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Inbound Marketing Blog

Email Marketing: What are good click-through and open rates?


I would be willing to bet that many of my fellow marketers  know the anxiety that comes along with sending out an email campaign all too well. You spend hours putting together your email, making sure that every word is perfect. Then you unleash your creation on the world and spend the next few hours compulsively checking to see how many people have opened and clicked on the links in your email. 

A few days go by, the dust settles and you see that your email has a 40% open rate and a 10% click-through rate (or CTR in data reporting lingo). The anxiety comes back and you think "Oh no! I'm a failure! Those are terrible statistics!"

If this situation sounds familiar to you, you might want to give the chart below a look. On average, only 20% of emails are opened and 2% are clicked through. So you can breath easy!


Open Rate

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

E-commerce 16.76% 2.45%
Manufacturing 22.43 2.45%
Education 21.70% 2.69%
Professional Services 20.65% 2.55%
Non-profit 25.06% 2.83%
Telecommunications 21.50% 2.53%
Healthcare 22.65% 2.48%
Entertainment & Events 21.37% 2.36%

 *Data courtesy of MailChimp - August 1, 2016

But what if your email campaign didn't perform quite as well as the email in the scenario above? What can you do to ensure that your emails blow  the industry averages out of the water? Give these things a try: 

  • Evaluate your subject lines. Make sure they grab the reader's attention (without crossing the line into click bait territory) and provide them with a clear picture of the purpose of your email. 

  • Send emails to segmented and targeted lists. Be mindful of who you are trying to target with your emails and send only to those contacts who will find the content useful and valuable.

  • Keep email lists up to date to prevent hard bounces (or messages that are returned to the sender because the recipient's address is invalid) that are dragging down your open and click-through percentages.

  • Improve CTR’s by making emails visually appealing and easy to read quickly. Keep copy to a minimum (unless the situation calls for more) and make it very clear where recipients need to click and what will happen when they do.

Email campaigns are just one piece of the Inbound Marketing puzzle. If you want to get a look at the whole picture and see how all of the pieces work together, check out one of our Inbound Marketing Lunch & Learn Workshops.


Topics: Strategy, Inbound Marketing

Ashley Daniels

Written by Ashley Daniels

Ashley is an Inbound Content Writer and recent graduate of Western Michigan University. She enjoys exploring downtown GR, whipping up a tasty recipe and reading a good book.

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