International Email Benchmark 2024 | Email Becomes More Professional through Higher Opens and Clicks, and Lower Unsubscribes and Spam Complaints

04 June 2024

The Global Data & Marketing Alliance (GDMA) and the Dutch Data & Marketing Association (DDMA) are proud to present the third and latest edition of the GDMA International Email Benchmark. This year’s edition is even more comprehensive and international, featuring 5 million email campaigns (2023: 3 million), 203 billion emails sent (2023: 122 billion), 42,000 organizations (2023: 28,000), and nearly double the geographical coverage, with 125 countries (2023: 69).

For the second time the International Email Benchmark is published via an interactive dashboard, which provides cross border insights based on email campaigns data. You can access the full dashboard here and explore the findings.

Key insights:

  1. Even higher open and acceptance rates, lower bounce rates
  2. Low unsubscribe and spam complaint rates indicate an increasingly professional email marketing sector

Email Marketing is Becoming More Professional and Mature

Globally, the acceptance rate has increased for the third consecutive year, from 98.24% to 98.46% to 99.22% this year. Consequently, the hard bounce rate has decreased from 0.92% to 0.82% to just 0.44% in 2023. The soft bounce rate has also declined from 0.84% to 0.73%, and this year to 0.33%. This positive trend can be attributed to marketers taking list hygiene more seriously, better adhering to laws and regulations, and meeting consumer expectations even outside the EU. For example, in countries where GDPR rules are observed even if they are not directly enforced. Email Service Providers (ESPs) have also raised awareness among marketers and taken steps to better facilitate consent management. This has positively impacted benchmark results and improved the email channel’s image among recipients.

Additionally, the open rate has improved to 34.12% from 31.35% in 2022. This can be partly explained by the continuation of Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection (AMPP), which marks emails as opened automatically for Apple users. There is also an increase in the click-through rate (CTR) to 3.56% from 3.44% in 2022. However, since the CTR has increased less sharply than the open rate, the click-to-open rate (CTO) has slightly decreased to 8.82% from 9.04% in 2022.

New Statistics: Low Unsubscribe and Spam Complaint Rates

To further expand and professionalize the benchmark, two new statistics have been included in the 2024 edition: the unsubscribe rate and the spam complaint rate. ESPs are increasingly focusing on list hygiene, providing methods to make the number of unsubscribes and spam complaints at the campaign level more transparent. As these insights are increasingly important for marketers, the figures are now included in the benchmark going forward. Based on 2023 data, the unsubscribe rate is 0.14%. The spam complaint rate is even lower globally, with only 0.01% of accepted emails marked as spam. The low rates of both statistics demonstrate that email as a channel is becoming more professional, with professionals not only maintaining the quality of their mailing lists but also ensuring high-quality content.

The data also show that ESPs are taking spam more seriously and that the market demands it.
This confirms that email, a long-standing marketing channel, continues to mature and marketers are responsibly tackling even the less pleasant aspects of the job, which generally are considered to be related to complying with legislation and security.

Join us for a Deep Dive at the Email Marketing Automation Summit

Interested in learning more about the Benchmark? Join us at the Email Marketing Automation Summit (EMAS) on June 27th. Robin de Wouters (GDMA) will be hosting a Deep Dive session  to explore the key figures of the Benchmark in detail. This session is part of the broader EMAS program that includes other keynotes and workshops.

About the GDMA International Email Benchmark 2024

Besides the insights above, users can navigate through the benchmark via the interactive dashboard. By simply clicking and exploring the dashboard, users can unlock a wealth of information and tailor their analysis to their specific needs.

The 2024 benchmark results are derived from anonymized campaign data from 2021, 2022, and 2023, provided by 13 participating ESPs and covering 125 countries across the Americas, Europe and APAC.

The GDMA International Email Benchmark is an annual study, inviting organizations worldwide to participate and contribute to its expansion. The more campaign data we collect, the more robust, insightful, and valuable the benchmark becomes. Participation in the study is free. Interested in joining? Contact Robin de Wouters at

About GDMA

The GDMA (umbrella organization of DDMA) represents, supports, and unites 28 data and marketing associations worldwide, focusing on data-driven marketing. The association promotes global initiatives aimed at providing knowledge on global trends, thought leadership, and expertise in data-driven marketing across all sectors, disciplines, and channels. Through its member associations, GDMA offers access to the largest network of data-driven marketing organizations and influential individuals worldwide.

About DDMA

DDMA is the largest industry association for marketing and data. We are a network of over 360 brands, non-profits, publishers, agencies, and tech suppliers who aim to use data successfully and responsibly for marketing purposes. We identify developments in technology, regulations, and ethics, and bring together marketers, data specialists, and legal experts to help them advance in their fields. Additionally, we promote self-regulation and act as a dialogue partner for policymakers and regulators.