One of the best studies on this subject was performed by MailChimp. This email service provider sends billions of emails on behalf of 100 million users every month. That is a lot of data. From this pool of statistics, MailChimp was able to break down email performance in a number of industry categories. You can read their complete report, but here are some useful numbers that stand out:
Open Rate – Average open rates range from as high as 28.8% for communications related to hobbies (high affinity), and as low as 13.7% for daily deals/e-coupons.
Click Rate – Average click rates range from as high as 5.4% for hobbies (matching the high open rate) and as low as 1.2% for restaurants.
Bounce Rate – The average hard bounce rate ranges from 1.3% in the construction industry (high turnover and low email frequency?) to 0.09% for daily deals/e-coupons (probably due to frequency of sending and accuracy of opt-in).
Unsubscribe Rate – The average unsubscribe rate ranges from 0.4% for construction businesses and restaurants/venues to a low of 0.12% for religious institutions and 0.10% for daily deals/e-coupons (people like their deals to keep coming even though they may not open them as much).
Abuse Rate – This statistic is best not achieved at all, but it has been seen as high as 0.05% and is best kept lower than 0.01%. In some email programs, filing an abuse complaint is fairly easy and some users may use it as a way to unsubscribe. ContentMX will unsubscribe any user that lodges an abuse complaint.