Determining where your email program outperforms your peers and where you need to improve can be challenging without access to industry data. You have been tracking your email open and click-through rates, and probably have general open and click benchmarks from your email service provider (our provider is emfluence), but do you know how your metrics stack up against others in your industry segment?
Two sources for industry benchmarks we use are from MailChimp and Silverpop. MailChimp sends billions of emails a month for more than 7 million users. On an annual basis, they scan hundreds of millions of emails delivered by their system (where campaign tracking was activated, and where users reported their industry) and calculated the average unique open rates, average unique click rates, average unique soft bounces, average unique hard bounces, and average unique abuse complaint rate by industry. What we like about the MailChimp benchmarks is the scope of industries tracked, 46 in total, covering a broad range of consumer and BtoB products and services.
Silverpop (an IBM company) establishes benchmarks on customer engagement (via multiple open and click metrics) and list churn (hard bounces, unsubscribes and complaints) for fourteen different industry segments. Results show that some industries are clearly outperforming others. Benchmarks are also available by message type – manual versus automated sends, and transactional versus nontransactional emails.
While this study only tracks 14 industries, the reason we like it is because Silverpop tracks both overall, mean (average) and median benchmarks. The top and bottom quartile performers are also available. By including the median, which is where half of respondents are above the middle, and half are below it, a more significant measurement than the mean can be considered.
The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) also provides benchmarking metrics annually in its annual Statistical Factbook.
For more information on email benchmarking, contact us with your industry and we’d be glad to provide you a quick summary report on the latest metrics.