The 2020 email marketing benchmarks by industry

From MailerLite:

If you’re an Olympic runner, it’s great to beat your personal best time. But your own time means nothing unless you compare it with the other runners in the race.

In the same way, you need to know the average performance metrics of similar companies to gauge the success of your email strategy.

Every week you open your dashboard with anticipation to see if your email campaign is performing well. Among the most important metrics that you look at first are your open, bounce, click and unsubscribe rates. These email marketing statistics help you determine if your newsletters are breaking through and resonating with your subscribers.

. . . .

2020 benchmarks across all industries

Average open rate: 25.35%

Average click rate: 3.82%

Average unsubscribe rate: 0.39%

Average bounce rate: 0.83%

. . . .

The campaign metrics of MailerLite customers by industry

. . . .

Here’s a little terminology MailerLite provides that may be helpful

Open rates

The open rate shows the percentage of the total subscribers that opened the email campaign.

Click rates

The email click rate shows you the percentage of people who clicked on a link somewhere in your email. These clicks show how relevant your content is.


The unsubscribe rate is the percentage of people who click the unsubscribe link in your email. Though it means fewer recipients, you can make the best of it using unsubscribe surveys to improve your email content.

Bounce rates

Bounced emails are addresses that could not be delivered successfully to recipients of email marketing campaigns. For various reasons, the recipient’s server will return the newsletter to the sender, hence the term “bounce“, and it can negatively impact email deliverability.

Your guide to understanding soft and hard email bounces

A bounced email is an email that couldn’t be delivered to the recipient.

A soft bounce is a temporary issue, where the email reaches the recipient’s email server but bounces back undelivered. Soft bounces could be caused by several reasons, such as a full mailbox, an offline email server, or a message file that’s too large.

A hard bounce is an email that couldn’t be delivered for permanent reasons, such as the address doesn’t exist or the server has blocked you. The email is returned to the sender and is completely undeliverable. When this occurs, your email marketing tool will no longer send emails to those email addresses. A high volume of hard bounces is problematic for email deliverability.

There is a great deal of additional information at MailerLite and thanks to Harald for the tip.

PG notes that email is an important marketing tool for a great many indie authors.

If anyone can provide links to other email marketing resources that may be helpful for indies, feel free to include information and/or links in the comments.

A note that if you include a large number of links in a single comment, your comment may be held for review or otherwise intercepted because lots of links in a comment is one of the trademarks of comment spammers.

If you have concerns about a comment with links being blocked, you can email PG directly via the Contact PG link at the top of the blog.

2 thoughts on “The 2020 email marketing benchmarks by industry”

  1. I use MailerLite. Looking at their “author” figures, I get double their average Open Rate and about triple the Click Rate. Not sure why (brilliant content? ;-), but I’m guessing it has something to do with my small list size, which is hovering around Dunbar’s Number (I’ll make you look that up).

    But it is fascinating to see what others in different industries are doing/getting.

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