How do your email campaigns compare?

For the last eight years we’ve been compiling annual reports to help you benchmark the performance of your email campaigns against your peers.

There are lots of reports out there focused on large brands and US companies, but we found a real lack of UK-specific data. These benchmarks are unique as they focus on UK based small-medium sized businesses. Our email benchmarks are based on marketing emails sent by our UK clients – predominantly to UK based subscribers – and are broken down into different industry sectors.

The email marketing benchmark report
Included in the report

– Open, click-through, unsubscribe, CTO and UTO rate averages
– Open and click-through rates by sector (29 sectors)
– Open rate by sector and historical trends
– Click-through rate by sector and historical trends
– Understanding what impacts open and click-through performance
– Open and click-through rates for standard vs automated campaigns
– Derived metrics, click-to-open rate (CTO), unsubscribe-to-open rate (UTO)
– Understanding what impacts unsubscribes and subscriber loyalty
– Historical trends, open, click-through, unsubscribe, CTO, UTO
– Open rate, historical trends by sector
– Click-through rate, historical trends by sector
– Campaign delivery rate, averages, by sector, hard and soft bounces
– Open rate on desktop vs mobile devices, historical trends, by sector
– Terms, definitions and raw data by sector


2016 email marketing benchmark cover

Get the 2016 report

We’ve analysed billions of emails sent by small-medium sized UK organisations and public sector departments. All of these messages were permission-based and sent to opted-in lists.

Get last year's report

The 2015 edition is still available here.

The Archives

We’ve been compiling our benchmark report for years – to download previous versions click here.


Let’s define some of the terms we’re using as several of these figures can be (and often are!) calculated in different ways. All figures we use are based on unique user actions – for example we only count the same recipient opening a campaign once, if they open that campaign again we don’t count that as another open.

Bounced: messages returned by the receiving mail server as undeliverable.

Delivered: messages accepted for delivery by the receiving mail server i.e. total sent – bounced.

Open Rate: the percentage of delivered emails that were opened (measured by an image load or link click); i.e. number opened / delivered.

Clicks: the percentage of delivered emails that had a link clicked; i.e. unique clicks / delivered.

Unsubscribes: the percentage of delivered emails that result in an unsubscription; i.e.unsubscribes / delivered For some of the reports we use different ratios, as these are a better way to compare some aspects of campaign performance – these are:

Click to Open: the percentage of opened emails that had a link clicked; i.e. unique clicks / opens.

Unsubscribe to Open: the percentage of opened emails that result in an unsubscription; i.e. unsubscribes / opens.

We use these ‘x to Open’ figures as ways to compare the performance of the actual campaign content because these look at what happens after the first objective of someone actually opening the campaign has been achieved.

If you are already a customer you can compare your campaign results with the averages for your industry directly in your account? Here’s how to set your industry sector and compare your results.