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Email Open Rate definition

Email Open Rate (© adiruch-na-chiangmai /

Email Open Rate (© adiruch-na-chiangmai /

Email open rate is a term used in email marketing that identifies the amount of people who are on an email list open or view an email from a campaign. This open rate is important because it can help to measure the success of an email marketing campaign. In this article, we offer more insight into email open rate, including how it done and why it matters.

Just like any other marketing campaign, it’s important to measure the success of an email marketing campaign. The knowledge can help you determine whether or not your marketing efforts are successful and if they aren’t, what kind of changes you can make to improve your success. In email marketing, email open rate is a tool that is used to measure the effectiveness of an email marketing campaign.

How is Email Open Rate Determined?

Messages that are sent out in an email marketing campaign can be sent out with a tracking pixel, or an HTML code. This pixel or code is a small and invisible to subscribers of an email marketing list. When the email that contains the pixel or HTML code opens the email, the email is recorded as being opened or viewed. This allows advertisers to keep track of how many emails in a campaign have been opened.

Is Email Open Rate Accurate?

While email open rate can be a helpful tool, unfortunately, it is not a completely accurate measure. There are a few factors that can affect the accuracy of this measure:

  • The HTML has to be loaded. In order to record email open rate, the HTML code that is attached to emails must be loaded. Recording an email as opened can only occur if the recipient’s email server is able to display HTML with images. Moreover, this option must be turned on. If the email server isn’t capable of displaying HTML with images and the option isn’t turned on, the message may very well have been opened, but it won’t be recorded.
  • Automatically recording as opened. Some subscribers on an email campaign may have a preview pain. This preview pain may automatically download the HTML with images, and thus recording the email as being opened; however, in reality, the subscriber may have never actually looked at the email.
  • Mobile viewing may not be recorded. Emails received on mobile devices are usually text-only, which means that the HTML and image won’t be downloaded. As such, subscribers may be opening and reading emails, but those opens won’t be recorded.

Since email open rate isn’t completely accurate, it should be used as a general guide to measure the trends that are associated with an email campaign. It should not be used as a tried and true representation of the success of an email campaign.

How are Email Open Rates Calculated?

To calculate the open rate of an email campaign, the following formula is used:

Emails opened / Emails sent – bounces = Email open rate

In other words, the amount of unique opens of an email is divided by the number of emails that have been sent, minus the emails that have been bounced.

Is there a Standard Email Open Rate?

No, there isn’t a standard email open rate. The rate of emails that have been opened is unique to each email marketing campaign. Some of the factors that can affect an open rate include:

  • The method used to measure the open rate
  • The amount of emails that were sent out (the size of the subscriber list)
  • When the emails were sent out

There are virtually endless variables that could impact an email open rate.

With that being said, there seem to be certain trends that affect the open rate of an email campaign. Some of these trends include:

  • The larger the email list, the smaller the open rate.
  • Email campaigns with loyal subscribers tend to have a higher open rate.
  • Specific niches ten to have a higher open email rate than broader niches.

Why an Email Open Rate is Important

While email open rates aren’t completely accurate, this metric still holds important value. Here’s a look at some of the reasons why email open rate is important:

  • It can help you gauge whether or not you are reaching your targeted audience.
  • Open rate can help you determine if your targeted audience is too broad
  • Your open rate can indicate if your email marketing campaign is working or if it needs improvement

How to Increase Email Open Rate

There are various ways that you can try to encourage your email list subscribers to open the emails you send them. Below are a few of the methods that you can try:

  • Play with subject lines. An eye-catching subject line can make or break your open rate. If it’s captivating and intriguing, there’s a much greater chance that the email will be opened, Play around with the subject line to find out what works for you. A hint: try including details about the contents of the email in the subject line to hook your subscribers.
  • Alternate days and times. Try sending emails out on different days and at different times. If your open rate is low, there’s a good chance it’s because you are sending your messages out at times that aren’t ideal for your subscribers. Switching things up could help to make your emails more visible.
  • Include important information first. Most people are inundated with emails. This means that they aren’t going to open messages that don’t seem appealing before they even open them. Your key points should appear in the short window of content that will appear in the preview window of your subscribers’ email. This will help entice them to open the message, which will improve your open rate, and will hopefully improve your overall success.

Summing It Up

While email open rate may not be completely accurate, it’s still an important metric that you should be paying attention to, as it can shed light on the effectiveness of your email marketing campaign.




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