Open & CTR question for email marketing

Dara Moore

We are developing benchmarks for our in house bulk email marketing. However we are having some disagreements on what are acceptable open and CTR rates. I read a post that says they typically get 9-10% open rate but no mention of CTR. What would be considered "industry average" for bulk email marketing?



Mark Rask

we use dealer socket .....avg open rate 20-30pct.   avg ctr 10

Jason Stum

Dara, so here's what we did for those customers who we had no contact with for 18 months. We'd send an email to those folks simply asking if they'd still like to recieve our newsletter and monthy service coupons - if so, just reply with a yes! 

If there was no reply then off the list they went, and I was ok with that. By continuing to email non-responsive contacts in your database after that period of time, you're opening yourself up to more spam reports which can negatively effect your email deliverability. 

I know I'm not the typical customer, but I shake my head at the amount of emails I still get from dealerships that I mystery shopped three, four, even five years ago! 

So if you are going to keep everyone on the list regardless of amount of time without contact, I would bucket those folks into a special list and email them sparingly with only the most useful and relevant content. 


Brad Burlingham

We moved from sending email blasts via our crm to mailchimp about 7 months ago and have seen our open rates double.  Our list still needs to be cleaned, but mailchimp has helped with that.  Our open rates are between 15%-22%. a bit higher as we target it more.  Click rates are about 2.4% but on some we get to 5-7%.  This month, we may try to clean by sending an email to people that haven't opened an email in last 6 months if they want to still get mial from us.

Ryan Gerardi

Hey Dara, what are the disagreements based on?

Systems like Mailchimp, AWeber, Constant Contact, etc. do provide "industry averages" but these are only percentages based on the numbers of other account holders' lists. You have no idea what practices these people and organizations deploy to get those numbers. Plus, those averages are not all dealers. 

What's more important is what you stated earlier which is establishing your own benchmarks. As you do this then you are able to measure the effectiveness of individual campaigns based on your own benchmarks. 

What Jason spelled out is spot on. Email marketing isn't about sending everybody the same thing, but rather sending people information with the purpose of achieving a desired result or response.

I send 3-5 email campaigns a week to different segments of my multiple lists and databases. Each list/segment has a benhcmark open rate and CTR. Depending on the purpose of the email to a particular segment, I may consider a 20% open rate low or a 10% open rate high.

For instance, if I'm targeting a non-engaged segment and 7% open the email, that would be high, whereas if I'm targeting a highly engaged segment that results in a 17% open rate that would be low. 

Click rates too. A 1% click rate to a non-engaged segment would be above average whereas a 10% click rate to an active customer list would be below average (for that segment).

So really the idea of industry averages seems irrelevant. You need to segment your database and get to know the "averages" for each of your segments. Then when you send a campaign to a segment, you can set expectations on the resulting numbers based on what you're trying to accomplish. 


Mark Rask

Dara has a good point....I would think you would want to be out in front of them as wall

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