Email Open Rate (Metric)


What Is Email Open Rate?

Open rate is an email marketing metric that calculates the percentage of subscribers who opened an email marketing campaign out of the total recipients.

How to Calculate Email Open Rate

To calculate your email “open rate” you need to divide the unique number of people who opened your emails, by total emails you sent, multiplied by 100.

Open Rate = Unique Total Opens / Total Emails Sent x 100

Open rate is calculated using only unique opens. If a subscriber opens your email more than once, it’ll still be counted as once.

You also need to exclude bounced emails from the calculation. 

For example, if you send out 100 emails and 10 of them bounce, your total emails sent become 90 and not 100. Out of this number if 45 people open it, your open rate will be calculated as:

45 / 90 x 100 = 50%

What Is a Good Open Rate?

There’s no standard answer to this question. It depends on factors like your industry, your audience, and your product. 

According to the Email Marketing Benchmarks by Mailchimp, the average open rate across all industries is 21.33%. 

Some industries have a higher open rate and others have lower.  

Email open rate: image mailchimp chart average industries open rate
Image source: Mailchimp

Your best bet would be to compare your open rates to your industry average. This should give you an idea of how well you are doing.

How to Improve Email Open Rates

Like all things with marketing, there are a couple of things you could do to improve your email open rates. 

1. Clean Your Email List

Cleaning your email list refers to the process of removing inactive subscribers from your list. 

If there are people on your list who haven’t opened any of your emails in 3 - 6 months, then it’s best if you remove them from the list. 

Keeping them on your list means you won’t get the true picture of how many people actually open your emails.

Removing them will likely improve your open rate.

2. A/B Test Your Campaigns

With A/B testing, you’re basically sending two variations of your email campaign to a small subset of your email subscribers. 

You would then send the winning campaign to your entire list.  

This is another great way to improve your open rate because you would only send out campaigns with higher open rates to begin with. 

3. Write Attention-Grabbing Subject Lines

An email subject is like the title of an article. It is one of the deciding factors for whether your subscribers will open your email or not. 

So, don’t just write anything that comes to mind as a subject line. 

Take your time and put some effort into actually crafting a subject line that is guaranteed to catch readers’ attention. 

There are a couple of tools out there that can help you with this.

4. Segment Your Email List

By segmenting your list you’re breaking down your list into groups based on similar characteristics.

This allows you to tailor your campaigns to the individual targeted groups rather than sending a generic email to your entire list.

According to Mailchimp, segmented campaigns have a 14.3% higher open rate than non-segmented campaigns.

5. Pick The Best Time to Send Emails

The time you send out your campaign directly impacts your open rate. 

If you know the best time to send out your campaigns, you can be guaranteed that a good number of people will open your emails.

CoSchedule put together a great guide on the best time to send your campaigns. 

How Can We Help?

Is your open rate embarrassingly low? Don’t worry, we can help you.

Contact us today and we’ll organise a free strategy session - if you like what you see then we could set you up with a team who will implement everything you’ve learnt!

Otherwise, you could take a look at our training courses to get lots of marketing practises that you can put in place upon completion.