emails? All our previous editions showed it to be Tuesday, but for the last two quarters the answer's not as straightforward.

In terms of achieving the highest average open rates, Friday took the lead in the 2018 Q1 edition of our report.

But if we're looking for the highest average click-throughs – after all this is the closest we can get when thinking of conversions – then Tuesday remains the best-performing day.

So as you can see, answering this question is never an easy task. It will always depend on the target audience you want to reach and how they behave. When do they have time to read and act upon your messages? Is it the same time every day? Or does it vary from day to day? It's hard to say.

My gut feeling agrees that Tuesday should be the best day, as most of us have a lot of emails and projects to catch up with on Monday. Having cleared the inbox and planned out the whole week, by the time Tuesday arrives you should be able to check your messages and engage with the communication.

But again, it might be different for different people, especially during the holiday sales season when consumers more willingly spend time searching through their emails looking for great offers and gift ideas. So instead of wondering, just run an A/B test and see for yourself. Check if Tuesday's also the best for you or maybe it's Friday or Monday? Don't just look at opens and clicks. Include conversion rates in your decision-making process as that's what you're really looking to improve.

Michal LeszczynskiContent Marketing Manager @GetResponse

Number of newsletters per week

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# of newsletters Open rate Click-through rate Click-to-open rate

The fewer, the better

You might be familiar with the quote: in sales, persistence pays off.

Is it also true for email marketing? Without the knowledge about conversion rates, we’ll have to say: no, in email relevance pays off. How so?

Your audience will reward you with higher open and click rates if you don't exceed 5 newsletters a week.

And in case you approach your 14th message in 7 days, you can count on your open rate falling by a whopping 25%!

But opens are meaningless if your audience doesn't click.

Want to get more conversions from email? Hold your horses and limit your communication to 2 newsletters a week.

It's worth it.

Justyna BakkerInternational Marketing Coordinator @GetResponse

Number of autoresponders in a cycle

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# of messages % of cycles Open rate Click-through rate Click-to-open rate Unsubscribe rate Spam rate

It’s not about length – it’s about value

Shorter autoresponder cycles tend to produce better results. But it’s not really about length – it’s all about delivering value. You can easily run engaging long-term campaigns if your emails remain useful to your subscribers.

The trick is to understand the customer journey and match content to context at every stage. For example, B2B sales cycles are usually complex and might sometimes extend into years. They require long email sequences and create great opportunities to address your target audience’s information needs.

Irek KlimczakContent Marketing Expert @GetResponse


Average results by message type


  • Open rate 46.84%
  • Click−through rate 11.13%
  • Click−to−open rate 23.77%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.59%
  • Spam rate 0.05%


  • Open rate 35.52%
  • Click−through rate 7.29%
  • Click−to−open rate 20.52%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.40%
  • Spam rate 0.03%


  • Open rate 24.73%
  • Click−through rate 6.02%
  • Click−to−open rate 24.35%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.11%
  • Spam rate 0.01%

Relevance is the key to high engagement

And to be relevant, you need to know your audience (mainly their information needs and preferences). This is why marketing automation cycles bring the best results.

With marketing automation, you can collect important data along the customer journey and use it to segment your list and personalize marketing communication.

Irek KlimczakContent Marketing Expert @GetResponse

Use of video

  • Open rate 29.78%
  • Click-through rate 5.96%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.26%
  • Spam rate 0.04%
  • Open rate 46.20%
  • Click-through rate 11.81%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.33%
  • Spam rate 0.02%
  • Open rate 8.02%
  • Click-through rate 1.06%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.11%
  • Spam rate 0.01%

Other / None

  • Open rate 24.38%
  • Click-through rate 3.93%
  • Unsubscribe rate 0.24%
  • Spam rate 0.02%

Waiting for email clients

No change of situation compared to our last report.

Still, we’re not ready for video in email. There is no broad support of this feature among the email clients.

For the time being, the best way around it is to use an image (maybe even an animated GIF) that looks like a video player and link it to your page. This way you'll improve your click-throughs and the experience of your contacts.

However, as soon as Google implements this feature (they haven't elaborated on that yet), it will spread quickly throughout email clients.

Mateusz RuzikProduct Manager @GetResponse

Number of characters in email subject lines

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Give the reader an idea of what’s inside

Your subject lines need to be compelling enough to get people to open the email. So, in most cases, it’s not about the length of the subject line but about conveying the message.

The title of the email should give the reader an idea of what’s inside. If the content is relevant to your audience, it's easy to come up with a subject line that results in a high open rate.

Bear in mind that some email clients, especially those on mobile devices, show fewer characters and may cut out some of the words from your subject lines.

Remember about that when crafting your messages and consider adding the most important information at the beginning of your subject lines. This way you’ll be sure your message is received correctly.

Irek KlimczakContent Marketing Expert @GetResponse

Emoji in email subject lines

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Emoji % of messages Open rate

Emoji and emails, a match made in heaven (maybe)

I don’t like emoji. There, I said it. But, because I’m still an email marketer from time to time, I’ve come to think that my personal feelings about certain techniques don’t matter a jot if they have a positive impact on conversions.

So, DO emojis have a positive impact on opens rates? Seemingly yes – it’s 30% versus 24.

But, it’s a pretty recent trend, and still, less than 9% of marketers have ever emojified their email subject lines.

I’d say – the proof is in the audience, and the scope of your business.

Justyna BakkerInternational Marketing Coordinator @GetResponse

Personalization in email subject lines

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Personalized? % of messages Open rate

Hey, you! Here's why subject line personalization matters

Although 87% of marketers don’t personalize their email subject lines, it doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. Because 13% of us did, and we did it right – the OR was pumped by nearly 4%. Every email marketer wants happy and engaged contacts. Happy contacts = increased engagement and revenue potential. So be authentic, and take the time to show your contacts they really matter. How? By personalizing your subject lines, for starters.

Justyna BakkerInternational Marketing Coordinator @GetResponse


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Preheader? % of messages Open rate Click-through rate Click-to-open rate

Use a preheader as an extension of the subject line

Use a preheader as an extension of the subject line, and you’ll increase the chances of getting your email opened.

In fact, you should make use of all the elements that subscribers see in the inbox before they open the email.

Used well, the so-called envelope (sender, subject line, and preheader) can make a difference.

And your average open rates will reflect that.

Irek KlimczakContent Marketing Expert @GetResponse


Average results by list size

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List size Open rate Click-through rate Click-to-open rate Unsubscribe rate Spam rate
1,000 - 2,49932.41%5.78%17.82%0.37%0.03%
2,500 - 4,99925.06%4.23%16.89%0.25%0.02%
5,000 - 9,99920.96%3.36%16.05%0.19%0.02%
10,000 - 24,99918.72%2.90%15.49%0.15%0.01%
25,000 - 49,99916.75%2.07%12.37%0.12%0.01%
50,000 - 99,99915.22%1.78%11.67%0.11%0.01%

Email lists: when quality beats quantity!

When it comes to email lists, email marketers have long preached the importance of quality over quantity. Now is this true? Without knowing the overall conversion rates, it's hard to say for sure.

What we can see clearly, though, is that marketers with smaller lists are better at engaging their audience, and their messages tend to get higher average open and click-through rates. In fact, this trend's been visible over the last two quarters.

The lesson? When you're growing your lists, don't lose touch with your customers! Build relationships just like you would if you were running a corner store. Personalize your subscriber experience and make sure the conversation keeps delivering value to them. Your audience will appreciate it and pay you back with interest.

Michal LeszczynskiContent Marketing Manager @GetResponse

Types of email clients

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Type % of message opens
Standalone (e.g. Apple Mail)16.99%
Web-based (e.g. Gmail)56.52%

Design for all devices with your CTA in mind

The data clearly shows that people use email on all devices with a strong trend towards mobile.

It’s great news for email marketers – your customers interact with your emails whenever and wherever they feel like.

That means that in order to be successful, you need to apply responsive design principles that make your emails look great on any device and work well with all email clients.

That’s why you should start designing your templates with a CTA in mind, test your results, and optimize for conversion.

Irek KlimczakContent Marketing Expert @GetResponse

Email address length

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Aim for all

The growth of your contact list depends heavily on the performance of your lead capture forms.

When designing and optimizing forms and landing pages, keep it in mind that people can have long email addresses. Make sure that your forms are big enough to fit them.

You can also try asking for business emails in your forms since they’re often shorter than personal emails.

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