Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective forms of digital advertising, yielding an average ROI of $36:1.
Once you’ve successfully enlisted subscribers to your email list, you need to get them to open your emails and then click through to what your email is offering.
That said, it’s hard to know what is a good email open rate, the industry average open rate and how to optimize your email marketing campaigns to achieve the highest open rate possible.
In this article, we answer the question, “what’s a good open rate for emails?” and give you some email marketing strategy tips to help you make the most out of your email marketing efforts.
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What is an email open rate?
An email open rate is a percentage metric showing the number of unique opens an email has.
It reveals the number of people who opened the email and is calculated by dividing the total number of opened emails by the total number of email recipients, multiplied by 100.
What is a good email open rate?
What constitutes a good email open rate depends on your industry. Thus, a good open rate is anything that’s competitive with your industry benchmark.
It also depends on your target audience, because people open and click through emails for many different reasons.
For example, when we consider email open rates for consulting or financial service business types, the industry benchmark is 18%. This is towards the lower end of industry email open rates.
Faith-based organizations, on the other hand, have a far higher open rate, with best email open rates at around 37%. This could be because people engage with these organizations on a more personal level.
As such, it’s important to research your industry email marketing benchmarks before launching your email marketing campaign. This lets you set attainable KPIs, monitor campaign effectiveness, figure out what’s a good email open rate for your industry and make constant improvements to your email marketing strategy.
Email marketing metrics and industry statistics
Here are some current statistics for email marketing responses.
Average email open rate: 16.97%
Average click-through rate (CTR): 6.86%
Average unsubscribe rate: 0.1%
Average bounce rate: 8.85%
Why it’s important to track email open rates
If your email subscribers don’t open your email, you’ve got no chance of convincing them to take profitable action. This is why optimizing your open rate is arguably the most important element in any email campaign.
If you don’t know your open rate then you don’t have a data-driven way to improve it. Luckily, figuring out your open rate isn’t difficult. For personal emails sent from Gmail or Outlook express, you can add “read receipts” or install add-ons that show whether or not your email has been opened.
When you’re sending hundreds of emails to a large email subscriber list, providers offer services that track and monitor email open rates. This helps you compare open rates over time and assess the effectiveness of any changes you make in your campaign.
How to optimize for the highest email open rates possible
Digital marketing is a constant process of creation and optimization. The more campaign elements you can measure, the more you can optimize and the more profitable you can make that campaign.
Follow these steps and best practices to optimize your email open rates:
Determine what is a good open rate. At the start of your campaign, determine what a good open rate looks like for your business. This gives you a benchmark to work towards.
Formulate an effective email subject line. It‘s essential to get your email subject line right as it’s the only thing your target audience looks at before they decide to open your email. Make it short, relevant and attractive to the customer. Test subject lines with text only, or include emojis to make your subject line stand out.
Create a call to action (CTA). Aim for one that will entice the customer to click on your link. Click-through rates demonstrate how engaging your email copy is and how effective it is at encouraging your target audience to click through to the next stage of your email marketing sales funnel. Think about what the customer will see as a benefit and use it. The call to action must be clearly presented and easy to follow in order to improve email conversion rates.
Segment your email list. Segmentation helps you ensure the content you send your audience is relevant to their needs. If they haven‘t been active and are not opening your emails or clicking on links, then put in place a re-engagement campaign to bring them back into the fold or remove them from your email lists completely.
Test, test and test again. Use A/B testing to discover what works for your customers. Try out different subject lines, email layouts, colors and the timing in which you send out your emails. All these variables, plus many more, can influence the success or failure of your campaign.
Monitor your email automation schedule. This helps you identify the times your target audience are most responsive to your emails. Sending your emails at the right time is yet another key component of preventing your email from getting lost in the crowd.
Avoid the spam folder. If your email ends up in spam, it can affect your email deliverability. One of the best ways to avoid the spam folder is to notify new customers at the start of your email sequence (immediately after a new subscriber has chosen to opt-in to receive your emails) of their successful registration. In that welcome email, explain how to check their spam folder in case they don’t receive your emails and how to whitelist your email address in their address book.
Keep records of each and every email marketing campaign you run to determine what is a good email open rate for your emails.
Chart the data and make a note of what works and what doesn’t work. Only by paying constant attention to your performance can you improve it and, hopefully, hit those goals you set yourself at the start of the business year.