Open Rate In Email Marketing and 28 Best Practices

The open rate is a crucial measure of an email campaign’s effectiveness and is influenced by various factors. Achieving a favorable open rate, typically falling between 17-28%, is essential for success. However, with the rising competition to capture the attention of the vast number of email users, currently estimated at 4.25 billion in 2022, marketers must consider numerous elements before launching their campaigns. To address the challenge of low open rates, this blog presents informative statistics and effective strategies that have demonstrated success in improving open rates.

What Is Open Rate?

The email open rate, which represents the percentage of subscribers who opened the email, indicates the level of interest in its content, such as offers or updates. To calculate the open rate, divide the number of opened emails by the number of subscribers. Unique opens are considered, meaning if someone opens the email multiple times, it only counts as one. Bounced emails are excluded from the calculation. For example, if an apparel store sends 2,000 emails, and 200 of them bounce, the delivered emails would be 1,800. If out of those, 1,500 are opened, the open rate would be 83%.

Therefore, the formula for the open rate is:

Why Open Rate Is An Important Metric?

The significance of open rates lies in their ability to gauge the effectiveness of an email marketing campaign. When a campaign boasts a high open rate, it indicates that recipients are genuinely intrigued by its content, including the subject line, offers, and giveaways. On the other hand, a low open rate suggests that the content fails to capture recipients’ interest, possibly leading them to unsubscribe from the email list.

Open rates serve as a comprehensive measure to evaluate the performance of an email marketing campaign and determine whether adjustments are necessary. A low open rate can signal that potential customers are not progressing through the sales funnel, thereby resulting in reduced conversions.

What is the average email open rate?

As per our 2022 Email Marketing Benchmarks Report, the average rate at which emails were opened in 2021 across various industries was 21.5%. This figure reflects an increase of 3.5% compared to the previous year, 2020. Industries such as Education, Agriculture, and Financial Services, on the other hand, experienced higher open rates, ranging from 25% to 28%.

To achieve a successful marketing campaign, it is desirable to aim for an email open rate within the range of 17% to 28%. When open rates fall within this interval, it indicates that the campaign is performing well. Therefore, when striving to enhance open rates, it is advisable to set a target within this range as a benchmark.

Average email open rates by industry

Research has indicated that government emails exhibit the highest open rate at 28.77%. Following closely are hobbies-related industries such as photography, writing, and sketching, with a 27.74% open rate. Additionally, religious emails experience an open rate of 27.62%. In contrast, marketing and advertisement emails have an open rate of 17.38%.

While some industries may have lower open rates, the majority fall within the range of the average open rate of 17% to 28%. It’s worth noting that these statistics can vary across different devices and are influenced by several factors. Therefore, it is wise to be aware of these factors and how they impact the open rate.

Open Rate Across Devices

Based on a study, the majority of online users, specifically 85%, utilize mobile devices to access their emails. In the United States, this percentage rises even higher to 90%. It is worth noting that all of these users are young, falling within the age range of 25 to 34.

Additionally, the revenue generated from emails on mobile devices exceeded $1 billion. This shift to mobile devices also resulted in an increased conversion rate of 4.29%. Consequently, the open rate for mobile devices reached 41.9%, indicating a strong preference among young email users for checking their emails on their mobile phones.

In contrast, when it comes to desktops, the percentage slightly decreases. Approximately 68% of employees opt to check their emails on laptops or desktop computers. Consequently, the email open rate for desktops stands at a modest 16.2%.

6 Factors Affecting Open Rate

Content relevancy

The key to boosting the open rate lies in delivering content that is highly relevant to the target audience. By offering content that resonates with them, you can effectively encourage them to open your emails.

Experimenting with different subject lines is advisable to determine which ones yield the best results. Additionally, altering the writing style of your email copy can make a difference. It is crucial to ensure that the color palette of any images used complements the email copy, as this prevents making it difficult for your audience to read the email.

Send time

The timing of when an email is sent can impact its visibility and open rate. By sending the email during regular business hours, there is a higher likelihood that more people will see and open it.

Monday is considered the optimal day to send emails, while weekends, when individuals are less likely to check their work email, are deemed the least favorable.

The study indicated that emails sent on Monday achieved an average open rate of 22.0%, whereas emails sent on Sunday had an open rate of 20.3%. Furthermore, the study observed that emails sent on Tuesday recorded an average click-through rate of 2.4%, while emails sent on weekends exhibited a click-through rate of 2.1%.


Maintaining an appropriate email frequency is a crucial consideration for business owners aiming to maintain connections with their customers. Excessive email sending can lead to fatigue and subsequent disregard from recipients.

On the other hand, maintaining consistently low email frequency may result in missed opportunities for engagement, leading to reduced rates of interaction and conversions. Striking the right balance requires careful monitoring of email open rates.

For instance, if open rates consistently remain low, it may be necessary to reduce the number of emails sent. As a general guideline, it is advisable to send emails once or twice a month. After establishing a positive impression with engaging content, gradually increase the email frequency to once or twice a week.

Email list quality

Email lists of superior quality generally exhibit higher open rates. To increase interest in your emails, it is crucial to cultivate a strong list. Begin by prioritizing the establishment of trust with your prospects, ensuring they are aware of the value and relevance they can expect from each message.

To expand your email list in a natural and effective manner, incorporate opt-in forms, content upgrades, and leverage social media platforms. By employing these methods, you can encourage organic growth and attract individuals genuinely interested in your content.

Email copy content

Email marketing provides an excellent opportunity to connect with potential customers, but its effectiveness hinges on the compelling nature of the email copywriting and content. It is crucial to ensure that the email copy is clear, concise, and easy to read. Avoid overloading the email with excessive images that can create a cluttered appearance.

Additionally, it is important to avoid including email tracking links in the email copy. These links are often blacklisted by Email service providers (ESPs). Their presence can adversely impact email deliverability, thereby affecting the open rate as well.

Subject lines

Undoubtedly, the subject line plays a pivotal role in determining the likelihood of an email being opened. Research indicates that the ideal length for a subject line falls within the range of 9 to 60 characters.

Nevertheless, the subject line is only a single component of the broader email marketing equation. The overall open rate of emails exhibits substantial variation, contingent upon factors such as the industry and sender. On average, open rates tend to fall within the range of 17% to 28%. While a captivating subject line can contribute to an increased open rate, it is essential to recognize that other factors also influence the success of email marketing efforts.

5 Amazing subject lines for increasing the open rate

Ones that make recipient curious

Strive to craft subject lines that spark curiosity and intrigue. This involves steering clear of generic terms such as “newsletter” or “update” and instead opting for specific and captivating phrases that pique recipients’ interest and leave them wanting to discover more.

For instance, consider utilizing subject lines like “Get to the finish line” or “3 ways your donation can save lives.” These types of subject lines offer a specific and intriguing glimpse into the content of the email, enticing recipients to open and delve deeper into the message.

Personalized subject lines

Incorporating personalized subject lines into emails is an effective method to create a sense of personalization. This approach has been shown to boost open rates by 26% and reduce the occurrence of bounced emails during mail delivery.

For instance, including the recipient’s name in the subject line, such as “Adam, where have you been? We miss you!” adds a personal touch that captures attention and encourages recipients to open the email. This level of personalization enhances engagement and fosters a stronger connection with the audience.

Humorous subject lines

Crafting a well-written and cleverly humorous subject line can set your email apart in a crowded inbox. However, it’s important to strike a balance and avoid going overboard, as excessive humor can be perceived as unprofessional.

For instance, consider a subject line like “Ah! The chickens have finally come to roost!” This example demonstrates a simple yet comical approach that can effectively grab attention. Humorous subject lines have the potential to be attention-grabbing assets that help your email stand out from the rest.

Announcement subject lines

When you have significant news to communicate, it is crucial to ensure that your subject line accurately conveys the importance of the message. Subject lines like “Announcing our newest product!” or “We’re hiring!” serve as excellent examples of announcement subject lines that effectively capture attention.

Shocking subject lines

Using a surprising or unexpected subject line is an effective method to entice recipients to open your email. However, it is crucial to ensure that the content inside the email lives up to the anticipation created by the subject line.

For instance, a subject line such as “Rachel, you won’t believe what just happened!” can generate intrigue and curiosity, giving interested recipients the impression that something noteworthy is taking place. By delivering compelling content that matches the excitement generated by the subject line, you can effectively engage and captivate your audience.

17 Best practices for increasing your open rate

Use the first name in the subject lines

In email marketing, there are a few essential considerations to enhance the open rate. One crucial aspect is incorporating the recipient’s first name into the subject line. Surprisingly, many email marketers tend to allocate the majority of their time perfecting the email copy while neglecting the importance of crafting compelling subject lines.

However, the approach should be reversed. Subject lines should not be treated as an afterthought but rather as a priority deserving extensive attention and refinement. Research has indicated that using the recipient’s first name in the subject line can lead to an increase in open rates ranging from 13% to 28%. Personalizing subject lines is an important strategy for improving email marketing effectiveness.

For instance, a personalized subject line like “Jonathan, it’s been a while!” establishes a sense of familiarity and connection, fostering engagement and prompting recipients to open the email.

Use emojis in subject lines

Incorporating emojis into email subject lines is an effective approach to differentiate yourself and boost the open rate. Research has revealed that emails containing emojis are 8% more likely to be opened compared to those without any special formatting.

To make the most of this strategy, it is recommended to add a single emoji to an otherwise conventional subject line. This can add a touch of charm and visual appeal. However, it’s important to exercise caution and avoid excessive use of emojis, as they may be perceived as spam by recipients. By striking the right balance and using emojis thoughtfully, you can increase the chances of capturing recipients’ attention and encouraging them to open your emails.

Watch out for the spam filters

One important aspect to consider before sending emails is the presence of spam filters. Email Service Providers (ESPs) utilize these filters to safeguard their users against unwanted or unsolicited emails. If an email appears suspicious or resembles spam, it is highly probable that it will be diverted to the recipient’s spam folder, never reaching their primary inbox.

Furthermore, consistent sending of spam emails can lead to your email ID being blacklisted by the recipient’s ESP. This blacklist status severely hampers the deliverability of your emails and diminishes the likelihood of them being seen or engaged with by recipients. It is essential to take precautions and avoid triggering spam filters to ensure successful delivery and engagement with your emails.

Keep in mind your subscriber’s interests

When developing your email marketing campaign, it is crucial to prioritize the interests of your subscribers. By aligning your content with their specific interests, you can create more relevant and targeted emails that are likely to result in higher open rates.

For instance, if you have subscribers who are passionate about fashion, it is advisable to send them emails featuring fashion-related content. As an example, Danner, a stylish shoe brand, could showcase its latest shoe collection created in collaboration with FP Movement. The email could emphasize Danner’s 90 years of craftsmanship, highlighting the brand’s renowned expertise in the industry. By tailoring the content to the specific interests of your subscribers, you increase the chances of capturing their attention and engagement.

Conversely, when catering to subscribers who have an affinity for gardening, it is advisable to send them emails containing gardening-related content.

For instance, consider the case of Instead, a brand specializing in gardening and lawn care. They are currently commemorating their first year in business and have decided to mark the occasion by offering an exclusive 30% discount on their products to the first 50 customers.

By tailoring the email content to the gardening interests of the subscribers, you can effectively engage and capture their attention. In this example, Instead’s email not only acknowledges their milestone but also entices gardening enthusiasts with a limited-time discount offer, creating a sense of urgency and providing added value to the recipients.

Get unsubscribers’ feedback

If you’re facing challenges in improving your open rates, there is a valuable approach you can take, which involves seeking feedback from those who unsubscribe from your email list.

When individuals choose to unsubscribe, there are various reasons behind their decision. By actively soliciting their feedback, you can gain insights into those specific reasons. This feedback, in turn, allows you to make informed adjustments to your email marketing strategies.

An example of a company implementing this approach is Artifact Rising. They offer unsubscribed individuals the opportunity to provide their feedback through a survey. To incentivize participation, Artifact Rising also offers a $10 voucher as a token of appreciation for taking the time to complete the survey.

By actively seeking feedback from unsubscribes and providing an incentive for their input, you can gain valuable information to refine your email marketing efforts and potentially regain their interest and engagement.

A/B test everything

To enhance email open rates, the most effective approach is to conduct A/B testing on various elements, such as the subject line, sender name, and email content.

For instance, you can experiment with different subject lines, sender names, and even varying the timing of email delivery within a day. By systematically examining these elements, you can gain insights into what resonates best with your audience and optimize future communications accordingly, resulting in improved deliverability rates.

A/B testing allows you to compare different variations and identify the most effective strategies to engage your recipients. It enables you to gather data-driven evidence about the elements that positively impact open rates, allowing you to refine and tailor your email marketing efforts for better outcomes.

Proofread the emails before sending

To achieve the best possible results, it is crucial to thoroughly proofread emails before sending them out. This involves diligently reviewing the content for grammar and spelling errors and confirming that the email’s message remains relevant to the intended recipients.

Taking the time to proofread emails is of great importance in order to effectively convey the intended message and maintain the recipients’ engagement. By eliminating grammar and spelling mistakes, the email becomes clearer and easier to comprehend. This ensures that the recipients understand the content being communicated, minimizing the chances of their attention drifting away easily.

By prioritizing the proofreading process, you can enhance the overall quality of your emails and optimize the effectiveness of your communication with recipients.

Resend unopened emails

If an email remains unopened during the initial send, it’s important not to lose hope. You can try a different approach by resending the same email with a modified subject line.

This strategy proves valuable in boosting the open rate as it provides an opportunity to reach recipients who may have been preoccupied or missed the first email.

Additionally, it enables the sender to experiment with various subject lines and evaluate their effectiveness. However, it’s essential to exercise caution and avoid excessively resending the exact same email, as this can give the impression of being spammy.

By strategically resending emails with revised subject lines, you can potentially capture the attention of previously unreached recipients and optimize the open rates of your email campaigns.

Don’t spam the subscribers

While the urge to send a high volume of emails may be present, it is important to exercise restraint, as this approach can have detrimental effects on your email list. Overwhelming subscribers with excessive spammy content or irrelevant messages that do not cater to their specific interests can lead to dissatisfaction and, in turn, cause them to unsubscribe. As a result, this can further diminish open rates.

Resisting the temptation to inundate subscribers with an abundance of emails is crucial for maintaining their engagement and preventing potential opt-outs. Instead, focus on delivering valuable and personalized content that resonates with their needs and preferences. By striking a balance and ensuring the relevance of your messages, you can nurture a healthy email list and cultivate higher open rates.

Create anticipation

Generating anticipation can be an effective method to boost open rates. One approach is to implement a series of emails that progressively lead up to a significant announcement or event.

For instance, if you are preparing to launch a new product, you can send out a sequence of emails that provide tantalizing glimpses and build excitement around the upcoming release.

This strategy proves beneficial as it instills anticipation in subscribers, making them eagerly anticipate the emails they receive. Furthermore, it establishes a positive expectation, increasing the likelihood that they will open future emails from your brand.

By strategically crafting a sequence of emails that gradually builds anticipation, you can effectively engage your audience, amplify their interest, and ultimately achieve higher open rates for your email marketing campaign.

Build the email list organically

To achieve high open rates, it is crucial to focus on growing your email list organically by attracting individuals who have a genuine interest in receiving your emails.

To accomplish this, you can implement various strategies. Firstly, incorporate a sign-up form on your website or blog, allowing visitors to voluntarily opt-in to receive your emails. This ensures that you are adding individuals who are genuinely interested in your content.

Additionally, include a link to your sign-up form in your email signature, maximizing visibility and encouraging recipients to join your email list. Leveraging the power of social media, promote your email campaign by sharing relevant content and enticing prospects to subscribe.

Another effective approach is to offer valuable content upgrades or exclusive offers that appeal to your target audience. This incentivizes prospects to sign up for your emails in exchange for the added value they will receive.

By employing these strategies and focusing on organic growth, you can build an engaged and receptive email list, leading to higher open rates and ultimately more successful email marketing campaigns.

Only use optimized images

It is crucial to ensure that the images included in your email are properly optimized. This involves taking several steps to enhance their performance and functionality.

Firstly, optimize the size and format of the images to ensure they are suitable for email delivery. Images that are too large or in incompatible formats may slow down the loading time of your email, leading to potential frustration for recipients. By resizing and converting images to appropriate formats, you can facilitate faster loading and improve the overall user experience.

Additionally, compressing the images is essential to reduce their file size without compromising their quality. This helps to minimize the amount of space the images occupy within the email, allowing for quicker loading times. Efficiently compressed images contribute to a seamless and enjoyable email viewing experience.

By utilizing optimized images in your emails, you can enhance loading speed, prevent recipients from deleting emails due to slow loading, and reduce the likelihood of encountering spam filter issues. Prioritizing image optimization will contribute to the overall success and effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns.

Improve email engagement

Enhancing engagement is the initial stride towards boosting the open rate of your emails. Email engagement pertains to the frequency with which individuals interact with your emails. When subscribers actively engage with your content, they become more inclined to open future emails.

There are several approaches to enhance email engagement. Personalizing your emails, crafting compelling subject lines, and delivering relevant content are among the effective methods to achieve this. Personalization adds a personalized touch, making recipients feel valued and increasing their interest in opening and interacting with your emails. Engaging subject lines pique recipients’ curiosity and encourage them to explore the content further. Furthermore, including pertinent and valuable content that aligns with subscribers’ interests fosters a sense of relevance and encourages them to engage with your emails.

By focusing on strategies that improve email engagement, such as personalization, captivating subject lines, and relevant content, you can effectively increase the likelihood of subscribers opening and actively participating in your future email communications.

Segment the email list

Segmenting your email list involves dividing it into smaller, distinct groups based on specific criteria. This practice holds significance as it enables you to deliver more personalized and pertinent emails to each segment, thereby increasing the likelihood of email opening.

Segmentation plays a crucial role in email marketing as it allows you to closely monitor the engagement rates and open rates of each segmented group. By doing so, you can gain insights into the performance of different segments and identify areas that require improvement.

By segmenting your email list, you can tailor your email content to meet the unique needs and interests of each group, thereby enhancing the relevance and resonance of your emails. This targeted approach increases the chances of your emails being opened, read, and acted upon.

Furthermore, segmenting your email list allows you to analyze and compare the performance of different segments. You can identify which segments are responding well to your emails and which ones may require further optimization. This data-driven approach enables you to refine your email marketing strategies and focus on segments that yield the highest engagement rates.

In summary, segmenting your email list empowers you to send more targeted and relevant emails, track engagement rates, and make data-informed decisions to optimize your email marketing efforts.

Keep the emails short and to the point

To ensure optimal readability and engagement, it is crucial to keep emails concise and focused. Start by capturing the essence of your message right in the subject line, and then provide the key information within the initial sentences of the email.

To enhance readability, utilize bullet points or numbered lists, which make the content more digestible and scannable for recipients.

A great example of this approach is observed in the New York Times’ email promoting discounted subscriptions. The email adopts a minimalistic design and presents the content in a straightforward and concise manner, allowing readers to quickly grasp the offer and take action.

By adhering to these principles of brevity and clarity, you can effectively capture recipients’ attention and deliver your message efficiently.

Use statistics and figures

Incorporating relevant statistics and figures can significantly boost the open rates of your emails. Including such information captures the interest of recipients who are drawn to data-driven insights.

For instance, when crafting an email discussing the average open rates across various industries, consider incorporating a specific statistic or figure into the subject line. This provides a compelling reason for recipients to open the email and learn more.

Furthermore, leveraging statistics and figures within the email’s content enhances its overall quality. You can utilize them to support your arguments, provide evidence, or reinforce your claims, making your message more persuasive and informative.

A noteworthy example is demonstrated by Lending Tree, an online lending marketplace, which employs statistics to showcase how women have improved their financial situations amidst the pandemic. By using relevant data, they effectively engage their audience and convey a compelling narrative.

By strategically incorporating statistics and figures into your emails, you can capture recipients’ attention, bolster the credibility of your content, and ultimately enhance the open rates of your email campaigns.

Be unforgettable

To make a lasting impression among the multitude of emails, it is crucial to differentiate yourself and leave a memorable mark. Achieving this involves employing creativity in your content and utilizing captivating visuals.

Rather than adopting an overly sales-focused or promotional approach in your emails, prioritize delivering value and being genuinely helpful to your recipients. By offering meaningful insights, useful information, or practical solutions, you can establish a strong connection with your audience and foster engagement.

In essence, the key lies in providing content that goes beyond mere self-promotion and actively seeks to address the needs and interests of your subscribers. By doing so, you can position yourself as a trusted resource and cultivate a positive perception that encourages recipients to not only open your emails but also actively engage with them.

Remember, being unforgettable requires a combination of inventive content, compelling visuals, and a genuine focus on providing value to your audience. By adopting this approach, you can stand out from the crowd and establish a lasting presence in the minds of your email recipients.

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