The Email Benchmark 2020: an overview of all the important statistics you want to know of!

Written by Nina van der Burgh

We have launched the Email Benchmark 2020 and it is full of interesting statistics, results, facts and tips. We are very happy to reveal that the average Open Rate has risen compared to last year, and so did the average CTR and CTO. The decline that we saw for years has finally been turned around; a massive compliment to all email marketers! Marketing automation remains the most important trend for this year, but is also seen as the most significant challenge. Would you like to know more about the email marketing figures for your industry? You can find them in the Email Benchmark 2020!

Email Benchmark 2020

In this 17th edition we provide an insight into the industry as it currently stands, and present the average statistics and email ratios obtained from nearly 25,000 campaigns and over 3 billion emails sent via Clang in 2019. Clang is the Netherlands’ largest platform for successful marketing automation. We also conducted a research in the beginning of 2020 among over 150 Dutch companies. This blog presents you with the most important results and insights.

Email marketing primary channel

Again in 2020, the channel email marketing has been rated as the number 1 most important online channel. The company website and social media are rated second and third, respectively, kicking SEO and SEA out of the top 3. Lead generation and stimulation of sales are among the most important purposes of email marketing. The budget for 2020 increases for 38% of the companies, while only 2% of the companies have to work with a reduced budget. This shows us that many companies recognise the relevance of the channel. 80% of the respondents have an email marketing strategy. Campaign successes are mainly measures by Click Rate, Open Rate and conversion. A/B testing appears to be very popular, as 68% of our respondents use this. 71% of the respondents indicated that they already integrate different systems to achieve more targeted emailing. This year, companies rate the channel with an 8.25, which is the highest score in years!

Challenges, trends and campaigns in 2020

Email marketing in 2020 is no longer considered to be separate from the other channels. The major challenges for Dutch email marketers are integration with other databases, push systems, social media, and lead management systems. These integrations are at the heart of the most frequently mentioned trends: marketing automation, 360° customer profiling, and we continue to see a movement towards an increasingly data-driven marketing landscape. Lead generation, data enrichment and retention are the most popular campaigns for 2020.

Accepted Rate & Bounces

Your email might end up in their ‘unwanted’ folder, or even in the spam folder. As an email marketer, you obviously want to know what happens to your email. Check your Accepted Rate to see what has happened to your email and make sure you maintain a good sender reputation. The quality of your database plays an important role in cultivating a good reputation with the mailbox provider. A good reputation is important since the mailbox provider decides whether or not to forward your email to the inbox. Despite all the challenges along the route to the inbox, the average Accepted Rate this year is a very respectable 99.51% (so the average Bounce Rate is 0.49%). Once again, emails sent by companies in the B2C sector have a lower Bounce Rate than emails sent by B2B companies. The turnover in staff within companies has a big impact on this, as email addresses of leaving employees are deleted which causes emails that are sent to these addresses to bounce. If we zoom in on industries, we see that Industry & Manufacture, Automotive and Other show the highest Bounce Rates.


Due to a large amount of competition in the inbox, the average Open Rate, Click Through Rate and Click To Open Rate has been declining for years now. But we’ve got good news! The most important KPIs have finally increased again, and significantly! The Open Rate increases with 5% to 30.29%. On average, B2B-mails are opened more often than B2C-mails. Furthermore, mailings are opened more frequently on mobile devices than on desktop. However, if we zoom in on sector, we can see that B2B-mails are opened more often on desktop than on mobile devices. The CTR and CTO have also increased, to 4.38% and 13.27%, respectively. These are some amazing results, so very well done to all email marketers!

Send day and send time

Long story short: there’s no such thing as the ideal day to send an email. This differs per sector and per industry and depends on many different external factors. But to get an idea of last year’s figures, we have put together a list of the most popular days to send emails as well as the most successful moments to send in terms of Open Rate, Click Through Rate and Click To Open Rate. Our analysis tells us most mailings are still being sent on Thursdays and mailings that are sent on Tuesdays still are opened most. However, the results differ per sector and industry.

Download the complete Email Benchmark on to compare your email marketing results to your sector and industry and to get your hands on directly applicable tips and recommendations from marketing automation experts!
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