To put it simply, the Open rate measures how many recipients opened the email. As a starting point, it is very important to check. However, it should not be your ultimate goal. Having many people open your email is great, but if none of them convert or open your external links, your email campaign will not accomplish its end goal.
Why this is important
Initially, you can assess the effectiveness of your subject lines with this metric. These statistics will tell you which emails are being opened by which recipients. Review this metric in conjunction with click-through rates and other metrics to decide how to continue to improve your strategy.
How open rates are calculated
This rate can be calculated based on the number of people who displayed the images (opened) or clicked on the links in the email (implied opened).
It is possible that your real open rate is higher than what is reported since:
- In the majority of email clients, images won't show unless the sender is a "trusted sender" or the user clicks on the link to show them.
- You might have a large portion of your list that receives text-only emails (rather than HTML).
(People who displayed images + People who clicked on a link)
Total number of people you sent your email to
The expected result is 15% - 40%.
The following variables may influence your email clickthrough rate:
- Permission: Sending campaigns about content your subscribers actively opted in to receive
- Relationship with the list: For example, an older, non-reconfirmed list will not perform nearly as well as a targeted campaign.
- Get delivered: Internet Service Providers know exactly how many of their users are opening/clicking/deleting/ignoring your emails. If you are sending to an active list of people that are engaged with the content you are sending them, you’ll build your good reputation.
- Frequency: Sending regularly, which you should convey to your subscribers.
- Subject: Clear and explicit subjects will yield higher open rates.
- Alternate views: Keep the [SHOWEMAIL] (“View in a browser”) link in the header of your email
- Multiplicity: Multiple links (since, as previously mentioned, links clicked automatically generate an open) and numerous small images.