Are you as fed up as us with studies that are released all the time on performance indicators for email marketing campaigns?

We think they:

  • contradict each other.
  • compare apples with oranges – meaning B2B and B2C.
  • they’re often out of date.
  • the stats change drastically depending on the source.

What you want as a marketer is simple: to be able to compare your performance with companies in the same sector, and when you do send email campaigns to know if your performance was good, bad, average, awful or excellent.

So, this is what we did…

  • we didn’t scour all the studies on email campaigns. We want fresh, viable data: so we looked only at studies from 2018 – 2020 that have clear data.
  • we only looked at studies that listed their sector, meaning we could closely study B2B. We then aggregated that data into 7 categories.
  • we assumed a certain ‘statistical bias’, as we created an ‘average’, by which we could create a single B2B figure. By averaging 4 different sources, it meant.
  • we could compare and reduce errors.
  • for each statistic, you can refer to a table to better understand your own campaign’s performance.

In this article you’ll find:

  1. what is a good email open rate in B2B
  2. what is a good click through rate in B2B
  3. what is a good bounce rate in B2B
  4. the stats for spam and unsubscribe rates
  5. what is a good CTOR (click to open rate) in B2B
  6. a compilation of these figures by source and sector

Average Open Rate for B2B mailing

The average B2B email open rate is 22.22%

This figure is an average compiled from studies between 2018 and 2019 by Mailchimp, IBM, Campaign Monitor and GetReponse.

The B2B opening rate varies between sources and sectors from 14.5% and 29.64%.

Classification of B2B email open rate

Poor open rateless than 14.50%
Average open rate14.5% to 22.22%
Good open rate22.22% to 29.64%
Excellent open ratemore than 29.64%

Here are the details of open rates by sector within B2B:

SectorsOpen Rate
ALL SECTORS22.22%
B2B services, human resources, finance, consulting20.69%
Events and Media22.75%
Marketing, publicity, communication, agencies21.33%
Software, telecom, online services, technology
21.24%
Real estate, construction, industry
23.59%
Education and Training25.06%
Others20.91%

Average Click Through Rate in B2B mailing

The average click rate in B2B mailing is 3.06%.

This figure is an average of 4 studies published in 2018 and 2019 by Mailchimp, IBM, Campaign Monitor and GetResponse.

The click through rate in B2B varies according to the sources and the sectors from 1.6% to 6.46%.

Classification of B2B Click Through Rate:

Bad CTRless than 1.60%
Average CTR1.60% to 3.06%
Good CTR3.06% to 6.46%
Excellent CTRmore than 6.46%

Here is the detail of Click Through Rate stats by B2B sector:

SectorsClick Through Rate
All Sectors3.06%
B2B services, human resources, finance, consulting
2.44%
Media and Events3.97%
Marketing, publicity, communication, agencies3.22%
Software, telecom, online services, technology
2.93%
Real estate, construction, industry
2.77%
Eduction and Training3.40%
Others2.66%

Average Bounce Rate in B2B mailing

The average bounce rate in B2B emailing is 0.96%.

This figure is an average of 4 studies published in 2018 and 2019 by Mailchimp, IBM, Campaign Monitor and GetResponse.

The bounce rate in B2B varies according to sources and sectors from 0.35% to 1.62%.

Classification of a B2B email bounce rate:

Bad bounce ratemore than 1.62%
Average bounce rate0.96% to 1.62%
Good bounce rate0.25% to 0.96%
Excellent bounce rteless than 0.35%

Here is the detail of the bounce rate statistics by B2B sector:

SectorBounce Rate
All Sectors0/96%
B2B services, human resources, finance, consulting
0.96%
Media and Events0.56%
Marketing, publicity, communication, agences1.09%
Software, telecom, online services, technology
0.93%
Real estate, construction, industry
1.15%
Education and Training0.97%
Others1.06%

Unsubscribe and average spam rate in B2B emailing

The average unsubscribe rate in B2B emailing is 0.21%.

This figure is an average of 4 studies published in 2018 and 2019 by Mailchimp, IBM, Campaign Monitor and GetResponse.

The B2B unsubscribe rate varies according to sources and sectors from 0.10% to 0.31%.

Classification of a B2B email unsubscribe rate:

Bad unsubscribe ratemore than 0.31%
Average unsubscribe rate0.21% to 0.31%
Good unsubscribe rate0.10% to 0.21%
Excellent unsubscribe rteles then 0.10%

The average spam rate in B2B emailing is 0.02%.

Ultimately, it’s better to have a high unsubscribe rate than a spam rate: having recipients who report you as spam can greatly affect your deliverability.

Here are the details of the unsubscribe and spam rate statistics by B2B sector:

SectorsUnsubscribe Rate
All Sectors0.21%
B2B services, human resources, finance, consulting
0.20%
Media and Events0.18%
Marketing, publicity, communication, agencies0.21%
Software, telecom, online services, technology
0.21%
Real estate, construction, industry
0.24%
Eductaion and Training0.21%
Others0.23%

Average CTOR in B2B emailing rate

CTOR is the abbreviation for ‘Click to Open Rate’; so it compares the amount of click rates (unique clicks) and open rates (unique opens). It means that you can check the effectiveness of an overall email marketing campaign.Although it is used less, it is the one KPI to keep if you had to only keep one!

This is how it is calculated:

CTOR = (unique click rate / unique open rate) x 100

The average CTOR in B2B emailing is 13.24%.

This figure is an average of 4 studies published in 2018 and 2019 by Mailchimp, IBM, Campaign Monitor and GetResponse.

The B2B unsubscribe rate varies according to sources and sectors from 9.90% to 21.78%.

Classification of CTOR B2B emailing:

Bad CTORless than 9.90%
Average CTOR9.90% to 13.24%
Good CTOR13.24% to 21.78%
Good CTORmore than 21.78%

Here are the details of CTOR statistics by B2B sector:

SectorCTOR
All Sectors13.24%
B2B services, human resources, finance, consulting11.35%
Media and Events16.73%
Marketing, publicity, communication, agences13.84%
Software, telecom, online services, technology
12.94%
Real estate, construction, industry
11.78%
Education and Training13.42%
Others12.61%

Summary of the statistics of the 4 studies by source :

You can use the filter by source and sector in order to access the results that interest you:

SectorSourceYerOpen RateClick RateBounce rateUnsubscribe rateSpam RateCTOR
ALL SECTORSALL SOURCES2018 - 201922.22%3.06%0.96%0.21%0.02%13.24%
B2B services, human resources, finance, consultingALL SOURCES2018 - 201920.69%2.44%0.96%0.20%0.02%11.35%
Media and EventsALL SOURCES2018 - 201922.75%3.97%0.56%0.18%0.01%16.73%
Marketing, publicity, communication, agenciesALL SOURCES2018 - 201921.33%3.22%1.09%0.21%0.02%13.84%
Software, telecom, online services, technology
ALL SOURCES2018 - 201921.24%2.93%0.93%0.21%0.01%12.94%
Real estate, construction, industry
ALL SOURCES2018 - 201923.59%2.77%1.15%0.24%0.02%11.78%
Education and TrainingALL SOURCES2018 - 201925.06%3.40%0.97%0.21%0.02%13.42%
OthersALL SOURCES2018 - 201920.91%2.66%1.06%0.23%12.61%
Software, telecom, online services, technology
IBM201826.00%3.75%0.66%0.15%0.01%10.80%
B2B services, human resources, finance, consulting
IBM201818.80%2.80%0.92%0.18%0.01%12.90%
Marketing, publicity, communication, agenciesIBM201824.20%3.80%0.84%0.17%0.02%13.10%
Real estate, construction, industry
IBM201828.10%2.90%0.35%0.19%0.02%10.20%
ALL SECTORSIBM201824.62%3.40%0.68%0.17%0.01%11.56%
Marketing, publicity, communication, agenciesGetResponse201922.45%4.13%0.14%0.02%16.87%
Education and TrainingGetResponse201928.36%4.31%0.22%0.02%15.19%
Software, telecom, online services, technology
GetResponse201920.72%2.92%0.22%0.02%14.42%
B2B services, human resources, finance, consultingGetResponse201924.65%2.66%0.19%0.03%10.81%
Media and EventsGetResponse201929.64%6.46%0.18%0.01%21.78%
Real estate, construction, industry
GetResponse201925.48%3.07%0.20%0.02%12.05%
ALL SECTORSGetResponse201922.15%3.43%0.20%0.02%15.49%
OthersMailchimp201922.71%2.91%1.01%0.25%12.81%
B2B services, human resources, finance, consultingMailchimp201921.30%2.51%1.16%0.25%11.79%
Software, telecom, online services, technology
Mailchimp201920.64%2.53%1.23%0.27%12.23%
Real estate, construction, industry
Mailchimp201920.38%2.11%1.62%0.31%10.33%
Marketing, publicity, communication, agenciesMailchimp201919.39%2.35%1.32%0.31%12.09%
Education and TrainingMailchimp201923.42%2.90%0.83%0.21%12.38%
Media and EventsMailchimp201920.51%2.36%0.71%0.26%11.51%
ALL SECTORSMailchimp201921.33%2.62%1.23%0.26%12.28%
Marketing, publicity, communication, agenciesCampaign Monitor201919.30%2.60%1.10%0.20%13.30%
Real estate, construction, industry
Campaign Monitor201920.40%3.00%1.48%0.25%14.55%
Education and TrainingCampaign Monitor201923.40%3.00%1.10%0.20%12.70%
Software, telecom, online services, technology
Campaign Monitor201917.60%2.50%0.90%0.20%14.30%
Media and EventsCampaign Monitor201918.10%3.10%0.40%0.10%16.90%
OthersCampaign Monitor201919.10%2.40%1.10%0.20%12.40%
B2B services, human resources, finance, consultingCampaign Monitor201918.00%1.80%0.80%0.20%9.90%
All SectorsCampaign Monitor201917.80%2.60%0.70%0.10%14.30%

If you want to compare with the full results (including B2C) or add to other statistics such as the detail by day or by hour, here are the links of the 4 studies:

However, when you analyze the figures, you quickly see: there isn’t a  glaring difference in performance for a particular hour or day, except that in B2B, better results come with emails sent between 6 and 10 a.m. on weekdays.

So, have you compared this with your numbers? Where are you located? Tell us in the comments!

Benoît Collet

Benoît Collet

He's our growth marketer, always seeking new acquisition opportunities and tactics, as well as new tools.

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