What is Email Open Rate? – How it is calculated and what does it mean for your EDMs

23 February 2024

Are you looking to improve your email marketing? Understanding email open rates is crucial for assessing the effectiveness of campaigns. Email open rate is a metric used to measure the percentage of recipients who open an email campaign. It indicates the effectiveness of your email subject lines, sender name, and overall content in capturing the attention of your audience. A higher open rate typically signifies that your campaigns are engaging and relevant to your subscribers, while a lower open rate may indicate that adjustments are needed to improve your marketing strategy.

How does email open rate work?

Email open rate represents the percentage of recipients who open an email, providing insights into audience engagement and campaign performance. Calculating email open rate is relatively straightforward: it’s the number of emails opened divided by the number of emails delivered, multiplied by 100.

For example: 44 opened out of 200 emails delivered is an email open rate of 22%

This formula helps businesses understand how well their emails are resonating with their audience and whether adjustments are needed to optimise engagement. By tracking email open rates, businesses can assess the effectiveness of their email marketing efforts, identify areas for improvement, and refine their strategies to better meet the needs and preferences of their target audience.

What are the consequences of poor email open rates?

A low email open rate can have several consequences for an email marketing campaign:

Decreased Engagement:
Low open rates indicate that recipients are not interested in or engaged with the email content. This lack of engagement can lead to fewer clicks, lower click-through rates, and ultimately reduced interaction with your brand.

Negative Impact on Deliverability:
Email service providers may interpret low open rates as a sign of low sender reputation or poor email quality. As a result, your emails may be more likely to be flagged as spam or delivered to the recipients’ junk folders, reducing the chances of future emails reaching the inbox.

Wasted Resources:
Low open rates mean that a significant portion of your email list is not engaging with your content. This can result in wasted resources spent on designing and sending emails that are not effectively reaching or resonating with your audience.

Decreased ROI:
With fewer recipients opening your emails, the return on investment (ROI) of your campaign may decrease. If your emails are not driving traffic, conversions, or sales, you may not see the desired financial benefits from your email marketing efforts.

Negative Perception of Brand:
Consistently low email open rates can damage your brand’s reputation and credibility. Recipients may perceive your emails as irrelevant or uninteresting, leading to a decline in brand trust and loyalty over time.

Overall, addressing and improving a low email open rate is essential for maximising the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and maintaining a positive relationship with your audience.

What factors can influence email open rates?

Subject Line: The subject line is the first thing recipients see when they receive an email. A compelling and relevant subject line can grab the recipient’s attention and entice them to open the email.

Sender Name: The sender’s name plays a crucial role in determining whether an email gets opened. Recipients are more likely to open emails from senders they recognise and trust.

Email Content: Emails that provide valuable and relevant information to recipients are more likely to be opened and engaged with.

Timing: Sending emails at times when recipients are most likely to check their inbox, such as during weekdays or specific hours, can increase the likelihood of opens.

Email Frequency: Sending too many emails can overwhelm recipients and lead to fatigue, while sending too few emails may result in decreased engagement.

Relevance: Finally, the relevance of the email to the recipient’s interests, needs, and preferences is critical. Emails that are highly relevant to the recipient are more likely to be opened and engaged with.

Setup DKIM authentication: If you’re sending emails through an email platform such as Mailchimp or Klaviyo, make sure DNS records are created for DKIM authentication. DKIM adds a digital signature to emails, boosting trust with providers, reducing spam risk, and increasing deliverability, all of which can lead to higher open rates.

What is a good email open rate?

A good email open rate can vary depending on factors such as industry, audience demographics, and the type of email campaign. However, as a general guideline, an email open rate of around 15% to 25% is considered to be average or acceptable. Here is a percentage of how many people opened an email newsletter we sent for one of our clients.

AWD newsletter open rate

It’s essential for businesses to benchmark their email open rates against industry averages and past campaign performance to determine what constitutes a good open rate for their specific circumstances.

For example, according to Omnisend data, the books & literature industry had an EDM open rate of 34.32%, meanwhile tobacco products had an open rate of 15.19%

Open Rate Stats
Image source: 2023-H1-Stats-report – Omnisend

What strategies can be implemented to improve email open rates?

Businesses can enhance their email marketing by reviewing the many factors that influence open rates and figuring out where they can be improved. This may be crafting more compelling subject lines that evoke curiosity and relevance.

Optimising send timing and conducting A/B testing on different variables such as subject lines and email content can help identify the most effective strategies. It’s also essential to monitor and analyse email performance metrics regularly to identify trends and opportunities for improvement.

By implementing these strategies with the assistance of an email marketing agency, businesses can optimise their campaigns, increase open rates, and ultimately drive greater engagement and conversions.

Do you need a digital marketing agency to manage your email marketing?

If you need assistance navigating email marketing in Melbourne, get in contact with our team of experts at AWD Digital today. Our agency is well equipped with all the tools and skills to optimise your marketing campaigns and improve your email open rate.

Reach out to us today and embark on a journey towards digital success.

Propel your business today by collaborating with our leading digital agency Let’s grow together! Give us a call on 03 9001 6255, or fill out the form to learn more about how we can help your business grow.