What is Email Marketing Conversion Rate? 13 Tips to Double it [2023]

Ammar Mazhar
Ammar Mazhar

Last updated on

December 5, 2022

Successful email marketing happens to be the game-changer in the new digital era. Just look at the current and expected revenue generated from these campaigns.

Email marketing expected revenue per year

However, big or small, most companies fail to understand what a “successful” email marketing campaign looks like. Enter email marketing conversion rate, the metric that can answer this question. This post is all about this topic and aims to answer all your what, why, and how pertaining to the email marketing conversion rate.

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What is Email Conversion?

In simple terms, an email conversion is whenever the user is convinced by your email and completes the action you have asked them for via the copy. The conversion does not have to include the exchange of money. It is of utmost essence to understand this definition clearly, to avoid any confusion in the future. The following actions help shine more light on different types of successful email conversions:

  • Opening an email you sent
  • Completing a registration form
  • Participating in a giveaway
  • Purchasing an item

What is an email conversion rate?

An email conversion can be described as when subscribers take a specific action after receiving and opening an email you sent them. The number of recipients who perform the desired action to the total number of emails sent gives the rate of conversion. In short, the email marketing conversion rate is the fraction of email recipients who have completed the goal action.

The email marketing conversion rate is the answer to your woes about quantifying such actions. You can analyze the success of the email marketing campaign with the help of this rate and the consistent numbers over a specific period.

We interviewed the industry expert Veronica Miller, who is working as Digital Marketing & Growth Director at VPNoverview says “As an email marketer, it is important that you are aware of how the results of your email marketing stack up in comparison to those of your competitors and other companies operating in your industry. Using this information, you will be able to calculate what kind of open rates or conversion rates businesses similar to yours should expect.”

Why conversion rate matters

I mean, why shouldn't it? 


Think about it. 


Email conversion rate is the way to discover how well your efforts are churning out. An accurate, measurable number that you can trust. It tells you whether you need to revamp your strategy or stick to what’s already working. 

For instance, if you close 50 sales at the end of the day, that might sound good to you – but if your recipients are 50,000 –  that’s only a 1% conversion rate. Which clearly reveals you need to improve your emails. 

How to calculate email conversion rate

Now that you know what we mean by an email conversion and the metric that puts it into perspective, let’s learn how to calculate it. The formula for email conversion rate is the total number of conversions divided by the number of successfully delivered emails. You get the final conversion percentage once you multiply the resultant number by 100.

Email conversion rate formula

3 Challenges with email conversion rate

Read below 3 common challenges email marketers face – and if you also do – learn how you can resolve them. 

3 Challenges with email conversion rate

1. Emails landing in the spam folder

Spam filters are now more active than ever. The last thing you want is your emails landing in the spam folders and suppressing your conversion rates. 

How can you cope with this? 

Avoid spammy subject lines that sound too good to be true—for instance, trigger words like Free Cash, Unlimited, or Free Passive Income. 

Also, ask your subscribers to add you to the contact list so you never land in the spam folder. 

Don't worry about spam folders if you’re being genuine with your subscribers, building genuine connections, and putting value in your emails. 

2. People will unsubscribe you: 

Adding them to the list is the first step to a long journey ahead. There will be times when they will unsubscribe. What should you do then? 

First, to prevent this from happening, make sure your emails are always relevant, value-driven, and fun to read. 

Also, to take things further, segment your lists based on geographic locations or gender. Send them targeted emails that are more relatable. 

Plus, target inactive email subscribers in a different segment to re-engage them. 

If at the end of the day, they still unsubscribe you, it’s good. Why? 

Because those are no longer interested in you. The people in your list are still interested. And let me tell you this: it’s easier to sell to people who are interested in your products or services.  

3. Mobile optimization is critical:

When launching emails, ensure they’re super-optimized for mobiles. Because most users read emails on mobile, 85% to be specific. So if your emails are slow-loading or glitchy for mobile devices, you will simply lose conversions. 

Don’t overdesign, keep the template responsive, use short and catchy subject lines with pre-header texts, break your sentences, and make your CTAs bold. 

What is a good email marketing conversion rate?

The email conversion rate depends on several factors like industry, email type, company size, geographical location, and several other elements. For example, 20% seems to be a good number for software-related companies whereas emails related to the education industry should expect a 25% open rate.

Joe Troyer, who is the CEO & Head of Growth of Digital Triggers explained in his guest post about “How to Generate 30% More E-Commerce Sales”. He says “The only way to get ‘excellent’ email marketing conversion rates is to go deeper into your data to determine where you're falling short and then use various optimization tactics to improve your conversion rate. Consequently, the only good conversion rate is higher than you currently have.”

Average conversion rate for email campaigns

Various resources on the web say different things when it comes to the average email conversion rate. You might encounter stats saying the average conversion rate is 4%, 5%, or even 25% - there can be truth in it. Because it varies dramatically across industries, audiences, and the campaign type. 

But what’s more important here is this: you can always convert more. Your goal should be to make your emails so good that they convert more for you – instead of bounding your efforts with a set number. 

Average email conversion rate by Year

In 2016, 17, and 18, average conversion rate was 1.44%, 1.53%, and 1.63% respectively. According to Barilliance, In 2019 and 2020, it was seen at around 1.32% and 1.43%. In 2021, it was 1.33%. 

Keep in mind that these are for the eCommerce industry, and calculated with the percentage of total emails sent for different campaigns. That’s why the numbers are significantly lower. Sadly, we lack more transparent data for average conversion rates year-wise.

Average email conversion rate by Industry

It’s important to know your industry’s standard conversion rate, so you might not set unrealistic expectations with your campaigns. But, do these industry-wise stats put a maximum limit on how much you can convert?

Obviously not. 

Your campaigns are exclusive to you, and you can always convert more by getting more creative with your efforts. 

Have a look at the industry standard: 

Average email conversion rate by Industry

Average email conversion rate by Email type

The type of email you choose is another critical factor that decides CR. Look at abandoned cart emails, for example. It's a whopping 5%, compared to other types. Knowing what’s working better can also shape your campaign strategies for good. Have a look: 

Average email conversion rate by email type

3 Reasons you didn't know cause a low email conversion rate

Don't blame your emails if you look at your email metrics and notice that your messages aren't generating enough conversions. Three issues that result from this could be the cause for the poor results, and in this post, you'll know how to overcome them once and for all.

3 Reasons you didn't know cause a low email conversion rate

1. Not reeling in people

Did you know that over 333.2 billion emails will likely be sent and received every day in 2022? While that number can knock the wind out of anyone’s lungs, it seems reasonable that every individual observes between 50-75 new emails in their inbox every morning.

Knowing this fact is important because it highlights the first issue. Your email is getting lost in the sea of many unread emails just because you fail to reel your subscribers in. One of the best ways to gain their attention is to compose a grappling hook by adhering to the tenets of unmatchable copywriting.

2. Sending emails to the wrong list

Unwanted emails can irk even the most loyal subscribers. Therefore, you have to be wary about the frequency of your emails. Sending the correct email at the right time is surely an art, but you need to master it to increase your email conversion rate.

The cure to this is understanding your target demographics as the first step of any operation. Once you get a whiff of their motivations and buying patterns, you can alter the email marketing campaigns such that they engage.

3. Lack of understanding

Speaking of understanding, even the best email copy of an illustrious graphic will drain if you do not grasp your audience’s pain points. You have to get in touch with your consumers to find out what works and needs improvement.

Alternatively, you could perform A/B testing to grasp the successful and not-so-successful attempts at email marketing. Such tests provide you with solid data that can be visualized through reports, and results can be implemented in major campaigns.

13 Tips to double your email marketing conversion rate

Let’s dive right into the most effective strategies to guarantee an upward increase in your email conversion reports.

13 Tips to double your email marketing conversion rate

1. List pruning

The phrase quality over quantity is a sanctum for your email subscribers' list. Pruning your list not only helps convey your message to the relevant audience and reduces the cost per email in its wake.

When you think about it, does it make sense that you market your maternity clothing to women who have already delivered their babies? So keep trimming your list every once in a while so that you don't see a dip in your conversion rates by closing the conversation with irrelevant audiences.

2. List segmentation

The next tip on this list is to segment your list diligently. Numbers show that appropriate segmented campaigns can result in up to 760% more revenue than their counterparts. The customer's online behavior and browsing patterns can reveal their preferences. Therefore take that data into account and create meaningful segments that yield greater email conversion.

3. Email frequency optimization

This one's a little tricky; we're not going to lie. You send one too many emails, and the user unsubscribes and sparse communication leads to an out-of-sight, out-of-mind scene.

Steve Elliott, Franchise Owner of Restoration1 says “You have to find an ideal balance concerning the frequency of the emails. You can take the help of analytics and readers' feedback on when it seems to be the right time and frequency to send your emails for them to engage fruitfully.” 

4. Mobile-friendly email design

You have to implement this tip in all your marketing emails. Over 55% of emails are read via mobile phones. So make sure that the design is coherent to those users. Shorten the length of the copy and use a single-column layout to make the design more mobile responsive. This will instantaneously result in a rise in the conversion rates, with fewer people avoiding or deleting your email due to the irksome design on their phone.

Have a look at Songkick’s event promotional email – it’s thoughtfully designed for vertical mobile screen ratio. 

Songkick's promotional email - mobile view

Now, have a look at its desktop version. The difference: plenty of wide gray space around the main sections. Imagine opening this heavily designed version on mobile screens.

Songkick's promotional email- Desktop view

5. Powerful subject lines

In a way, your subject lines precede your email and are responsible for your first impression. Naturally, they should be catchy, impressive, and impactful. There are numerous ways to amp up your subject's lines.

You can reel the readers in through perky one-liners or intriguing facts that make them click. However, remember that your subject line must effectively convey the message you are trying to convey in the copy.

Have a look at a few examples: 

  1. “Uh-oh, your prescription is expiring”, by Warby Parker. 

This subject line is sent at the right time – with the right tone, showing empathy and care. Who would want to miss their medical prescription?

  1. “Show them what you’re made of”, by Canva. 

This subject line empowers readers (aspiring designers) in a positive, uplifting tone – to create designs they’re proud of. Results? More clicks.

  1. Hmm…no writing activity last week?”, by Grammarly. 

Grammarly, an AI writing assistant played smart here: this is an autoresponder to recipients who turn Grammarly’s plugin off. Notice it’s not a sell out. It feels like a genuine concern, which makes readers click. 

6. Act of personalization

A personalized touch can go a long way in a world that is quickly moving towards completely automated processes. Addressing the user by their names, adding your employee’s name to the sender’s address, or simply personalizing scoring to their preferences can help the reader relate better to your content. So much so that you can observe 202% more conversions through a personalized call-to-action.

7. Sense of urgency

Use the time-tested notions of urgency or scarcity to motivate action, regardless of the information you present or the campaign you execute. The method you make the opportunity exclusive in some way is determined by your short- and long-term objectives.

For example, An e-commerce site is usually looking to sell something shortly. As a result, emails will mention a promotion. Discounts, free delivery, and other offers are examples of this. You want to make sure that customers understand that the deal is only accessible for a limited time.

8. Attractive CTA

Next, you have to make sure that your CTA is truly attractive and appeals to the user. You can do this by restricting the value addition to the reader’s life. Make sure you come up with something innovative that helps you stand out from the crowd.

Furthermore, steer clear of vague CTAs and keep them short and crisp. Your CTA, after all, is the gateway that seals the final stamp of conversion.

Have a look at the example from Social Triggers. This CTA’s power lies in the offer – the more value you offer, the more attractive your CTA will be. It’s straightforward, and promises a specific value. Also, notice how only the main button is of red color – why do you think it is like that? Of course, to divert the readers’ attention to this button.

Social triggers CTA example

9.Dedicated landing page

You must have impressive landing pages to which you redirect your emails. But there's more to it than just uniformity. You don't want visitors to come to the landing page and then question if they've arrived at the incorrect location. This typically leads to people leaving before you achieve your goal. As a result, a good landing page is essential for increasing your email marketing conversion rate.

Have a look at the example from Bluehost. Notice how it’s designed with a mobile-first approach. Plus, no-fluff – the page gets straight to the point because someone who clicked the link is already warmed up.

Dedicated landing page - Bluehost example

10. Always A/B test

Performing an A/B test can be a massive help in increasing your conversion rate exponentially. Herein, the test can be of any type. You can test two different types of copies or offer a discount coupon to one group and a free product to the other.

These comparisons will tell you what engages your target audience the most. They provide real-time analytics which can be used to draw a solid conclusion. These results can shape your email marketing campaigns in the future and ensure that you put your best foot forward.

11. Email management

Appropriate email management refers to recognizing the recipient’s stage in the consumer journey and sending coherent emails. You can nail it by noting the amount of time they have subscribed to your emails, their purchase history, and the average order value and types of orders, alongside previous click-through rates. This will make your email super-specific and guarantee a conversion from the reader.

12. Minimum form fields

It is recommended to avoid using any kind of form in your emails. This is because forms are difficult to fill out, especially when your clients use a mobile device. If forms must be used, keep the number of fields as low as feasible.

Also, don’t ask for any personal information like their phone number, location, or passwords when using forums – because emails like this look fishy right off the bat. Spam filters might flag your emails as spam. 

The goal behind using a forum should be to increase engagement and take surveys. You can learn this from Dropbox’s example below: 

Minimum form fields - Dropbox's example

13. Automated drip campaigns

After clients do specific activities on your site, an automated drip campaign will deliver them emails at predetermined intervals. This keeps your brand in the minds of your customers and significantly impacts email conversion rates.

Drip campaigns shouldn't have to be unnatural to the customers, even when automated. Make these emails more engaging by personalizing them for the recipients.

Increase your Email conversion rate with Mailmunch 

As you have observed, the email marketing conversion rate is a metric with lots of layers and depth. This post should help you get your concepts clear, and the tips act as a critical baseline while creating your next email marketing campaign. The user experience you provide is directly tied to your email conversion rate. The more time you spend on the user experience, the greater your conversion rate.

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Author Bio

Ammar Mazhar

A voracious reader and a music lover, Ammar has been writing engaging and informative content for over 2 years for B2B and B2C markets. With a knack for writing SEO-optimized content, Ammar makes sure that the results speak for themselves.

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