This post doesn’t invent anything, doesn’t explain anything and doesn’t take any position: it compiles! In this case, it compiles stats that I find useful and that talk about email marketing in the broadest sense (or even email for that matter). It’s like a big directory I come back to from time to time… and that could interest you too.
I’ve organized these stats by theme. I have also made a huge sorting among all the stats that appear on the subject, to keep only those that seem most relevant to me.
If you find new useful stats on the subject, don’t hesitate to add them as comments 🙂
Last update: February 2020
Email marketing and $$$
Another study shows that the median ROI of email is five to six times higher than the ROI of other marketing channels (social media, direct mail, search ads, display ads).
Email traffic converts on average at 3.2%, compared to 1.95% for search engine traffic and 0.7% for social media traffic.
22% of organizations manage to calculate the value of an email address (its lifetime value).
B2C organizations estimate the value of an email address to be around £31.4, while B2B organizations estimate it to be around £26.7. However, there are significant variations across industries.
Email vs Social media
Rather than selecting a few stats, I use here an image from Optinmonster which sums up the situation well:
In addition to offering better performance, email marketing has a huge advantage: it’s a real asset for a company, its email address base belongs to it.
Unlike social media, where the fans or followers of an organization belong to the platform, which can decide overnight to change the rules of the game (reduce the reach of a publication) or even close accounts.
Lastly, social media are currently experiencing a crisis of confidence. In 2018, 40% of French people said they had deleted at least one of their “social media” accounts in the previous year because they no longer trusted the platform to handle their personal information correctly. This proportion is even higher among the younger generation.
Email usage trends
83% of Internet users are still using their very first email address as their primary address — hi, firstname.lastname@example.org. That sounds huge!
49% of Americans would like to receive promotional emails from their favorite (retail) brands every week! A huge proportion, which I’d like to compare to Europe…
57% of Internet users give a false email address when they arrive on a site asking them for an email to be able to continue.
34% of Gmail users have activated one or more classification “tabs” (Promotions, Notifications, etc…).
Of all the emails received by Gmail users, only 2.41% are not classified as belonging to one of the 4 categories (68.4% of incoming emails are classified in promotions).
Open rate & Click-through rate
In France, according to GetResponse (2019), the average open rate would be 36.25% while the click-through rate would be 5.22%. Surprisingly high stats, especially in comparison with the European average, still given by the same source: 26.84% and 4.35%.
These figures still vary according to sources, from Mailchimp (2019) to Acoustic (2019) and to Campaign Monitor (2019) which is more conservative.
When I am asked the question, I answer that generally speaking, the average open rate of an email campaign is between 20% and 25%. As for the CTR, let’s say between 2% and 4%, again with huge variations.
The average open rate depends greatly on the size of the list: 28% for a list of 1000 to 2500 recipients, half as much for a list of 50000+ recipients.
⚠️ In January 2020, Verizon (owner of AOL and Yahoo Mail) conducted tests on open rates, comparing the actual open rates in its email clients with the open rates displayed by the ESPs. Conclusion: the rates displayed by the ESPs are up to three times higher than the actual opening rates!
Open and click-through rates are much higher (in e-commerce at least) when sending to a highly segmented list compared to a non-segmented list: 16.17% vs. 9.95% for open rate, 1.99% vs. 0.92% for CTR.
This is even more impressive for the revenue generated: highly segmented campaigns generate three times more revenue per recipient ($0.19) than non-segmented campaigns ($0.06).
Lastly, the unsubscribe rate is twice as high for non-segmented campaigns compared to highly segmented campaigns.
The sender’s name is the most important factor when deciding to open an email (for 42% of recipients) followed by the subject line (34%).
Only 4% to 7% of emails have an emoji in the subject line!
I’m really surprised by this stat, I would have bet on many more (I’m probably in the target that gets more). Knowing that these emails have an open rate 3 points higher (25% vs 22% without an emoji in the subject line), it’s worth putting some in from time to time — without abusing 😉
I don’t like to give stats about the best time or day to send an email, because the main variable is the audience that will receive that email. Basically, it depends! But for the greedy ones, here are a few things.
The beginning of the month seems to be a better time to send promotional newsletters (B2C). The middle of the week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) generally stands out as the most favorable days. Finally, the middle of the day seems to be the best time, although some sources speak of early morning and late afternoon.
Email clients and mobile
45.4% of emails are opened on Gmail (webmail and mobile app) or on the iPhone’s Mail application. On the third step of the podium, Outlook (desktop, webmail and app) has only 11.4% market share — far from the leaders but improving.
Cart abandonment is a huge loss of revenue for e-commerce websites. The average cart abandonment rate varies from one study to another, but it can be estimated at around 70%.
This means that out of 4 visitors who create a shopping cart on an e-commerce website, 3 will abandon it and only one will place an order!
The open rate for cart abandonment emails is 41.2%, the click-through rate is 9.5%. Much higher than the average rates in email marketing.
And yet, these stats are an average of the rates observed on automated cart abandonment campaigns, and some campaigns include 2, 3 and up to 7 follow-up emails.
In this case, the rates logically decrease with each new email. So if we only look at the first email, sent a few hours after the abandonment, its open rate is 63% and its CTR is 13.6%!
Yet, in 2016, less than a third of major US e-commerce websites were sending cart recovery emails.
The proportion has certainly increased since then, but it’s likely that a large proportion of French e-commerce websites still do not use this tactic today.