As one of the Deliverability Experts at SendGrid, I work with companies in many different industry verticals. One of the common questions I get is: “How do we compare to the other senders in this industry?”

It can be hard to know how healthy your email program is relative to other senders in your vertical. In some verticals a 10% open rate is the golden standard, in others anything under 30% is an unmitigated disaster.

Knowing how you stack up can help guide your email program in the right direction by learning what the average sender in your vertical looks like. Fortunately, SendGrid has the data to help! We have over 40,000 clients that combine to send tens of billions of emails per month. That’s a lot of data!

I created a table of different business verticals that SendGrid tracks in order to give you an overview of email engagement across industries, and where your program may fit in. In the following table, I included each of our senders who were tracked in a business vertical and sent at least 1000 emails a week.

We averaged each sender’s open and click rates as opposed to using their raw number of opens and clicks. This weighted each sender equally, regardless of volume, to give a more accurate reference of how most senders stack up against other senders.


Average of open rate

Average of unique open rate

Average of click rate

Average of unique click rate

Agency / Consulting 51.63% 19.60% 6.13% 3.81%
Application Development Shop 63.78% 25.52% 6.47% 4.27%
Career / Job Search 51.81% 22.98% 7.31% 5.06%
Daily Deals / eCoupons 62.39% 24.70% 7.67% 4.70%
Dating Sites 36.68% 18.77% 12.62% 7.61%
eCommerce 60.41% 23.57% 8.03% 4.81%
Education / Training 55.32% 23.02% 6.71% 4.38%
Entertainment / Events 60.95% 24.23% 7.96% 4.99%
Financial Services 52.34% 23.33% 3.92% 2.65%
Gaming 30.26% 15.89% 7.26% 4.99%
Government 47.74% 19.37% 6.48% 3.45%
Health / Fitness 42.82% 20.17% 6.29% 4.26%
Insurance 77.10% 25.32% 8.72% 6.53%
Marketing / Advertising 46.26% 18.51% 4.43% 2.89%
Media / Publishing 43.11% 20.38% 7.68% 4.93%
Mobile App 59.83% 25.86% 6.20% 4.08%
Other 68.27% 24.69% 6.48% 4.10%
Politics / Advocacy 44.41% 22.58% 5.82% 4.29%
Professional Services 55.08% 19.85% 5.69% 3.60%
Real Estate 65.79% 25.68% 7.12% 4.55%
Religious / Spiritual 68.15% 29.44% 4.52% 2.96%
Retail 59.65% 22.59% 6.18% 3.63%
Social Media / Networking 42.60% 20.71% 7.98% 5.50%
Technology 73.45% 25.87% 7.21% 4.55%
Telecommunications 52.39% 20.94% 4.70% 2.78%
Travel / Hospitality 72.05% 22.59% 6.01% 3.58%
Total Average 55.55% 22.54% 6.75% 4.34%

If you find that your email program is behind where you think it should be, there are a number of things you can do to improve:

  1. List Quality – The golden rule of all email programs is to send email your subscribers want to receive. A good list will be filled with subscribers who engage with your email. This means making sure your subscribers know exactly what type of email they will receive from you, and how frequently they will receive it. You can make sure you’re sending these types of messages by using an email preference center.
  2. Infrastructure and Authentication – SendGrid’s sender authentication process should take care of the most common forms of email authentication like SPF and DKIM. DMARC should also be used to protect your brand and domain from being abused by outside parties.
  3. Pleasing Subscribers – When someone opts into receiving your marketing email, treat them as if you were a guest in their inbox. Only send email that they’ve given explicit, informed consent to receive. If they don’t engage with your email for 3 – 6 months, you should consider removing them from your list. When a subscriber stops engaging with your email they are sending a signal that they no longer wish to receive emails from your brand. As a sender whose end goal is to send emails your subscribers want to receive it is your responsibility to honor this signal by removing them from your mailing list.

Another important thing to remember is that every organization and recipient list is different. As long as you’re taking the right steps to send the right message, to the right person, at the right time, with the right frequency, you should reap the benefits of good deliverability and engagement. To learn more about email infrastructure and authentication, download SendGrid’s updated Email Infrastructure Guide.

If you feel like you’re implementing the right steps and still not getting the engagement you want, it could be time to set up a consultation with one of SendGrid Email Deliverability Experts.

Corey Fineman
Corey is an Associate Email Deliverability Consultant at SendGrid with a passion for digging into data. Corey works on solving SendGrid's clients' delivery issues and coaches them on how to improve their deliverability and engagement. Outside of work Corey loves complex board games and strategy games, anything that makes him think!