People often ask me:

“what’s a good open rate for emails?”

“what’s a decent click-through rate?”

“how do our campaigns compare?”

“are we doing a good job?”

They’re looking for email statistics to compare subscriber engagement for open, clickthrough and delivery rates, ideally within their sector.

The answer is always “it depends,” but it’s never an answer anyone wants to hear.

If you’re doing a good job or not depends on the demographics of your list, their stage of awareness, their recency, your industry, your product, your copy, your email software’s ability to deliver the emails, Gmail’s willingness to put you in the right or wrong tab, and the list goes on.

With this disclaimer, which I felt obligated to include, I can provide you with some numbers. Take it only as a very rough benchmark. You could be well below the industry average and still be killing it, or you could have top engagement but minimal sales from your emails.

The numbers are divided into three ways of presentation:

  • Email engagement rates for small and medium businesses
  • Email engagement rates for large businesses
  • Market share for email clients (mobile, desktop)

Email engagement rates for small and medium businesses

Constant Contact’s average email and open and click-through rates by industry, last updated December 2017:


(For all the images, click to see the full version)

MailChimp has email benchmark stats which give a great source of comparing email response by industry.

The top industries by clickthrough rates:


E-commerce is not visible here. It’s next to last in open rate and in the bottom 30% in click-through rate.

MailChimp last updated the stats in February 2017, and you can find the full list here.

Email engagement rates for large businesses

The results for Mailchimp are more typical of smaller and mid-size businesses, rather than large brands. The data below is from email benchmark compilation from Silverpop who is now owned by IBM, so clients tend to represent larger businesses.


Rather than click-through rates that are also available in the report, I have picked out Click-to-open which shows engagement with the copy and creative. As a rule of thumb you should look for 10 to 15% CTOR so that you can compare emails against this benchmark.


Market share for email clients (mobile, desktop)

Litmus, one of the best sources for stats on email marketing regularly produce a summary of the email experience of different users – this is their 2018 round-up of the previous year.


Nearly half of emails are opened on smartphones and tablets.

36% – webmail.

Most popular email clients:


Top 3: iPhone, Gmail, iPad.


  • Optimize for mobile
  • And webmail
  • Make sure your emails are delivered (nowhere to be seen in the stats, but if your email isn’t delivered, it sure can’t be opened)
  • Read my emails to learn how to improve your email marketing efforts, so that you can beat your industry average. I often write on this topic.

Email marketing engagement and response statistics 2018


PS. Industry averages tend to be just that – averages. If you put even minimal effort, it’s not hard to be better than 50% of your industry. Having said that, it’s still cool to report that my numbers are above average 😁😎