What is a Good Open Rate for Email Campaigns?

August 2, 2019

Part of the management of an email marketing campaign is to know your metrics like the back of your hand. Your open rate is one of those metrics, and it provides a fairly accurate number as to how many of your email are opened.

Learning from what makes a good open rate will help your current email campaign and future ones as well. From the basic knowledge about your open rate and how is it calculated to tips to improve it. Below, you’ll find all this and more, so stay put and keep reading.

Remember that the health of your email marketing campaign can be estimated using your open rate. Keep it as high as possible and make sure that your email marketing campaign hits the mark where it counts, your readers.

What is a Good Open Rate for Email Campaigns?

Basically, your open rate is the percentage of delivered emails that are opened by your recipients. Keep in mind that bounces or email that fail to reach the intended mailbox will not count. As you might be thinking right about now, your open rate is mostly a measure of the content you’re providing, as well as the engagement of your audience.

This is the main reason that most marketing managers look for your email campaign’s open rate when trying to see how your audience responds to your content. In a more graphic way the image below illustrates just what is an email campaign’s open rate.

email open rate calculation

How is an email open rate calculated?

An email marketing campaign is actually calculated in a very clever way. Every email includes a translucent 1x1 pixel that gets downloaded every time someone opens an email from the mailing campaign. The download count then serves as an estimated number of how many people actually open your emails.

Keep in mind that this method while simple and clever, is not flawless. People that use an email platform that previsualizes your emails will affect this count. Also, sometimes an antivirus software can affect the download of the pixel and actually prevent it. This is why an open rate is just an approximation of how many emails are actually opened.

What is a good open rate for your email campaigns?

The answer to this is mostly based on your sector of business. Email campaigns in different sectors of industry do have different open rates.

As a rough estimate we can tell you that the average open rate for email campaigns is usually between 15% and 25%. Also, thanks to MailChimp we can provide you with more accurate information about the open rates of their customers. For instance, the top 5 sectors of business with the highest open rates last year were, hobbies, government entities, arts and artist, religion and sports.

Their data provides an average open rate of 20.81% for all industries analyzed. So, by placing your open rate at least 5% above the average in your sector you’re in your way to a good open rate. A great open rate regardless of your sector of industry is found around the 35% to 40%. This last one, however, is really hard to accomplish and maintain.

For more information please refer to their analysis updated on march 2018 by clicking here.

Tips on improving your email campaign open rates.

This is no different than asking yourself, what makes people open an email? The answer isn’t so simple. This is mostly related to the way that you present your information and the quality of your content. Improving you open rate can drastically improve the course of an email marketing campaign.

The main element that gets your emails opened is the first thing that your recipients see about it, your subject line. Aside from this, below there’s a guideline on how to increase your email campaign open rate based on your subject line.

1. Keep short, precise and on point.

Your subject line is supposed to be short and precise. Save the big comments and hard sales pitch for the body of the email. Remember that over 75% of people use their smartphones to open their emails. Having a concise, precise and on pint subject line will help to better visualize the email in a smartphone, saving it from being deleted, or worse.

2. Generate a sense of urgency.

Urgency doesn’t always play to your favor; however, you have to know how to take advantage of it. This does not mean that you should create false expectations for your emails in any way. Finding the subtle line between generating a mild sense of urgency and your actual content can go a long way for you.

3. Avoid wording and phrases that make your email look like spam.

This is something basic at this point. You want your emails to be delivered without problems to your recipient. Using words or a format that resembles that of a spam email might get your email in the spam folder, where it will most certainly never be opened. Aside from this you want your readers to take you seriously, avoiding sounding like spam is basic for this.

4. Personalize your emails based on your email campaign.

Sometimes personalization can make the whole difference between a failure and success in an email marketing campaign. This plays to the need of attention that people have, taking the time to personalize your content makes your emails feel more organic and real.

You can also use a good email marketing client to add the recipient’s name to the subject line using a convenient tag for it. This makes the reader way more interested in your emails and is therefore much more likely to actually open your emails.

How to get the most of your open rate?

This metric is not used only to see how many of your emails are actually opened. It can also be used to track the engagement of your subscriber list over time. This in turn helps you identify trends and interest in your recipients.

Knowing more about your recipients and actually applying this information to your advantage is fundamental for a successful email marketing campaign. Being able to find trends and preferences in your audience can aid you in segmenting your subscriber list and catering to every group’s needs.

It can also be used to test the engagement of your audience with new media content. Let’s say for example that you’ve started to add video content to your emails; By measuring the open rates over time you can get an idea of the reception of this change.


People managing an email marketing campaign know what is a Good Open Rate for Email Campaigns, and now you do too. Make sure to get the best out of it and take advantage of the information provided by this metric.

Remember that your open rate can be a great tool, but it does have a margin of error. For more information about tips on how to improve your email campaign open rate we do have a great article about this. You can visit our article about email open rates by clicking here. Do make sure to use this information to improve your email marketing campaign and get a sense of what is a Good Open Rate for Email Campaigns?.

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