How Does Your Average Click Through Rate Stack Up to Your Competitors?


Image by Dominique Godbout via Flickr

Got an email list?  When you send a message to that list,  you probably want them to do something (comment, buy, click for more information), right?

So, the higher your average click through rate and open rate the better.


The question is, are you getting a good click-through rate? Or does it need improvement?

Are your average open and click through rates high enough?

How do they compare to your peers, or other people in your industry?

No comparison is perfect – it’s like well, apples and oranges, each industry and audience will be different.

Some companies find they get better results on weekends, others on Thursdays.  In some cases, time of day is important.  And, of course, you need to write a subject line that gets opened.

How does your average open rate compare?

Here are some resources to help  you find out.

Email metrics report: Put out yearly by Mailer Mailer, this report tracks the results from over 900 million email messages. It’s got data by industry, list sizes, open rates, click through rates, personalization, and subject lines.

Marketing Sherpa Email Newsletter: A free newsletter with case studies (these often include screen shots, interviews, and specific statistics) on topics such as: low cost ways to build your list, simple changes that improved orders by 29%, and using Facebook to get more signups.

AWeber: AWeber will manage your list for you, and also track your open rates, click throughs, and bounces (emails that never quite made it to their destination).

With this data, you can see how well each email performs and even send a second message to subscribers who didn’t open  your first email.

In fact, a recent case study in the Marketing Sherpa newsletter showed one firm got a 55% increase in sales with this strategy.

Hubspot: Webinar on demand with info on the science of email marketing: how days of the week affect average click-throughs, opt-out rates based on the day of the week and time of day, and whether recent subscribers are more likely to click than older ones.

Highest open rates by industry

  • Agriculture 25.3%
  • Religious 21.0%
  • Transportation 18.1%0%
  • Large Business 17.3%

Lowest average open rates (by industry)

  • Entertainment 9.2%
  • Banking 8.2%
  • Marketing 7.4%
  • Medical 7.3%

Highest average click through rates by sector

  • Religious 10.5%
  • Transportation 7.6%
  • Environmental 4.8%
  • Retail 4.5%

Lowest click through rates

  • Legal 0.9%
  • Marketing 0.8%
  • Entertainment 0.7%
  • Restaurant 0.7%

(stats from 2010 Mailer Mailer report)

Open and click through rates will vary

Your mileage will vary.  Reports on average open rates and average click through rates can give you an idea of the kinds of things to look for (time of day, size of list, location, etc.), but they can’t pinpoint exactly how your audience will respond.

Test, test, test

Experiment with subject lines.  Try dividing up your list (if it’s big enough) by industry or location. Test the time of day that you send your messages.  Change the day of the week.  Add more links.  Test the response of new subscribers against longstanding readers. See what happens.