If you use an email marketing service, after the mailing, you probably first check out the “open rate”—the percentage of emails sent that are opened. Seems natural. We all want to know if anyone out there actually read what we sent. Then, we’ll check out the click-through rate, an indicator of how compelling the reader finds a specific link provided in the email. But what are “good” rates?

If you ever wonder how your email marketing open rates and clicks stack up against others in your business or topic category, then you are like most small businesses who send out email. Recognizing our competitiveness, the email service MailChimp provides regular benchmark data so we can gloat over (or stew over) our performance. Last week, it updated its statistical overview of data aggregated from millions of marketing emails its users distribute. In Table 1, we’ve used the MailChimp data to rank (best to worst) the open rates of various business categories, most of which have concentrations of small businesses. Table 2 ranks the open rates sent by companies of various sizes, as measured by number of employees.

Related | How to Improve Your Marketing Email Open Rate

Table 1: Topics or business categories generating the best marketing email open rates?

Sender / Topic Category,Open Rate,Click Rate

Arts and Artists,27.50%,2.89%
Agriculture and Food Services,25.22%,3.23%
Architecture and Construction,25.09%,2.99%
Home and Garden,24.72%,3.80%
Music and Musicians,23.00%,2.93%
“Medical, Dental, and Healthcare”,22.74%,2.52%
Creative Services/Agency,22.70%,2.77%
Health and Fitness,22.55%,2.84%
Media and Publishing,22.30%,4.59%
Restaurant and Venue,22.16%,1.40%
Education and Training,22.01%,2.78%
Social Media / Forums,21.90%,3.50%
Real Estate,21.65%,2.01%
Entertainment and Events,21.57%,2.38%
Software and Web App,21.57%,2.42%
Business and Finance,21.49%,2.77%
Computers and Electronics,21.32%,2.34%
Professional Services,21.00%,2.68%
Travel and Transportation,20.71%,2.31%
Recruitment and Staffing,20.13%,2.32%
Public Relations,20.04%,1.68%
Beauty and Personal Care,19.03%,2.15%
Marketing and Advertising,18.41%,2.09%

Table 2: What is the open rate of marketing email sent by businesses of various sizes?

Company Size,Open Rate,Click Rate
1 to 10,21.95%,2.97%
11 to 25,20.99%,2.58%
26 to 50,21.82%,2.94%

Illustration: ThinkStock

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