Improve Your Open Rate for Emails with These Tips

Online Marketing Ideas

If you’re sending emails as part of a marketing strategy, do you know what your open rate is? If not, and if you have never even heard of “open rate” for emails, let’s take a look at what open rate is and how you can improve your open rate to boost business. Open rate for emails indicates the percentage of delivered emails that are opened by recipients. You get credit for an “open” email when images are enabled or a link in the email is clicked.  A small one pixel by one pixel graphic is inserted into the email that you send. Then, each time the pixel is loaded, the email registers as having been opened.

Since recipients may open the email but not enable images or click on a link, this measurement can be inaccurate; however, for the most part, open rate for emails does give a business owner a fairly good picture of an email campaign’s performance.  The open rate is calculated by dividing the number of emails opened by the total number of emails delivered and is expressed as a percentage.

Open Rate Facts and Figures

Generally speaking, open rates for small email lists do better than larger lists. According to MailerMailer’s “Email Marketing Metrics Report,” the average open rate for the past nine halves for 25-499 members was 28%; 500-999 members was 22.3%; and for 1000+ members was 12.2%. Which industries did the best regarding open rate? In the lists with 25-499 members, Transportation 51.6%, Religious 37.3%, and Retail 33.3% had the highest email open rates.

In the email lists going to 500-999 members, Retail did the best at 36.2%, Religious was at 31.2% and Real Estate was at 30.7%. For the largest email lists of a thousand or more recipients, Banking fared best with 16.4%, Transportation close second with 16%, Non-Profit coming in at 15.8% and Small Business tying third with 15.8% open rates.

Open rates for email will typically peak the first hour after delivery. The peak is followed by a decline over the next 47 hours, and open rates fall to zero. An email marketer can expect about half of their opens to happen in the first six hours and 77% within the first 24 hours.

We mentioned above that the open rate metric can be inaccurate. One contributing factor is the use of smart phones (and other devices) to open emails. Users who open emails on their phone will only see the text version of your email, so with no images being loaded, it appears as though the email is unread, which is not correct. At the current time, an email open rate can be off from 11-35%, so careful! Even though it can be inaccurate, the email open rate percentage is a good tool to use to gauge whether or not your email campaign is working. Most small business owners are looking for an email open rate of 20% or higher.

Questions? Read some PaperDirect blogs about email marketing and learn more!

Would you like to try a free email marketing campaign? Partners PaperDirect and ConstantContact can get you started with a free email marketing campaign and coach today if you like.