What is a good open rate for email

Anton Shabatov - October 9, 2020 - 0 comments

What is a good open rate for email • Average email open rate | Proofy Average email open rate | Proofy

What is a good open rate for email: Complete guide to the email open rate

There are at least 8 metrics in email marketing by which the effectiveness of an advertising campaign is calculated. Among them are hard and soft bounce rates, deliverability, conversion and unsubscription rates, spam complaints, ROI, and, of course, the average email open rate. Each of these metrics provides insight into more than just marketing performance. You can identify errors and correct them with their help. 

Today we will try to find out what is a good open rate for email. How is this indicator calculated? What level is possible to achieve and what should be done for this? The topic is important because the success of your email campaign depends on how willingly your emails are opened and read. With the opening of the emails, the chances of transition and making a purchase increase. So let’s dwell on this in more detail. 

How to Calculate Your Email Open Rate?

The email open rate is calculated using the following formula:

Opening rate = open letters / sent – letters with errors x 100%

For the formula to work, we first need to find out how many letters have been opened in total. For this, postal services use special tracking technology or a so-called web beacon. Each letter contains a one-pixel image corresponding to a unique identifier. It is enough for the user to open the letter – the image will be loaded. Thus, you can trace the date and time of opening the letter by the subscribers. However, despite the thoughtfulness of this technology, it has one flaw that has nothing to do with a good email open rate. The point is that opening a letter does not mean reading it. But that’s exactly what we need. Also, there is always a category of users who block the download of images in the mailer. Therefore, when calculating the open rate, you should take into account the error. 

Before you start calculating your open rate, please note that there is an average email marketing open rate for each industry. 

Average email open rate

To understand what is a good open rate for email marketing, below we have provided a list of the most popular business areas and the corresponding indicators.:

Service for pet owners22.1%Real estate15.3%
Architecture and construction19.9%Sport15.1%
Information Technology18.8%Journalism, printing, publishing13.9%
Entertainment18.3%Marketing, advertising, public relations13%
Food and agriculture18.3%Education12.8%
Leisure and tourism18%Services and supplies for business12.1%
Science and biotechnology17.5%Government and politics11.9%
Religion17.4%Restaurants, bars, and clubs11.8%
Art17.1%Personnel search10.5%
Legal services16.5%Fashion and beauty10.5%
Health care15.9%Computers, electronics, and software8%
Transportation15.5%Food additives and pharmaceuticals8%


According to statistics, the best email open rates in such sectors as accounting and finance are 4.9%. And if we are talking about hobbies, then the indicator here is 4.7%.

Best email open rates

If we talk about the average email marketing open rate, which can be considered the maximum, then, depending on the industry, the benchmark is 20.81%. Of course, everything here is on a case-by-case basis. Comparing the indicators that we have given above, you can see a huge difference. If the average open rate for email newsletters in the field of construction and architecture is 19.9%, then the business in the field of beauty and fashion is characterized by open rates, which are 2 times lower – 10.5%. 

If you are not satisfied with the results of this metric and are worried about how to increase email open rate, our recommendations will be useful for you.

4 Reasons Why You Have a Low Open Rate

  1. Poor quality of contacts (perhaps the purchased database is out of date)
    (Not the target audience.)
  2. Sent from a spammed or new domain and IP.
  3. The bad subject line in that doesn’t match the content of the letter.
  4. A lot of links in the letter and letters immediately end up in spam.

Tips on how to increase email open rate

We suggest using at least one strategy, and ideally, try all of them. First of all, pay attention to the quality of your list, how regularly you clean it up, and whether you do it at all. Good results come from the processes of qualifying and segmenting users, creating urgency and original features to stand out from the crowd. But first things first. 

Qualify Your Subscribers (email list cleaning)

When it comes to how to improve email open rates, the way to attract leads is important. If you massively give out expensive gifts, nothing good will come of it. In this case, the expression “the end justifies the means” does not work. Motivate users with free samples of your products or thematic expert webinars with adequate discounts on your product. This is the only way to get a list of contacts who are interested in your product.

It is also important that the customer base is kept clean, as subscribers can change their addresses over time, lose passwords, or block accounts. To ensure you always have a list of valid email addresses, use the Proofy verification services

Segment Your List

When solving a problem called what is a good email open rate, you have to segment your audience. It is extremely unwise to do the same mailings to your entire list of subscribers. Amateurs or lazy people do this. The list of contacts should be segmented by such parameters as:

  • interests and preferences;
  • purchase history;
  • location;
  • gender, age, etc.

You will immediately notice that audience engagement will start to increase, subscriber engagement will increase as well as loyalty to your brand. So personalization works 14% better than a regular, faceless mass mailing. 

Create Urgency and Stand Out

Actions aimed at the average open rate of emails should include the item “Topic line optimization”. You win if you create a sense of urgency in your subscribers. For example, this subject type is highly effective: “Don’t miss the last day of the sale!” Your content should appeal to your customers’ emotions, and use verbs to get them to take action. Seasonal or time-based terms also provide excellent results. So the mention of the end of the quarter for many specialists and companies in certain areas can become a motivation for opening and reading your message. 

Quality is Key

Finally, when it comes to how to increase open rate in email marketing, focus on quality, valuable, informative, and useful content. Your newsletter text should have practical recommendations, concisely, and accurately describe the benefits of a purchase/subscription/service. The message should carry the nature of the assistance. This way the client will have the feeling that his pain is not indifferent to you, and that you can and want to make his life easier and happier, and the business more profitable.

Final thoughts on good email open rate

Finally, remember these simple rules that will help you achieve a good open rate for email newsletter:

  • make a conversion of the email subject lines, be creative, use emoji to grab attention, create urgency;
  • make relevant email campaigns by qualifying and segmenting your customer base;
  • optimize your dispatch time by taking into account different time zones, the fact that morning is not the best time to send, but from 15.00 to 16.00 is perfect;
  • do A / B testing for mailings sent on different days of the week, remember that it is on Saturday that the open rate is one of the highest and is about 32%;
  • study the algorithms of spam filters so that your mailings do not have poorly structured HTML code, Caps Lock, an excessive number of bright fonts and images that are not supported by text, or emotions expressed using punctuation marks;
  • adapt mailings for mobile devices, as more than 65% of emails are opened on them.

Monitor your list hygiene regularly and your campaigns will bring the desired results!

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