Average email campaign stats of Mailchimp customers by industry

There are a lot of numbers in Mailchimp’s reports on email and marketing automation, but you might be wondering how your stats compare to others in the same industry. What kind of open rates should companies like yours expect? How many bounces are too many? What’s an acceptable abuse complaint rate? The more context, the better.

Mailchimp sends billions of emails a month for millions of users. Needless to say, we track a lot of data. So we scanned hundreds of millions of emails delivered by our system (where campaign tracking was activated, and where users reported their industry) and calculated the average unique open rates, click rates, soft bounces, hard bounces, and abuse complaint rate by industry.

We only tracked campaigns that went to at least 1,000 subscribers, but these stats aren’t pulled from a survey of giant corporations with million-dollar marketing budgets and dedicated email marketing teams. Our customers range from 1-person startups to Fortune 500 companies, so the whole spectrum is represented in this data. Here’s your apples-to-apples comparison with others in your industry.

Updated March 2018

IndustryOpen RateClick RateSoft BounceHard BounceAbuse RateUnsubscribe Rate
All non-labeled accounts21.09%2.61%0.61%0.39%0.012%0.23%
Agriculture and Food Services23.12%2.69%0.57%0.36%0.012%0.29%
Architecture and Construction23.13%2.55%1.39%0.91%0.014%0.35%
Arts and Artists26.03%2.66%0.57%0.34%0.012%0.29%
Beauty and Personal Care17.01%1.76%0.38%0.28%0.013%0.31%
Business and Finance20.47%2.59%0.63%0.46%0.010%0.21%
Computers and Electronics19.39%1.98%0.92%0.54%0.012%0.29%
Creative Services/Agency21.59%2.51%1.02%0.70%0.012%0.37%
Daily Deals/E-Coupons14.92%2.30%0.12%0.07%0.005%0.10%
Education and Training21.80%2.48%0.54%0.37%0.009%0.20%
Entertainment and Events20.41%2.19%0.48%0.32%0.009%0.28%
Health and Fitness20.06%2.18%0.41%0.33%0.013%0.37%
Home and Garden22.21%3.02%0.57%0.35%0.016%0.36%
Marketing and Advertising16.48%1.74%0.71%0.47%0.010%0.26%
Media and Publishing21.92%4.55%0.29%0.15%0.005%0.12%
Medical, Dental, and Healthcare21.09%2.25%0.69%0.59%0.015%0.29%
Music and Musicians21.80%2.68%0.55%0.33%0.011%0.28%
Photo and Video22.99%2.90%0.72%0.47%0.014%0.40%
Professional Services20.77%2.39%0.90%0.61%0.012%0.30%
Public Relations20.21%1.63%0.72%0.46%0.007%0.19%
Real Estate19.67%1.80%0.57%0.40%0.015%0.29%
Recruitment and Staffing19.33%1.81%0.51%0.47%0.008%0.28%
Social Networks and Online Communities21.13%3.16%0.38%0.23%0.008%0.22%
Software and Web App19.81%2.05%1.02%0.69%0.011%0.35%
Travel and Transportation20.03%2.00%0.63%0.39%0.012%0.24%

Open rates are one of the best ways to tell whether your email strategy is working. This number shows what percentage of your audience opens the emails you send them. If you have a great open rate, it usually means your subject lines resonate with your audience.

Here are a few examples of successful open rates:

  • The most opened emails are related to hobbies, with an open rate of 27.35%.
  • Emails sent by government entities come in second, with a 26.52% open rate.
  • With a 26.03% open rate, emails about the arts and artists came in third.
  • The average open rate for all industries we analyzed is 20.81%.

Another good way to check how well your emails are working is to take a look at the click rates. The click rate is a percentage that tells you how many successfully delivered emails got at least 1 click. This number shows whether or not your audience finds the emails you send relevant enough to click through for more.

Here’s what standard click rates look like:

  • Hobbies also have the highest click rate, which is 4.78%.
  • Media and publishing emails see the second highest click rate, at 4.55%.
  • Government comes in third, with a 3.65% click rate.
  • The average click rate for all industries we looked at is 2.43%.

Tips for Improving Your Stats

  1. When it comes to subject lines, being straightforward works best. So tell, don’t sell what’s inside. Read our tips on writing effective subject lines.
  2. If you want people to open your emails, you have to get past their spam filters first. And the best way to avoid spam filters is to learn how they work.
  3. Too many hard bounces is a sign of an old, stale list. Make sure you email your subscribers regularly (at least once a quarter), so that your list stays up to date.
  4. Soft bounces usually mean the recipient is “temporarily unavailable.” Maybe they’re on vacation, or their mailbox is full. You can keep those emails and try them again later, but Mailchimp auto-cleans soft bounces after 5 failed campaigns.
  5. Hard bounces mean an email address failed. Maybe it no longer exists, or maybe someone made a typo when they subscribed to a list. But hard bounces might also be spam filter—if you see an abnormally high number of bounces after a campaign, read your bounceback records for any messages or clues from spam filters.

Abuse complaints happen when recipients click the “This is spam” button in their email programs. That usually means they don’t remember you. Make sure your “From” and “Subject” lines contain your company name, so your subscribers will instantly recognize you. Here are a few more tips for preventing spam complaints.

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