As you'd expect, email open rates vary greatly by industry based on many different factors. But believe it or not, as of January 2016, the highest rate of opening emails is from Religious organizations, namely churches, at a steady 28% according to Constant Contact. This is obviously because of the nature of the industry; emails are sent to religious leaders in the form of prayer requests, or emails are sent to church members in order to inform them of events coming up. But what about other industries?
The second highest email open rate is with the Health and Social Services industry, specifically in areas such as hospitals, elder care, and adoption agencies. The email open rate for this particular industry is 22.43% in 2014 (MailChimp statistics) and 24.64% in 2016 (Constant Contact data). I'm assuming that emails from these organizations are of great importance for the recipients and require a quick response, therefore get opened frequently. The focus is on health, which means doctors and patients need to be able to be in contact with each other, and as for adoption agencies, families need to be able to be in contact with children's homes in order to make sure all paperwork is in order and that the process is going as smoothly as possible.
The third highest percentage (according to Constant Contact) is in the Education industry at 21.52% in 2014 and 23.92% in 2016. No surprises there; emails are opened for a multitude of purposes including updates and recommended changes to school curriculum, tips on teaching students, students needing answers to questions or letting teachers know that they will have to miss class due to illness or otherwise, and many more. Emails are received in high volume and are opened more often due to importance, just as with the religious organizations; typically, the emails received are from people who want help with something, thus the importance of said emails increases greatly.
The fourth highest email open rate is Government Agencies and Services at 26.35% in 2014 and 23.06% in 2016 according to both MailChimp and Constant Contact. Again, this is because the emails sent are generally pertinent and require reading before meetings to get an update on anything heading their way, as well as dealing with the media. Government officials may lose credibility should emails go missing or get permanently deleted from their database, especially in a scandal (Hillary Clinton is going through this right now). However, the decline over the last couple years is an interesting thing to note, especially in an election season where you would think that important emails are being received and opened. However maybe it's also because of an election year, people are overly spammed with political emails and are becoming more likely to ignore them.
The fifth highest email open rate per industry is with Non-Profit Companies at 25.20% in 2014 according to MailChimp and at 21.90% in 2016 according to Constant Contact. My best guess is that people generally open these emails because they have to do with volunteer work or charitable donations ... causes that make people feel good for giving back.
So there ya have it. These are the top five industries with the highest email open rates. What do you think about these rankings?
Kane Miller from Winning.Email
Kane has a background in computer engineering, but now focuses on creating new and interesting web services. His passion for improving his own email deliverability rates was the driving force behind the creation of Winning.Email.