Average open and click rates in email marketing

open and click rates
Update: If you’d like to check out the 2017 version of this study, click here: The Big Email Marketing Industry Benchmark 2017.

In online marketing, tracking and analysing your progress is essential. And for email marketing specifically, it is important to monitor your newsletters – and the statistics relating to them. This is the only way to improve your open rates, increase you click rates and optimise your customer satisfaction.
This article will provide a detailed look into the individual values that are analysed in newsletter marketing and a comprehensive discussion of the different statistics required.

After you have sent a newsletter, Newsletter2Go’s software provides you with comprehensive evaluations. These include the most relevant figures, which can be used to calculate the success of your newsletter. Of particular relevance are the CTR (click-through rate), the open rate and the click rate, as well as the number of bounces.

Basic Tracking Terminology

The number of recipients reached is calculated as the total number of recipients to whom the newsletter was dispatched, minus the number of bounces. From this number, the click and open rates can be calculated, which can in turn be used to calculate the click-through rate.

In terms of open and click rates, a differentiation is made between average and unique clicks, and average and unique opens:

The unique opens is the number of recipients who actually opened the newsletter. If a recipient opens the newsletter multiple times, these extra ‘opens’ are not counted. As far as opens per recipient is concerned, the total number of opens is divided by the number of unique opens.

The unique clicks conveys the number of recipients who have clicked on at least one link contained within an HTML email.  As far as clicks per recipient is concerned, the total number of clicks is divided by the total number of unique clicks. This shows, therefore, how often a link was clicked on, when at least one link was clicked on.

The CTR (click-through rate) states how many recipients clicked on a link, having opened the newsletter.

The number of bounces informs you as to how many newsletters could not be delivered on account of either permanent or temporary reasons.


The following provides an overview of the most important statistics discussed above, in 25 different industries. These will help you to estimate an average open rate, for example, for your campaign. It is also possible to compare your company’s results to those in other industries. Such a comparison should help to identify optimisation opportunities for future newsletters and to increase future campaign success.

Here is a brief look at the average statistics across all industries. As you can see below, the unique open rate is 33% and the unique click rate is 5%. Bounces occur on average 2% of the time and the click-through rate is 15.26%.

Recipients according to industry

The industries with the highest number of recipients are: entertainment and events, software and web apps, production engineering, online shops and ecommerce and finally restaurants.

Industries with the least number of recipients include: religion, health and fitness, computers and electronics. The number of recipients in all these categories is noticeably lower.

Unique open rates according to industry

Highest open rates: real estate (40.89%), religion (40.11%), as well as health and fitness.

The following industries only experience open rates half of the above: restaurants (20.48%), online shops and ecommerce (25.04%), entertainment and events (26.08%)

Unique click rates according to industry

The highest unique click rates appear in the following industries: real estate (10.52%), religion (8.47%) and travel and transport (7.57%).

The lowest click rates can be found in the press industry (0.91%), restaurant industry (2.15%) and with associations (2.22%).

Bounce rates according to industry

Restaurants, associations and the press industry share a bounce rate of approximately 1.4%. Higher bounce rates are found in industries such as service (3.16%), music (2.98%) and consultation (2.59%).


The highest CTR is achieved in real estate (25.4%), production engineering (23.78%), religion (21.11%); the lowest in press, associations and computers and electronics.


The information above is intended to inform you about the statistics that are found in various different industries, and how these compare to the industry in which you work. What sort of open rates might you expect in your industry? How do the click rates perform? At what point is a bounce rate too high?

Newsletter2Go sends several million emails a day. Of course, all essential details are tracked and some additional data is too. For the evaluation above, we anonymously tracked all emails sent with us over a period of several months, then analysed, evaluated and prepared the results. This has enabled us to provide you with the information above. We have only included relevant data in the analysis. We have not included information about newsletters sent directly to our own customers, sent over the API interface or emails that have no active tracking facility.

Furthermore, our customers range from one man companies to enormous firms. For this reason, the results above can be considered to be an accurate industry average.

You can find more information and tips about improving your open rates in this blog article.

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