Email marketing in an eventful year: the results of the Email Benchmark 2021


The E-mail Benchmark 2021 provides insight into, among other things, the impact of corona on the world of e-mail marketing. But you will also find all the statistics you need to take your email marketing strategy to the next level. How do you stack up against your competitors in the industry? And are you aware of the latest trends and developments?

Team ITM (formerly e-Village) has collected key statistics, developments and KPIs from the billions of emails and more than 50,000 marketing campaigns sent through CanopyDeploy (formerly Clang) in 2020. We have incorporated these into this document full of insights, which you can use immediately. We have analyzed the influence of corona and mapped out what effect this has had on each industry. And we give you tools to develop your own email marketing strategy.

1. Get a good open rate

We often see marketers asking “What’s a good email open rate?” or “How do my emails’ results compare to others in the industry?”

In this edition of the E-mail Benchmark we look at the social and technical influences on the results. For example, in the B2B sector we see a average open rate of 32.49% and for B2C 34.27%. We can use these results to our advantage to optimize our own campaigns. What are your average ratios and how do they compare to your industry averages? If your email marketing is scoring lower ratios than competitors in your industry, try A/B testing with different variations in content, design, and subject line to really get to know your recipient.

2. Build a 100% omnichannel strategy

With a powerful omnichannel strategy you ensure consistent online and offline contact moments and an engaging customer journey. This boosts you reputation and increase your effectiveness of your channels. Email marketing software monitors your customers’ behavior across all channels to ensure all your messages always reach the right customer at the right time and through the right channel.

While 81% of marketers say email is still the most important channel, we see the importance of other owned channels also increasing. Mobile marketing, SMS and social media are becoming even more important according to marketers, but are they being used enough? We see that only 11% of marketers have integrated SMS and mobile marketing into their strategy. So there is certainly still a lot to gain.

To build long-lasting customer relationships, it is extremely important to tell a consistent story at every touchpoint. A 360 degree customer profile not only boosts your customer satisfaction, but also your reputation and ROI.

3. Discover the influence of corona

Corona has played a major role, every industry has noticed the impact in its own way. How has it affected the way you do your marketing? What effect has corona had on bounce rates, accepted rates and budgets?

Now that the world is opening up again, we can look back. In the Email Benchmark, we dive deeper into the stats to discover why the travel industry saw an increase in open rates over 2019. But we know it’s also been a rough year. The cultural entertainment industry saw bounce rates rise in the first months of 2020, which is related to the enormous financial impact that corona has had on this industry.

As a result of the corona crisis, almost half of the companies more emailed, in particular the healthcare & welfare and media & entertainment sectors. A somewhat surprising effect is the increase in engagement in mailings from the travel and hospitality industries. People were concerned about bookings made and changes to them and want to keep a close eye on rapid changes in the hospitality industry. As a country, we seem to be involved in the industries hardest hit by the pandemic. Overall, we see that the email marketing channel has become even more relevant in the past year and the inbox is getting busier and busier. Relevant content, sent at the right time and via the right channel is therefore becoming increasingly important. The quality of your database is key here.

4. Compare your results with others in the industry

Our research shows that open rates average at 34.15%, click through rates at 4.41% and click to opens at 12.11%. These are averages based on multiple industries and sectors. But how are you doing compared to these averages?

In our world where valuable data is becoming more and more available, we need to know more than just the averages. Dive deeper into the stats in your industry and compare them to your results. For example, is the best shipping day for you also Tuesday? Does sending messages to your recipients work before the workday starts? Each variable is unique per company and target group.

We can’t tell you exactly what to do, but we can give you some tips. A basis to optimize from. For example, we saw that the best sending day for emails is Tuesday, between 06:00 – 08:00. Start here and test if this is also the case for you. Play around with different days and times and find out what works best for your target audience.

5. Stay up to date

Technology is continuously driving more innovative solutions and customer needs are constantly shifting towards the next big trend. With a shifting focus on new trends such as data and personalization, it is extremely important to move with the changing behavior of your customers.

In this 18e edition of the E-mail Benchmark, we asked more than 150 companies which trends they see as the biggest developments for 2021. For example, we see that data-driven campaigns (51%) are seen as the most important trend, closely followed by the 360 ​​degree customer profile (45%). With this information you can align your plans for the coming year and stay on top of the changing world around us.

Beautiful future plans

In this special edition of the E-mail Benchmark, we take you on a journey full of insights and reflections on the past year and how it has influenced our marketing strategies. We do not only look back, but also look to the future. Get started with the results, surprise your managers and colleagues with great plans for the future based on real-time data and give yourself the freedom to think ahead… Hello Tomorrow!

The most important results from the E-mail Benchmark 2021 can be found in this fact sheet.


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