We are often asked what are benchmark results for email marketing in terms of open rates, click rates and subsequent buy / register rates.

To keep it easy I’ve developed the 3-2-1 rule of thumb.

Obviously your results wil depend on the target market, proposition and so on, but as a rough ‘rule of thumb’ which is easy to remember, I tend to use the following:

(NB these are based on e-mailing an opted-in in-house list)

Open rates – 33% (divide/multiply by 3)

(Unique) Click rates (of those who’ve opened) – 20% (divide/multiply by 5)

Buy / Convert rates (of those who open) – 10% (divide/multiply by 10)

The 3-2-1 bit equates to the 33%-20%-10%.

If you compound these metrics you can work out:

– Divide total number of people on your list by 150 to get approximate number of conversions you should get.

– Multiply the number of clicks you get by 15 to work out the active list size.

This is a bit crude, I know, but it can help as actual open rates are getting harder to track (because of image blocking and so on) and also to help gauge active list members (rather than total).

What benchmarks do you use?

Ashley Friedlein