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Email Open Rates: Expectations and Best Practices

Starting out with email marketing can be overwhelming, and low email open rates can be discouraging. Don't let numbers that appear low deter you!  

Open Rate Expectations

  • Average email open rate is 20%. This is true across all industries, business types, and experience levels, but it is not the line for success. An open rate over 20% indicates GREAT performance, but an open rate under 20% does not equal bad performance—it just indicates that some modifications and tweaks can be made to improve.
  • There is no silver bullet to email marketing. For Custom Campaigns and Offers, show that you are a human. Experiment, try new things, and don’t let the possibility of a poor performing campaign prevent you from trying it out. Try to cut through the noise of all the generic emails invading inboxes.

Improve Your Open Rate

  • Check the quality of your contacts. Are there more valid/relevant contacts that can be added into the account, or less valid/relevant contacts that can be deleted?
  • Adjust your sender information and signature. Try different sender emails (avoid using emails with usernames like info@ or marketing@) and make your signature as human-sounding as possible.
  • Optimize your subject lines. Make sure that the text in your subject line sounds creative, unusual, and intriguing. Avoid spam folders by reducing promotional language like "sale, sale, sale; buy, buy, buy."
  • Send to segmented lists. Segmented lists allow you to tailor content and offers by service, demographic, engagement, and where the customer is in the Customer Lifecycle, ensuring that the campaign you are sending is relevant to the audience receiving it.
  • Reduce your sending frequency. If your contacts feel they are being blasted with emails, they are bound to stop opening them. If you are sending many campaigns at once, consider reducing automated sending for specific lists or temporarily pausing them.

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