SendGrid, the leading delivery platform for customer communication that drives engagement and growth, today announced the findings of its second annual Global Email Benchmark Report. SendGrid analyzed aggregated anonymized statistical data from nearly 50 billion emails across 10 industries, covering over 100,000 different senders to nearly two billion different recipient addresses. The findings measure email related metrics and help brands evaluate the effectiveness of their email marketing programs.

The 2017 Global Email Benchmark Report equips senders with insights and actionable steps to improve their marketing initiatives, allows businesses to demonstrate value, determines how the email landscape is changing by industry and establishes concrete goals.

The report shows engagement numbers for the average percentage of male and female recipients, percentage of emails that are opened on mobile and nonmobile devices, open rate, click rate, click-to-open rate and monthly send rate corresponding to each industry. The report also combines engagement statistics across all senders, establishing the benchmarks for the average monthly send rate of 8.1 emails with a unique open rate of 14.6 percent, open rate of 30.6 percent, unique click rate of 1.7 percent, click rate of 2.5 percent and unique click / open rate of 11.6 percent.

The 2017 Global Email Benchmark Report Highlights Include:

  • Eight industries were desktop dominant in 2016 vs. two in 2017 (Insurance and Government). Only insurance went in the opposite direction of the trend, with a decrease of mobile usage from 50 percent to 48 percent.
  • 2017 is seeing an increase in monthly send rate, negatively impacting engagement across the board. Nearly every industry that increased its sending frequency saw a corresponding drop in engagement.
  • On the flipside, industries that decreased monthly send rate, like Retail and Insurance, saw an increase in most of its engagement benchmarks.
  • The increase in open rates, and decrease in click rates could point to more emails being sent by all industries and customers becoming more discerning about what they are willing to click on. For example, an industry like Travel/Hospitality may be sending more emails that customers look at, but only click on if they find an exceptional deal.
  • Gmail has gained even more market globally. Even in countries like Germany, where GMX was most popular last year, Gmail is now the most common inbox provider.
  • Regardless of the countries email is sent to, the devices that are most commonly used to read email are iPhones, Windows devices and Samsung devices.

“According to a recent Retail TouchPoints survey, retailers believe that email is a critical investment for their business, but many have yet to achieve their desired results using the communications channel,” said Scott Heimes, CMO of SendGrid. “SendGrid’s 2017 Global Email Benchmark Report helps senders compare their email program engagement metrics to the average metrics of their industry and use these benchmarks to set goals and strategies for their email marketing campaigns.”

The Key Recommendations to Empower Email Senders Include:

  • Monthly Send Rate, Opens, and Clicks: If there’s a key takeaway from 2016 to 2017, it’s how impactful your sending frequency can be on engagement. With so many companies vying for inbox space, make sure you’re sending the optimal amount of email each month. Keep a close eye on the number of messages you send and how your unique open rates and unique click rates are affected.
  • Mobile Optimization: Another substantial takeaway from this year’s report is the migration to mobile devices. It is essential that your messages are responsive and provide a great user experience no matter what device they are read on.
  • Inbox Provider Mobile Changes: Late in 2016 Google started supporting responsive design in their Apple and Android app. This may explain some of the increase in mobile usage since content is now rendering on mobile and recipients can now engage. Yahoo doesn’t support responsive design, but the native email app on Apple / Android does.
  • Address Collection: Don’t forget about where you collect users. Growing from an app-based relationship with a user to an email-based relationship takes careful attention. Make sure they are aware of the shift both with the email address they are providing (careful of those old Facebook accounts with possibly no-longer-valid addresses) and that they know what types and what frequency of messages will come through after they “sign up.” Additionally, storing as much information as possible like IP address, date, time, form, URL, etc. is important because it may come in handy when attempting to resolve issues with blacklist operators and ISPs.
  • A/B Testing: Every email marketing program is different, and you need to monitor your own sending frequency, opens, clicks and unsubscribes to maintain your deliverability. You should also ensure that you implement A/B testing before making any changes to your email program. The averages help you contextualize where your program is and where you may want to take it, but be sure to focus on your recipients and the metrics they generate.
  • Send Frequency: Use SendGrid’s monthly send rate benchmark to optimize the number of times you message customers each month. If you’re sending fewer times each month than the average, there could be an opportunity to message customers more often. Conversely, if you’re sending more than the average, you may want to dial it back a bit to increase engagement.
  • Global Optimization: If you’re a global sender, make sure to look at the types of email clients and devices that your recipients in different countries are using. Mail.ru, Live and GMX may not be common inbox providers in the United States, but they’re much more common in Russia, Germany and Canada. Additionally, be aware of the privacy and electronic communication laws on the books in the countries where your recipients live; not complying with these regulations can result in stiff monetary fines.

The full SendGrid 2017 Global Email Benchmark Report is available for download here.


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