It's only natural for people to want to compare themselves to others. Benchmarks give you a reference for how well you're doing -- and some indication of how to improve.
In marketing, some benchmarks are easier to find than others. If you want to see how many social media followers another company has, you can just visit their profiles. If you want to see how their overall marketing is performing, you can plug in their URL into Marketing Grader and compare their score to yours. If you want the latest industry data, you can bookmark our ultimate list of marketing statistics.
But other benchmarks feel nearly impossible to find. Take email marketing metrics, for example -- most companies don't divulge their open and click rates. And if you're just starting to invest in email marketing, you have no frame of reference of how well your emails should be performing.
To help, we pulled some email marketing benchmark data from HubSpot's 11,500+ customers. Below are some charts and stats to help you figure out what a good open and click rate looks like for the number of email campaigns you send per month, your company size, and your business type.
How many email campaigns should you send per month?
We all want to know how many targeted email campaigns we should be sending in a month. While we want to stay top-of-mind for our leads and customers, we don't want to overwhelm and annoy.
So at what point does email become "too much"? In our customer base, we've found that companies sending more than 30 email campaigns a month start to see lower email open and click rates. Note: Campaigns are defined as targeted, individual emails sent to a portion of a database -- not an email blast to everyone.
The sweet spot? Sixteen to thirty email campaigns a month. Companies that send 16 - 30 campaigns a month see a click rate more than 2X greater than the click rate of companies that send 2 or fewer campaigns a month. At this frequency, companies enjoy a median open rate of 32.4% and median click rate of 6.5%.
How do open and click rates compare across different company sizes?
Though 16 - 30 email campaigns per month is the overall sweet spot, when you segment the above results by company size, the results get much more relevant.
Companies with 1 - 10 employees and 26 - 200 employees: Their results mirror the charts above -- open and click rates are highest when they send 16 - 30 email targeted campaigns per month. The companies with 1 - 10 employees typically receive a median open rate of 35.3% and a median click rate of 6.9%,and companies with 26 - 200 employees receive a median open rate of 32.3% and a median click rate of 6.3%.
Companies with 11 - 25 employees: Their open rates are highest when they send 31+ email campaigns a month. At that frequency, these companies typically have a median open rate of 32.4%. But that frequency isn't where they get the most clicks -- they get the most clicks at the 16 - 30 monthly email frequency, with a median click rate of 6.7%.
Companies with over 201 employees: Their optimal frequency was much lower than other company sizes. Their highest median open rate (32.2%) was found at that 3 - 5 monthly email campaign frequency, and the highest median click rate (7.0%) was found during the 6 - 15 monthly email campaign frequency.
Moral of the story? Depending on your company size, you should adjust the number of email campaigns you send each month.
How do open and click rates differ for B2B and B2C businesses?
We also segmented the data based on what kind of business you were in: B2B or B2C.
Open rates are pretty steady for B2B, hovering around 30%. B2C open rates, on the other hand, spanned from 30.5% to 34.9%. The latter click rate was found in B2C companies that sent 16 - 30 email campaigns a month.
Though open rates were higher for B2C companies, B2B companies typically had higher click rates.
Clicks on B2B emails increased as more emails were sent. B2B companies that sent 16 - 30 email campaigns per month had the highest median click rate of 6.0%.
For B2C companies, the sending frequency with best results was 16 - 30 monthly email campaigns: B2C companies that sent 16 - 30 email campaigns per month had a median click rate of 5.6%.
There you have it: a frame of reference for how your emails should be performing based on the number of email campaigns you're sending, your company size, and your business model. The next thing on your to-do list? What you're going to do about it.
Originally published Feb 4, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated September 21 2017