What Is a Good Email Open Rate? Answering FAQs About Email Marketing

Posted on October 24, 2023 | Updated on October 25, 2023

Email open rates vary widely across industries. For some people, anything above the average constitutes a good email open rate, while other people may have different metrics for their business. Here’s a closer look at email open rate statistics, plus some tips on improving open and click-through rates.

What Is the Average Email Open Rate?

Email marketing company MailerLite analyzed data from more than 40,000 customers in the UK, Canada and the U.S. in 2022. Across industries, the average email open rate was 37.65%, with an average bounce rate — emails that could not be successfully delivered — of 0.30%. 

Perhaps more important than the email open rate is the click-through rate, the percentage of people who open an email and proceed to click a link within it. According to the 2022 MailerLite analysis, the average click-through rate was 8.93%. However, the click rate — the percentage of people who click on an email link out of the total number of people who got the email — was only 3.36%.

In other words, 37.65% of people opened the email, and 8.93% of email openers were interested in clicking a link. Only 3.36% of total people were interested in clicking an email link.

Which Industry Has the Best Email Open Rate?

At 46.3%, emails from the government have the best open rate, and understandably so — they carry an air of authority and often contain important messages. Emails from the medical, dental, and veterinary industries also have high open rates.

Which Industry Has the Worst Email Open Rate?

With an open rate of just 29.88%, the gaming industry performed the worst in 2022. Emails from authors followed closely with an open rate of 33.35%. Bringing up last place was the media and publishing sector with a rate of 33.35%.

How Are Email Open Rates Tracked?

When most businesses send emails, they use tracking software that attaches a tracking pixel to each email. This tiny, invisible image is displayed in the system when a subscriber opens an email. When the image is downloaded from the tracking software provider’s web servers, the provider records the email as having been opened. 

Is Email Marketing Still Relevant?

Yes. In 2022, experts estimated there were 4.26 billion email users in the world, projected to grow to 4.73 billion users by 2026. The vast majority of consumers use email. 

With online shopping more popular than ever, email marketing has become a fantastic way to reach more customers. It keeps a business fresh in people’s minds and provides a way for them to engage with the company in day-to-day life. 

How to Improve Email Open Rates

It’s impossible to get every recipient to open 100% of their emails. However, there are a few tricks that reliably boost user engagement. Here are some tips for getting more people to open their emails: 

Write Better Subject Lines

Subject lines should be short and to the point. At the same time, they should give people an idea of what to expect when opening the email. The subject line should be personalized for each recipient — most email management platforms have a feature that lets senders add a name to the subject line. 

The sender name should always match the name of the company. For example, “Sarah from ABC Accounting” looks a lot more reputable than “Unknown sender” or just “Sarah.” It’s a good idea not to use all caps or more than one exclamation point in a subject line. 

Speak to emotion in the subject line. Senders should decide which emotion they want their recipients to feel when reading a message, then write it accordingly. 

Lastly, many marketers will send out the same email with different subject lines to see which one performs the best. For example, one email might contain a question mark while the other is phrased as a statement. Marketers can then use the data they glean from this experiment to craft future emails.

Send Emails at the Right Time

In addition to including the right content in the subject line, sending emails at the right time is crucial. For the best email open rates, marketers should send emails on Tuesdays. The best hours for sending emails fall around 2 PM, 5 PM and 8 PM. 

Match Email Content to the Audience

It’s crucial to deliver the content subscribers signed up for in the first place. If someone subscribes to a birdwatching newsletter, they’ll likely unsubscribe if they start receiving emails featuring sports news. 

It’s important to strike a balance between offering new, interesting content and straying too far into the realm of different topics altogether. Marketers should give people a heads-up if they plan to switch to a completely different type of content.

Use Email Segmentation

One great way to deliver the right message to the appropriate audience is to use email segmentation. This technique puts subscribers into different categories based on their demographics and interests, including how far along they are down the sales funnel.

If one customer has requested a quote for services, marketers can send them emails to help close the sale. If another customer has simply downloaded a guide, it’s a better idea to send them emails with further resources rather than trying to make a sale.

Enable Double Opt-In

Double opt-in means that when someone subscribes to an email list, they have to take a second step — like clicking a link — to confirm the action. This ensures that real, interested people are signing up for an email service. Having a higher percentage of people interested in getting emails makes for a higher email open rate. 

How to Improve Click-Through Rates

Opening an email is the first step toward clicking on a link inside it. After that comes the sale! Here are a few tips for getting more people to engage with an email’s contents:

Optimize for Mobile

Most people browse the internet — including checking their email — on their smartphones. In fact, the majority of web traffic now comes from mobile devices. Optimizing emails for different browsers on mobile screens is a must. 

Include a Call to Action (CTA)

One of the most important methods for getting people to open their emails is to include a CTA. The CTA button shouldn’t be something as obvious as “Click here.” Instead, it should be linked over something that encourages people to click without directly sounding spammy or salesy. For example, “Want to know more?” is a good CTA to encourage people to move down the sales funnel. 

Include a Video

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth ten thousand. Emails that include a video have a higher click-through rate. Use the word “video” in the email’s subject line to entice people to open it and click the link inside. 

Making a Sale

Email marketing is alive and well. A good email open rate varies depending on the sender’s definition, but anything above the average of 37.65% is generally good. Certain industries do better than others when it comes to opening rates. 

To improve their metrics, marketers should focus on sending emails at the right time to the right audience. Including videos and calls to action further improves user engagement, ultimately leading to more sales. 

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