Why Email Open Rates Matter

Why Email Open Rates Matter

Email open rates refer to the percentage of opened emails and is basis for measuring the effectiveness of email marketing campaigns. When a subscriber receives an email and clicks to read the content, that’s what’s called an ‘open’. Email service providers (ESPs) track this activity to determine how many email recipients opened (or ignored) a specific message in their inbox.

Marketers use the following metrics for email performance:

  • Average email open rate is between 15% to 25%
  • Average click-to-open rate is between 20% to 30%
  • Average click-through rate is about 2.5%

However, email open rate varies depending on email type, niche topics, target audience, and industry. Other factors to consider:

  • Plain text emails have lower open rate than emails with infographics.
  • Emails on niche topics have higher open rate than broad topic emails.
  • Bigger mailing lists have lower open rates.
  • Some recipients have images turned off, so an open won’t count unless they click the link inside the email.
  • Some recipients have ‘preview’ function turned on; clicking on it will count as an open but not necessarily mean the message was viewed till the end.

Email open rate is a vital indicator of an email marketing campaign’s success. If email open rate is unusually low, it may be due to the following:

  • boring/complicated subject line
  • not sent at peak delivery time
  • wrong/outdated email address

Unless recipients click on the email and read the message to the end, they won’t be able to take the desired action. Immediate evaluation and improvement of all aspects of current email marketing strategy is necessary to prevent this from happening.


How To Improve Email Open Rates

  1. Optimize your subject line. Here are best practices to follow:
    • Keep it short and sweet, preferably not more than 40 characters so mobile users can read the whole thing.
    • Customize according to specific subscriber list so words would be highly relevant to them.
    • Personalize content, such as including recipient’s first name.
    • Create sense of urgency to heighten curiosity.
    • Tell them what to expect to encourage them to view content.
    • Refrain from overusing all caps or exclamation points; it makes the email look desperate and tends to go straight to junk mail.

    Mistakes happen so don’t panic. By making sure there are checklists or systems in place will help prevent you from committing the following:

    • Personalization that’s weird or flat out wrong
    • Subject lines that get cut off
    • Unsupported characters
    • Spelling typos
    • Subject line doesn’t match email content
    • Forgetting to replace placeholder text
  2. Segment your subscriber’s list.

    Break your list based on relevant data and unique demographics such as gender engagement history, browsing/purchase behavior, and geolocation. Segmented campaigns can make people feel more interested in reading email content and can boost revenue by a whopping 700%.
  3. Maintain good email list hygiene.

    A fresh and clean list ensures the highest probability of email delivery. Cut through the clutter and prevent sending spammy emails by doing these simple steps:
    • Segregate your list by separating active and inactive subscribers.
    • Segment your list based on subscriber score (5 stars for highly active subscribers, 2 stars for inactives, and 1 star for new subscribers).
    • Send a re-engagement email to rejuvenate the interest of warm leads and identify inactive subscribers.
  4. Send emails at the appropriate time.Wrong timing leads to low email open rates. The best time to send emails is Tuesdays at 10 AM, 1 PM, and 6 PM. Though audience, industry, and time zones matter, engagement behavior can help determine accurately when subscribers are most active online; in which case, shoot for sending emails because there’s a high probability they’ll read the content.
  5. Create mobile-friendly emails.About 70% of emails are opened on mobile devices. To ensure that your emails get opened on mobile, keep these tips in mind:
    • Keep subject line length to 25 characters
    • Use pre-header text (the first line of email copy)
    • Create short, scannable, and easy-to-read chunks of content
    • Place CTAs near the top to tell readers what they need to do right up front
    • Leave enough white space around the copy, images, and links to make them clickable

How do you increase email open rates? If you want advice on how to measure the performance of an email marketing campaign or are looking to consolidate all email tracking metrics into one platform, get started with Riptide today – its FREE!