Audience Engagement
2 mins read

Email growth tripled in 2020: Campaign Monitor Benchmarks Report

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Campaign Monitor, a provider of email marketing software, has released its annual Benchmarks Report showing average performance metrics for over 100 billion emails sent globally by its client base.

Email volume grew 7% in 2020 over 2019, an increase nearly three times the amount from the previous year’s growth rate. This could be an anomaly caused by the Covid-19 disruption, a fact borne out by the report’s finding that one of the highest email volume increases happened in March at the start of worldwide lockdowns.

Nonetheless, the findings suggest that email has seen a significant surge in popularity over the past twelve months. Additionally, the added email volume translated directly to higher interactions with audiences – open rates grew 13% from 2019 to 2020.

“Email was a lifeline for many organizations in 2020, and our Benchmarks Report shows that clearly,” comments Lane Harbin, Director of Marketing at Campaign Monitor. “Not only was email a trustworthy and reliable communication channel for businesses to connect with customers throughout the pandemic, but there was also increased importance for sales, engagement and content marketing.”

Key takeaways for publishers from the report:

  • Friday had the highest open rates: In a shift from past years where early week-day performed the best, Friday was the highest performer in 2020.
  • Mobile share decreased: With less time in lines and commuting, mobile’s share of opened emails went down for the first time in years, from 63% to 54%.
  • Click-to-open rates decreased: Many more emails were sent to simply provide information, rather than to drive an action, resulting in a slight click-to-open rate decrease from 2019.
  • Several industries saw click-through rates above 4%: Government, education, nonprofits and agriculture all saw increases to their click-through rates in 2020, all reaching above 4%.
  • Unsubscribe rates were historically low: Specifically for entertainment, media and importantly retail, Campaign Monitor saw unsubscribe rates near 0% throughout the year.
  • Benchmark for publishers, media, and entertainment: Open Rate 20.8%; Click thru rate 3.6%; Click to open rate 17.5%; Average Unsubscribe 0%.

Harbin adds, “Publishers saw record engagement from their readers over email across both newsletters and transactional subscription emails last year. Incredibly, their unsubscribe rates averaged 0%. While no list will truly experience a 0% unsubscribe rate, this average proves that publishers are doing something right when it comes to keeping their audiences engaged and interested in what they have to say.”

The Benchmarks Report delivers a full breakdown of performance benchmarks in 2020, including send volume, open rate and click-through rate by industry, region, month, day of week, etc.

To download the full report, click here.