Research Outline

Email Marketing Segmentation


To identify how companies in the U.S. CPG space segment their email marketing lists, with a focus on whether they define their "active" segment as 0-2 months or 0-6 months.

Early Findings

Consumer Packaged Goods

  • "Consumer Packaged Goods only saw 14.53% open rates in 2019 and remained consistent this year at 14.5% open rates."
  • "While Retail emails experienced lower open rates than the previous year (13.9% this year, down from 14.98% last year), the click-to-open rate of 15.2% remained higher than the 14.3% average. This indicates that the people who open Retail emails are likely to visit their site. "
  • " Retail has some of the highest competition of all industries, which can lead to low open rates. Despite seeing lower open and click-through rates, 38% of US consumers report having been driven to action due to email."

Email Marketing Frequency in CPG Brands

  • "Deciding how frequently to send marketing emails is a challenge for CPG brands and retailers alike. Sending too many can antagonise recipients leading to lower deliverability and higher unsubscribe rates."

Average Email Marketing Benchmarks for Consumer Packaged Goods

  • Average open rate: 14.5%e
  • Average click-through rate: 1.6%
  • Average click-to-open rate: 10.9%
  • Average unsubscribe rate: 0.10%
  • Average bounce rate: 0.40%

Average Email Marketing Benchmarks for the United States

  • Average open rate: 17%
  • Average click-through rate: 2.5%
  • Average click-to-open rate: 14.8%
  • Average unsubscribe rate: 0.10%
  • Average bounce rate: 0.60%
The average number of emails sent per week by CPG category:


  • For the initial hour we tried identifying how companies in the U.S. CPG space segment their email marketing lists. We specifically tried to identify whether they define their "active" segment as 0-2 months or 0-6 months. However, a specific statistic on this did not appear available on a public search. We were able to find email marketing benchmarks for Consumer Packaged Goods and for the United States, which might also be helpful in segmentation.
  • There were some insights specific to inactive subscribers, suggesting that "segmenting this group by a few different response criteria is a strong tactic to take a broad approach (e.g. combining a segment of people that haven’t opened emails in the last six months with a segment of people that have only opened one or two in the last twelve months)." It is likely that this approach can also be taken for active subscribers.
  • Research also indicated that the "optimum number of email and mobile messages that should be sent per month is challenging and the response really depends on business objectives, the nature of a brand’s business, customer interests and needs, the amount of relevant content that can be produced, marketing resources, and others."
  • Open rate, click-through rate, and click-to-open rate were the main metrics recommended in helping with segmentation for email engagement, especially for active users. Subscribers who engage or are active can be focused on more specifically through targeted campaigns.
  • In the course of our research, we also came across some insights on the following: email marketing segmentation strategies, how consumers feel about marketing emails, and McCormick's digital performance, which might also be helpful.
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