One of the key metrics in emailing is the open rate. It’s important to know how your emails stack up against the average rates in your industry. Understanding your competitors’ email success gives you a benchmark for your own campaigns.
But don’t just track your open rates to compare with others. Use them to test and improve your strategies. Remember, if your emails aren’t being opened, metrics like click-throughs and forwards don’t even come into play.
That’s why in this article, we’re going to talk about what a good email open rate looks like and how you can boost yours if it’s not up to par.
Understanding Email Open Rates
Okay, Let’s break down what these rates mean and how they’re calculated, in plain terms.
What is an Email Open Rate?
Simply put, the email open rate measures the percentage of recipients who open your email. It’s a straightforward way to gauge the initial success of your email subject line and the overall engagement of your audience with your emails.
How Email Open Rates are Calculated?
To calculate your email open rate, just take the number of opened emails and divide it by the total number of emails sent, minus any bounces. Now, multiply the result by 100, and you get your open rate in percentage.
Current Trends in Email Open Rates
Email open rates are constantly shifting, reflecting changes in user behavior and emailing practices. Let’s look at the actual numbers and what’s driving these changes.
Average Open Rates Over the Years
In recent years, email open rates have shown a trend. For instance, in 2021, the average open rate was around 21.3%.%, but by 2022, it had shifted to 16.97%, per Campaign Monitor.
These changes can be attributed to factors like increased email usage due to remote work trends and advancements in emailing tools.
Factors Influencing Recent Changes in Open Rates
Recent changes in open rates are driven by a lot of factors. The surge in mobile email usage has had a significant impact, as emails are now more accessible on-the-go. Additionally, evolving email algorithms and user preferences regarding email content and frequency have played a role.
For example, the use of mobile devices for reading emails has grown significantly, and currently, about 81% of all emails are opened and read on mobile devices, especially marketing emails.
Strategies to Increase Email Open Rates
Elevating your email open rates involves specific, actionable strategies. Let’s explore some techniques that have proven effective across various industries.
Optimizing for Different Devices
With over 80% of emails first opened on a mobile device, it’s essential to ensure your emails are mobile-friendly.
This means using short, impactful subject lines, ensuring your email content scales properly on smaller screens, and keeping the email load time minimal.
A practical tip: place the most crucial information in the first few lines of your email, as mobile users often skim content quickly.
Best Times to Send Emails
Timing can dramatically impact open rates. Data shows that emails sent on Tuesdays and Thursdays, particularly between 9 AM and 11 AM (local time), tend to have higher open rates.
However, this varies by audience. For B2B emails, sending during business hours on weekdays works best, while B2C emails may perform better in the evenings or on weekends.
Analyze your audience’s behavior and experiment with send times to find your sweet spot.
Crafting Effective Subject Lines
Subject lines are crucial in determining whether an email gets opened. Personalization increases open rates by as much as 50%.
Start with the recipient’s name, reference recent interactions, or use data-driven insights to make it relevant.
Be clear and concise: subject lines with less than 50 characters often have the best open rates.
Test various styles, like questions, humor, or urgency, to see what engages your audience most effectively.
The Role of Personalization
Personalization boosts email open rates. We’ll see how tailored subject lines and audience segmentation make a difference.
Personalized Subject Lines: Do They Work?
The short answer: Yes, they do. Personalized subject lines can increase open rates by up to 26%. Going beyond just including the recipient’s name, tailor your subject lines to reflect individual interests or behaviors.
For instance, a subject line like “Alex, your custom fashion picks are here!” tends to be more effective than a general one. Remember, relevance is crucial – the more you can connect with your recipient personally, the better your chances are of getting that email opened.
Segmentation for Higher Open Rates
Effective segmentation leads to higher email open rates. If you divide your audience into groups based on specific criteria, such as interests, purchasing history, or location, you can send highly relevant emails.
This approach often results in better engagement, as recipients receive emails that directly speak to their needs or preferences.
Technical Aspects of Improving Open Rates
Technical factors significantly influence email open rates. This section covers how adjusting these factors can enhance your campaign’s performance.
Ensuring Email Deliverability
To ensure your emails reach the inbox, focus on key deliverability aspects. Use authentication protocols like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC to establish your legitimacy as a sender. Regularly clean your email list to remove inactive or unresponsive addresses, reducing bounce rates and improving your sender score. Also, encourage new subscribers to whitelist your email address, ensuring your emails bypass spam filters.
The Impact of Email Design on Mobile Devices
Analyze metrics beyond just open rates. Look at how different segments interact with your emails.
Are there particular topics or formats that drive more opens or engagements? Use A/B testing to experiment with different subject lines, sending times, and email content. Monitor changes in engagement and adjust your strategy based on what the data tells you.
For instance, if you notice higher open rates on emails sent on Wednesday mornings, consider adjusting your sending schedule to capitalize on this trend.
Analyzing Your Email Open Rate Performance
Effective emailing requires regular analysis and understanding of your open rates. This involves not only knowing how to calculate them but also how to compare them against industry benchmarks.
How to Calculate Your Email Open Rate
Calculating your email open rate is straightforward. Divide the number of emails opened by the total number of emails delivered (emails sent minus bounces). Multiply this ratio by 100 to get your open rate as a percentage.
For example, if you send 1000 emails, 20 bounce, and 200 are opened, your open rate is (200/(1000−20))×100=20.41.
Benchmarking Against Industry Standards
Comparing your open rates to industry averages is crucial for context. Different industries have varying benchmarks.
For example, the average open rate in retail might be different from that in the technology sector. Access industry reports or use email marketing tools that offer benchmarking data to see where you stand. If your rates are below average, it indicates a need for strategy refinement. On the other hand, if they’re above average, it’s a sign your email strategy resonates well with your audience.
Case Studies and Real-Life Examples
These detailed case studies offer insights into the real-world application and effectiveness of specific email strategies.
Cold Emailing Success in a B2B Tech Company
Background: A B2B tech company specializing in data analytics tools struggled with low open rates in their cold emailing campaigns.
Strategy: They decided to revamp their approach by focusing on personalized, value-driven copies, including subject lines and segmenting their email list based on the recipient’s industry. For example, for a healthcare sector recipient, the subject line was, “Data Management for Healthcare?”
Implementation: Each email started with a brief mention of how they came across the recipient’s contact and immediately followed with a concise value proposition specific to the recipient’s industry.
Results: This approach led to an increase in open rates from a mere 10% to 45%. The response rate also improved, with a 10% reply rate. Their follow-up emails, using FindThatLead referencing the initial contact, further solidified the relationship, leading to a 15% rise in demo requests.
Email Marketing Campaign Revamp for an Online Retail Store
Background: An online retail store noticed a gradual decline in the open rates of their regular marketing emails.
Strategy: They implemented a strategy focusing on segmenting their audience based on past purchase behavior and browsing history. They then crafted emails with subject lines and content that were highly relevant to each segment. For instance, customers who frequently purchased sports equipment received emails with subject lines like “We’ve selected this list for you!”
Implementation: The emails were visually appealing, featuring products and offers relevant to the segmented audience, and included clear, compelling calls to action.
Results: The revamped campaign saw a significant improvement, with open rates jumping from 18% to 28%. Moreover, the click-through rate increased by 10%, and there was a noticeable uptick in repeat purchases from the targeted segments.