Email Open Rate – How to get over 70% Open Rate

Email Open Rate is a big point in Email Marketing and a common question I get from my students is: What is a good email open rate?

The truth is that this is a very difficult question to answer given that there is nothing that works for everyone in all industries. But there is a smart working trick to massively raise your open rates above any industry average.

As far as I’m concerned, dealing with your open rate is the most difficult spot in the industry. It’s where the biggest part of your attention is required.

Anyone can offer something good to bribe his readers for their email contacts. Some marketers even go beyond the boundaries to buy email contacts or use harvesters to quickly build a massive list.

But success isn’t at that level at all!

A large list isn’t important.

A small list isn’t important either.

Size is not what marketers should pour their energies on. Of course it is only important if you don’t care about reaching out to their inboxes.

Email Open Rate Average – The rush to inboxes

The open rate for email campaigns is the percentage of your subscribers that finally clicks to open your messages. This is hardly 100% even for a very small list.

Now, there are a bunch of factors that affect your open rate. Let’s look at some of them.

#1. Inbox Deliverability

This is your capacity to get your campaigns straight to the inboxes of your subscribers. If you’ve been in the industry for some bit of time, you’ll agree with me that this is where the bigger portion of the problem is.

There are lots of factors that influence inbox arrival:

1 – How you got the email contacts on your list.

An important phase of building your list is the way in. How you add subscribers to it matters a lot. For the most part, getting your subscribers’ consent is a serious move towards improving your email open rate.

Opting for permission-based list building method makes sure you don’t get subscribers who report your messages as spam or file complaints against your business. It’s at least proof that your list is GDPR compliant.

2 – SPAM Filtering

Here is the master that weighs more on your inbox arrival. Spam filters are simply applications on Email servers that process incoming messages to make sure SPAM messages don’t get delivered to the inboxes of users.

The problem here is that SPAM filters are programmed differently and they are not smart enough. That’s why very often, they will catch authentic messages.

They are however doing a great job by keeping away a huge part of unsolicited messages from reaching our inboxes.

NB: In this Email Marketing Course, I show you powerful tips to make sure your messages bypass these SPAM filters and land directly in your subscribers’ inbox

3 – Sender reputation

Part of your sending email address is a domain name which has an IP (Internet Protocol) address. The reputation of this IP address is what’s called the sender reputation. Mailbox providers use this to measure the trustworthiness of your sending address.

There’s no single metric to measure your sender reputation. However, here are some factors that affect it:

  • Email sending volume and frequency
  • SPAM complaints
  • SPAM traps
  • Bounces
  • User interaction
  • Unsubscribing
  • Etc
4 – Email Service Providers

I have been actively marketing with emails for the past couple of years and my very bad experience was with my second choice of ESP.

These guys are no longer in business and I don’t ask why. I know the reason was poor service quality and inbox sending issues. Despite everything you did with them, a massive portion of your campaigns will be captured by spam filters.

Making a bad choice of Email service could just be a good reason for spam filters to easily attract and capture your messages.

#2. User action triggers

Once you are able to break through any SPAM filtering software, you still have to wait a minute before celebrating victory.

There are still two more things to deal with and I call them action triggers:

1 – Subject Line

I have had to trash some messages because their subject lines are either too off or just boring. Email users really don’t have time as you may be thinking. Your subject line has to be as relevant, emotional  and attractive as possible.

If any of your subscribers deletes your messages without clicking to open, it negatively impacts your open rate.

2 – Sender name recognition

It’s very important to use a recognizable sender name each time you send a Transactional or Promotional Email. When your subscribers don’t recognize the sender, chances are that they will move over to the next message.

Your Sender Name could be your brand name or personal name. It just has to be recognized by your subscribers. Avoid generic words like “Sales”, “Support”, “Customer Service”, etc

#3. Industry

Email open rate varies from industry to industry. Knowing the Average Open Rate for your industry is important in shaping your perception and understanding of your performance.

Email open rate by industry.

Let’s pull data from a few popular Email Marketing Services and look at their email open rate benchmarks. That will help us with knowledge on what email marketing success means in different industries.

-> MailChimp

According to Mailchimp Email Marketing Benchmarks updated in October 2019, the average open rate for all industries analyzed is 21.33% with government related emails topping the list with 28.77%.

Email messages sent by hobbies entities ranked second, with a 27.74% open rate while religious messages came in third with 27.62%

Industry Average Open Rate Average Click Rate Hard Bounce Soft Bounce Unsubscribe Rate
All non-labeled accounts 22.71% 2.91% 0.40% 0.61% 0.25%
Agriculture and Food Services 23.31% 2.94% 0.32% 0.50% 0.28%
Architecture and Construction 22.51% 2.51% 0.73% 1.18% 0.32%

Take a look at the full table here.

-> Constant Contact

Data from ConstantContact as of December 2019:

Business Type Open Rate
All Industries – Overall Average 13.94% 6.86% 8.85% 0.01%
Accommodations (e.g., hotel, inn, B&B, camp grounds) 12.19% 5.81% 6.41% 0.01%
Accountant 7.52% 5.33% 4.73% 0.00%
Animal Services 14.47% 6.25% 8.25% 0.01%

Here is the full table.

-> GetResponse

According to GetResponse Email marketing benchmarks in 2019, Agencies had the lowest average email open rate of 16.10%. At the same time Non-profits observed an average open rate of 36.15%, which is highest result.

Industry Open rate Click-through rate Click-to-open rate Unsubscribe rate Spam rate
Non-profits 36.15% 4.25% 11.77% 0.18% 0.02%
Restaurants & Food 33.10% 3.46% 10.45% 0.23% 0.02%
Publishing 29.64% 6.46% 21.78% 0.18% 0.01%
Sports & Activities 28.99% 3.82% 13.19% 0.20% 0.01%

Click here for details.

-> Campaign Monitor

More recent benchmarks by Campaign Monitor from over 30 billion emails sent their customers globally between January and December 2019:

  1. Government email open rate comes first 30.5%.
  2. This is followed by Nonprofit standing at 25.2%
  3. Then Education open rates came third at 23.4%.

Email Open Rate

Click here for stat details

-> hubspot

We have more data to consume from Hubspot:

Arts and Entertainment 47%
Auto 35%
Beauty and Fitness 40%
Biotech 37%

This places the Arts and Entertainment industry at top with 47% from a sample of over 174,000 emails. marketing and advertising ranks from the bottom with an average of 25% from a sample of over 5.7 million emails sent. Take a closer look at the stats here

What is a good email open rate?

Looking at these open rate benchmarks from different popular Email Marketing Services and differences in survey results, it becomes clear that the factors that influence these results are out of our control.

What could be considered a good open rate depends on:

  • Your industry
  • Target audience
  • Type of campaign
  • Geographical location of your subscribers
  • Time of sending your messages
  • Etc

Setting your Open Rate (OR) above your industry email open rate average

An open rate of 70% is almost impossible without a smart system.

Knowing that the main factor that influences your Email Open Rate is the quality of your list, sanitizing your list constantly could just be the way to pushing your OR to the top.

The best way however is to create an intelligent list sanitizing system that cleanses your list in its growth process.

That is where this course comes in.

Let me break everything in the course into two main points:

  1. You get to know how to create a highly responsive email list
  2. You learn through step-by-step guide how to build a smart filtering system that is able to boost your email open rate to over 70%.


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