The ultimate measure of email marketing is did it drive the results you wanted.

When discussing email marketing metrics, the conversation often stops and starts at open and click-through rate benchmarks. Although important measures, these email metrics are not 100% reliable for reasons that we’ll discuss in a moment. But they also belie a bigger point about email marketing: even though its measurements are fuzzy, email marketing undoubtedly works: 82% of B2B and B2C companies use email marketing of some kind, generating a 4,300% return on their investment.

The challenge is that many marketers don’t understand exactly how to measure their email marketing’s effectiveness. So this week, let’s dive into some email marketing success benchmarks that can show you where to focus.

Email Marketing Open Rate Benchmarks

Email open rates can be off by as much as 35%.

Email open rate measurements are far from accurate, with some estimates noting that reported open rates can be off by as much as 35%. There are several explanations for these inaccuracies. First, open rates are calculated based on user downloads of a tiny tracking pixel image, but 30% of email clients automatically turn the image download feature off for security reasons. On the other hand, any recipient using a preview pane which displays emails and downloads the images automatically may be counted as an open without having ever clicked or read your email.

Below, we’ve included some email open rate benchmarks for different-sized businesses from Mailchimp and Silverpop, two email leaders:

Email Open Rates for Small and Medium Businesses

Email Open Rates for Small and Medium Businesses (source: MailChimp)



Email Open Rates for Large Businesses (source: Silverpop)

Email Marketing Click-Through Rate Benchmarks

Click-through rates are often viewed as a more relevant, accurate measure of email effectiveness. The following charts display industry averages for the metrics we have discussed among small and medium, and large-sized businesses.

Email Click-Through Rates for Small and Medium Businesses

Email Click-Through Rates for Small and Medium Businesses (source: MailChimp)



Email Click-Through Rates for Large Businesses (source: Silverpop)

Google Analytics is an excellent tool for tracking “beyond the click”. Email campaign tracking with Google Analytics allows you to isolate site visitors from email and understand their behaviors. After setting up a tracking code, you can see how guests interact with the website as well as conversion outcomes.


Email Marketing Unsubscribe Rate Benchmarks

Now we’re getting to one of the hidden keys of email marketing success: your unsubscribe rate. Keep in mind that even if they don’t open your email or click a link, your recipients will be seeing your brand’s name in their subject line every time you send an email. And when they do, the email will force them to take action (deleting it, marking it as read, etc.). Email’s ability to force your customer to take action is the true key to understanding successful email marketing. As long as your potential customers don’t unsubscribe, they’re granting you permission to keep your offers in front of them until they’re ready to purchase. Low open or click rates are ok, they’re the equivalent of your customers saying that it’s not a good time right now. High unsubscribe rates are not.

Email marketing’s key benefit: it forces your recipient to take action.

So from Young Marketing Consulting’s perspective, the most important email marketing success metric is your unsubscribe rate. Anything with rates higher than the benchmarks below means it’s time to reevaluate your email strategy.

Email Unsubscribe Rates for Small and Medium Businesses

Email Unsubscribe Rates for Small and Medium Businesses (source: MailChimp)

Next week, we’re going to look at exactly how you can capitalize on some of these email marketing best practices. But for now, we hope that these 2016 email marketing benchmarks are helpful for you.


One of the most common questions we get from our search engine optimization clients is “when will my SEO start working?” The answer, very often, is it depends. If you’ve got a strong web presence with optimized SEO architecture and good traffic volumes, the effect might be immediate. If you’re building a site from scratch, SEO is more like a snowball at the top of a mountain: you’ll need to keep nudging it down the hill until it gathers enough momentum on its own. Either way, the root of a strong search engine optimization campaign is regular content creation. And today we’d like to show you a few SEO tools you can use to make sure you’re putting out the most attractive content to your search audience so that your SEO efforts will start drawing traffic as soon as possible.

How fast does SEO work? 6 months is a good timeframe to see results.

At Young Marketing Consulting, we group SEO content into two categories:

  • “Evergreen” content designed to draw regular search traffic for your target keywords over a longer period of time
  • “Breaking news” content designed to help your site catch a rising, but temporary, wave of interest

The latter type of content is what you’ll want to focus on when trying a “fast-acting” SEO/content marketing campaign. Today, we’re going to look at three content marketing tools to help you build a breaking news-based SEO strategy.

How to Use Google Trends in Your SEO Strategy

The first tool in your fast-acting SEO toolkit is Google Trends. Originally released as Google Insights for Search in 2008, Google Trends’ current iteration is a fantastic SEO tool if you’re looking to capitalize on larger search trends. For example, let’s look at a graph of search interest in the terms “SEO” and “search engine optimization” over time:

What this graph tells us is that “SEO” has become familiar to a large audience over time, and that people quickly grew tired of typing “search engine optimization.” But historical research isn’t the main use for Google Trends. It’s a fantastic tool for helping you refine your content to capitalize on high search volume in the hopes that you can leverage the news cycle to catapult your SEO content to viral status.

As an example, let’s say you were a company looking to capitalize on the intense fascination with all things Donald J. Trump. Here’s a list of what’s most popular:

If you want your post to go viral, riding the amber waves of Trump’s hair is clearly the way to go.

How to Use Twitter Moments in Your SEO Strategy

The second tool for fast-acting SEO is Twitter Moments. Twitter Moments simplifies Twitter’s massive content stream by highlighting only trending topics within a broader category such as “News”. This dashboard allows you to peruse the day’s most popular topics and quickly craft content in response to a trending story. The more quickly you post and market content in response to a trending story, the more likely you’ll be to catch a wider audience while they’re still interested.

A look the Twitter Moments "News" category - a great SEO intelligence tool

A look the Twitter Moments “News” category – a great SEO intelligence tool

Twitter Moments allows you to follow topics so that you can keep continually informed of a conversation, and heavily features multimedia content such as videos, images, vines, and GIFs. You can also embed Moments content on your blog or site, which can help if your SEO strategy is to respond to topics as quickly as you can. You’ll always have the most relevant content available on your site, which will be helpful when pursuing a social media content marketing strategy.

How to embed a Tweet from Twitter Moments

How to embed a Tweet from Twitter Moments

How to Use Hootsuite Insights in Your SEO Strategy

Investing in a social media analytics tool such as Hootsuite Insights, formerly known as UberVU, can also help boost your SEO effort’s impact. Hootsuite Insights collects data from more than 100 million sources across 25+ social media channels, showing you what people are saying about a particular topic. More granular than Twitter or Google’s tools, Hootsuite can show where conversations are happening, who’s having them, and what the tone of the conversations is. This kind of data can be invaluable for the viral content creator seeking to drive SEO. Imagine a post based on the data below titled “Four Reasons Why Japanese Men Love Bread and Coffee So Much.” That’s the kind of juicy, fast-acting search engine optimization you can create with Hootsuite.

Hootsuite Insights can show you where to market your content for SEO purposes

Hootsuite Insights can show you where to market your content for SEO purposes

One of the most useful features in Hootsuite Insights is Conversation Maps, which shows the most commonly used phrases and words relating to a search and can help you optimize your SEO keywords when posting viral content.

What is Lady Gaga eating? A heaping bag of SEO goodness!

What is Lady Gaga eating? A heaping bag of SEO goodness!

For example, these results from a “Doritos” search tell us that people commonly associate Doritos with eating, Lady Gaga, and tacos. So, if you’re writing a blog post about Doritos, you’ll want to include those words in your post. Conversation Maps is a real-time trend identifier that serves as an excellent SEO tool when it comes to content creation.



So, if you’re looking to speed up your SEO, there you have it. Using these three essential SEO tools will help you identify what topics users are searching for, and what what they’re saying about these topics, in real time. With Google Trends, Twitter Moments, and Hootsuite Insights, you’ll always be posting exactly what the internet is looking to read, and you’re only a few posts away from a fast-acting SEO strategy. Good luck!


From Periscope to Facebook Live to Youtube, video marketing has taken the digital marketing world by storm. By 2019, Cisco predicts that 80% of all consumer internet traffic will be video, and US adults already spend 5.5 hours with online video content every day.

Live Video Marketing US Adult Online Video Consumption

With traditional television viewing in steep decline among most demographics, many marketers are tempted to say that we’ve entered completely uncharted media consumption waters. But when it comes to video marketing, I’d argue that we’re watching a rerun.

[bctt tweet=”Good video #marketing puts the right message in front of the right audience.” username=”YoungMktg”]

Live Video Marketing Bob Hope Timex

Timex was one of The Bob Hope Show’s sponsors

In the 1930s and 40s, television was just beginning to supplant radio as the media of choice, and many radio companies were the first to broadcast television signals in their local markets. By the 1950s as more Americans purchased television sets, advertisers had fled radio for television and the “commercial” was born.

I was speaking with a friend in the broadcast TV advertising business last week, and was struck by how Periscope and Facebook Live are just the latest in a long line of content that marketers can use to promote their brands. These platforms are the modern version of a television, but they offer the savvy video marketer a way to find a much more targeted audience than any 1950s commercial ever could.

Without further ado, let’s look at six tips for video marketing:

Six Tips for Video Marketing

1. Start Small: If you’re creating your own video channel from scratch, understand that it’s a big content world out there. Your first video won’t be a viral smash, so plan something that’s simple and achievable for you. The point is to get started, not become the next Spielberg. And just putting out video is a big start.

2. Invest the Time to Grow Your Audience: One of video marketing’s great benefits for marketers is the opportunity to have a continual discussion with your audience. From reaction videos to responding to comments, there are a number of ways to maintain rich interactions with your customers. But unless you take the time to foster that conversation, no one will be listening. When you start, you’ll need to do a lot of the initial outreach by commenting on other users’ videos and linking to them. You’ll also need to make sure that your video keywords and descriptions are drawing search traffic. And as your build your audience, you’ll need to respond to them just as you would in any conversation.

3. Become Hyper Targeted: From Will it Blend to white noise, there are millions of video channels and producers on the internet. The best approach to video marketing is to find your niche and target content to that audience. Doing so will help you build a following and keep your content calendar focused.

4. Understand What “Live” Viewers Want, and When They Want It: As much as video marketers would like to believe that our content is 100% fascinating at all times, it’s sadly not the case. If you’re going to go live with a tool like Periscope or Facebook Live, think through the type of content that will perform best in this fashion. Discussions with famous personalities, events, or product reveals are all good categories that may draw a live audience; in this way, live streaming video is very much the same as broadcast television.

You should spend some time thinking about when to do your live video marketing as well. Remember that your audience will have a life outside your content, so you’ll need to spend time promoting your broadcast and schedule it for a time when you’re most likely to draw viewers. Consider using a tool like Buffer to identify the optimal times during which you’ll be most likely to drive video marketing engagement.


Video Marketing: Most Commonly Uploaded Video Subjects

Source: The Pew Research Center

5. Have Fun and Be Spontaneous: As the data below show, people most commonly upload real-life situations that have some fun or humor to them. Staged or scripted videos are the last often uploaded, and while this is most likely due to the production time and cost, it’s ok if your videos are rough around the edges. Some of the best video marketing is human and approachable. The days of the slick TV commercial may be numbered.


6. Want a Shortcut? Advertise with More Popular Channels/Content Producers: And finally, a good video marketing strategy may not involve producing any videos at all! If you can find channels or content producers who already have high awareness among your target audience, your best approach may be to sponsor them or advertise on their channel. This will keep your production costs low and provide you with a very measurable ROI to see if your video marketing spend is bringing a return.