How to Double Your Email Open Rate – by Seth Greene

Want to learn How to Double Your Email Open Rate?

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What is an open rate?

Open rate is a measure of how many individuals on an e-mail list open (or view) a particular e-mail campaign. The open rate is usually expressed as a percentage, and we determine it as follows:

Total emails opened divided by total emails provided (excluding any bounces).

So a 20 % open rate would mean that of every 10 e-mails provided to the inbox, 2 were really opened.

How is an email open measured?

When each e-mail is sent out, your email provider (e.g. aWeber, MailChimp, etc) will add a piece of code that demands a small, undetectable image from their web servers. So when a reader opens the e-mail, the image is downloaded, and we can measure that download as an open for that email.

You need to understand that the open rate is not a 100 % accurate measure. Recording an ‘open’ can only happen if the reader’s e-mail software can display HTML with images, and that alternative is switched on. So if you are sending text-only e-mails, there is no way to measure open rates. Similarly, people reading your HTML e-mail without images showing will not be recorded as opens.

The only exception is that an open is recorded for individuals who clicked a link in your campaign, even if they didn’t download images considering that we know they read a minimum of some of your e-mail.

Another concern is that your readers may have a preview pane in their email client. That preview pane may be displaying your e-mail automatically (and for that reason downloading the images) without the reader ever needing to click on it or read it.

So you need to make sure you never ever take your open rate as a set number, due to the fact that you can never understand the true figure. It is much better used as general guide, and as a method of determining the trends on your e-mail campaigns.

What is a normal open rate?

Really, there is no normal open rate. The rate obtained for any list, or group of lists will depend upon how it was measured, when it was sent out, the size of the list and a ton of other possible variables. There is no shortage of benchmark numbers out there, but even in between benchmark figures you will discover a big variation in the reported open rates.

As list size rises, the open rate has the tendency to fall; potentially because smaller business are most likely to have personal relationships with their list customers.  Business and companies that are concentrating on lovers and fans, like churches, sport groups and non earnings see greater open rates.  More particular niche subjects, like some production areas, also generally have higher open rates than e-mails on more comprehensive subjects.  Normally 50 % of opens happen in first 6 hours after the e-mail is sent, and about 80 % within 2 Days.

Why can’t you just give me a number?

So what if you simply have no idea of what is a sensible open rate? Based upon everything we have seen, and on the other research out there, the bottom line is this:.

If you are getting an open rate in between 20 % and 40 %, you are most likely someplace around average.

Very few lists of affordable size are getting much above 50 % open rates from regular campaigns. Your list may have some specific elements that offer you higher rates; if so, well done.

Nevertheless, do not anticipate to be getting 80 % open rates. Individuals are too busy, inboxes are too complete and the measurements are technically restricted.

How can I increase my open rate?

There are lots of things you can vary to try to attract more of your customers to open your emails. Here are simply a few things you could attempt:.

– Experiment with your subject lines: Try consisting of details about the material of the e-mail right in the subject line, instead of using your basic subject.

– Vary the day: Are your customers too busy on a Wednesday early morning to read your email, leaving it wasting away down the inbox? Perhaps a Tuesday afternoon email would do better.

– Get the crucial material up the top: Remember that many individuals will see a preview of your e-mail before choosing to open it or neglect it. Ensure your e-mail is recognizable, which your key points are in the leading 3rd.

– Seth Greene from also has an excellent suggestion for How to Double Your Email Open Rate in the above video.

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