Email marketing: How Much Percentage of Revenue Does It Contribute?

April 30, 2023
5 min read

You already know that email marketing brings in direct revenue. It’s still alive and it’s the number one source of revenue for several e-commerce businesses. 

Assuming you have an email marketing program in place, you might have a few things going for you in terms of:

  • Growing your email subscriber base
  • Segmenting your email subscribers and customers
  • Sending out regular email broadcasts
  • Taking advantage of transactional emails
  • Using the power of email marketing automation 
  • Using email automation sequences, while simultaneously tagging and routing customers into required groups (based on triggers, behavior, orders, and other parameters)

But what’s the percentage of revenue that email marketing should contribute to your e-commerce store’s total revenue? How much should email marketing bring in? 

There's one number that a lot of agencies out there are promoting : 30% of your revenue should be done through Email Marketing.

That sounds wearily generalistic for us (making it unnecessarily hard for certain e-commerce stores that don’t need these benchmarks or goals). 

It's a good figure to have in mind, but it's too easy to be cheated on, vulnerable for manipulation, and doesn’t really tell you the whole story. Also, each business is different and the actual number depends on a lot of factors:

How do you go about it then? Here goes: 

The Industry averages For targeted KPIs

The right kind of benchmarks you should be looking at -- as far as the contribution of revenue thanks to email marketing goes -- is the industry average for the specific type of e-commerce business you operate. 

Let’s take the Key Performance Indicators which are relatively low-hanging fruit: such as click rates, open rates, and so on. Look out for specific industry averages when you look out for numbers, KPIs, competitive benchmarks, and goals to meet. 

With Panoramata, you have several other KPI, benchmarks, and data for competitive analysis going deep for several different types of e-commerce businesses (such as the numbers specific to apparel, fashion, and more). 

Average Order Value 

The higher the price of your products, the more your attribution is mixed between several touchpoints. A higher order value automatically equates to better revenue, a healthy cash flow, and a faster path to profits. To boost the average order value, you’d have to do more than just sell products (one-time). Offer subscriptions, roll out automations, and ensure that you have an email marketing strategy that incorporates modern-day best practices such as abandonment cart flows, winback emails, retargeting emails, welcome email series, and more. 

The Klaviyo’s benchmark study finds that companies with an average order size of $100 to $200 had an average revenue per recipient of $7.01 for abandoned cart flows, $3.34 for welcome series, $1.95 for browse abandonment emails, and .84 for winback emails.

The highest revenue per recipient was found in abandoned cart emails sent by stores with an average order size of over $200: $14.14.


Segmentation contributes to more email marketing impact in terms of revenue for e-commerce businesses. 

More than you think. 

When you send more relevant and personalized content, you have higher engagement and then conversions. This isn’t just hearsay. 

According to a performance benchmarking study by Klaviyo:

“...e-commerce companies with an annual revenue of under $100K in 2016 had 13.36 segments. 

Those with annual revenue of $100K to $1M had 29.96; companies with $1M to $10M had 43.96. Meanwhile, companies with more than $10M in 2016 annual revenue had an average of 133.97 segments.” 

More carefully sorted and managed segments you have, the better your defined and specific target customers are (including demographics, interests, behaviors, and more). 

The more up-to-date and precise your segments are, the better your email marketing performance will be. 

Active Promotional Strategy & Testing 

The more promotions you're doing in your email, the higher the ratio of revenue contributed by email marketing for e-commerce. Just because this is true, it doesn’t mean you go berserk with your email campaigns.

As with most things, finding a balance is critical. 

Everything matters: The frequency you send emails at, the content of the emails, the subject lines, the number of “sales-specific” emails with more product promotions than anything else. 

Drawing up a balance is not possible with you just “assuming” or “experimenting”. What works is a judicious mix of a healthy frequency, continuous testing to find the right frequency, email design, email content, subject lines, and more. 

In time, you’ll find the strategy, the sequences, timing, and everything else as close to perfect.