An open rate is a metric used in email marketing, showing you how many people have clicked onto your email from their inbox, junk, or spam folder. Open rates are calculated by dividing the number of emails opened by the number of emails sent (minus any hard or soft bounces).

Across the board, industry averages for open rates tend to sit anywhere between 15 – 30%. Obviously you can do better or worse than this, but an open rates takes into account the most common variables when it comes to email users, such as:

  • Users implementing spam filters, and thus never seeing your email if it doesn’t reach their inbox.
  • Marking an email as read, simply because they don’t wish to open the email as it is not important or irrelevant to them.
  • How well an email user responds to a subject line can encourage more opens (Such as a subject line that creates urgency or appeal, like for a promotion or discount for a limited period).
  • Whether the subject line is personalised – Generally when your own name is within a subject line, it gives you more reason to open the email due to curiosity.
  • Recognition of the sender – If you haven’t built a list properly, i.e. through an opt-in form, your readers may not recognise your sender’s address, and might steer clear of your email.

How do I achieve a good open rate?

To achieve a good open rate in your email marketing, you have to pay attention to how you present your subject lines, as well as how you appear to readers from their point of view. Use the tips below, and give them a try on your own campaigns, to see if your open rate begins to improve:
Use personalised subject lines, addressing the reader and provoking interest/ curiosity, to encourage them into opening your email.
Customise your sender details, even if it means paying for a custom domain name, at least it will look better than getting a random email from a sender with or
Make use of A/B testing, and try out emojis in your subject lines. Emojis can increase your open rates by as much as 56% if used correctly (Campaign Monitor 2018 survey). Here are a couple of examples, so you can get an idea of how they will look in your readers’ inboxes.
  • Café Press: paw prints PAW-SOME pet gear is 25% off! paw prints
  • eBay: palm tree Get saving with the End of Summer Sale … what do you want for up to 70% of
  • KFC: The news you’ve been waiting for raising hands Get the date locked down! calendar


Did you know?

  • Government-related emails offer the highest average open rate, sometimes hitting as high as 28.77 per cent (Mailchimp).
  • 35 per cent of email recipients open an email based on the subject line alone (Convince&Convert).



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