Average Email Marketing Open Rate 2024 | Stats & Pro Tips

Average Email Marketing Open Rate: Industry Benchmarks & Tips to Boost Opens

Average Email Marketing Open Rate Industry Benchmarks, Insights & Tips to Boost Opens

What Is the Average Email Marketing Open Rate?

The overall average email marketing open rate stands at 41.31%. This figure indicates the percentage of total recipients who actually opened the email.

Source: MailerLite, December 2023

While the average email marketing open rate provides a useful benchmark, it’s important to recognize that this figure varies significantly based on numerous factors. These include industry type, the device used for reading emails, brand recognition, email subject lines, timing of email send-out, and the personalization level of the content.

This article offers an overview of the latest studies, presenting relevant open rate figures across these diverse factors to give you a comprehensive understanding of email marketing effectiveness.

Average Email Marketing Open Rates by Industry

Understanding how open rates vary by industry can help you benchmark your email campaign’s performance against relevant standards. This information is crucial for tailoring your strategies to better meet the specific needs and behaviors of your target audience.

IndustryAverage Email Open Rate %
Agency39.16%
Agriculture and Food Services44.3%
Animal Care and Veterinary45.79%
Architecture and Construction42.9%
Authors39.02%
Beauty and Personal Care41.46%
Blogging43%
Business and Finance39.48%
Child Care Services44.8%
Computers and Electronics45.65%
Construction32.48%
Consulting39.09%
eCommerce38.58%
Education and Training44.04%
Entertainment and Events38.1%
Games32.02%
Governmental Services46.94%
Health and Fitness42.7%
Hobbies40.08%
Home and Garden41.94%
Insurance48.11%
Legal Services42.45%
Manufacturing34.48%
Marketing and Advertising33.62%
Media and Publishing34.65%
Medical, Dental and Healthcare46.67%
Non-profit Sector 46.49%
Music and Musicians40.68%
Photo and Video43.74%
Politics42.39%
Public Relations44.08%
Real Estate40.1%
Recruitment and Staffing44.5%
Religion44.24%
Repair and Maintenance29.4%
Restaurants and Food Business43.56%
Retail41.24%
Software and Web Apps43.72%
Sports39.3%
Telecommunications40.52%
Transportation Services20.8%
Travel and Tourism36.2%

Sources: MailerLite, ConstantContact data

High Open Rates in Essential Service Industries

High open rates in industries like Insurance, Governmental Services, and Healthcare indicate a strong engagement level. This could be due to the essential nature and direct impact these sectors have on individuals’ lives, leading to a greater interest in and relevance of the content.

Navigating Challenges Across Various Industries

Surprisingly, some technology-related industries, such as Manufacturing and Software and Web Apps, don’t have the highest open rates, despite the tech industry’s overall emphasis on digital communication. This could reflect the highly specific nature of content in these emails or the saturation of marketing emails in these fields.

Industries with lower open rates, such as Transportation and Repair and Maintenance, might face challenges in capturing their audience’s interest. This could be due to less frequent interaction with customers, less personalized content, or the nature of the services being less conducive to email communication.

Tailoring Email Strategies to Your Target Audience

Overall, these statistics suggest that industries directly affecting personal wellbeing or offering regular, essential services tend to have higher open rates.

These findings also highlight the complexity of email marketing effectiveness and the importance of understanding the unique dynamics of each industry. What works well in one sector might not translate directly to another, underscoring the need for tailored strategies.

What Is The Average Open Rate On Email Campaigns by Device?

The average open rate on email campaigns can vary significantly between devices. Typically, mobile devices tend to have higher open rates compared to desktops. This is because many people use their smartphones to check emails throughout the day.

Already in 2020, a significant 81% of all emails have been opened and read on mobile devices. For your business, this means prioritizing mobile optimization is crucial. While focusing on mobile users, also remember desktop users, as they too play a key role in the overall engagement with your email marketing campaigns.

Evolution of Email Marketing Open Rates by Device: Mobile vs. Desktop

Comparative Analysis of Email Marketing Open Rates on Mobile vs. Desktop - 2011-2020

Source: SuperOffice.com

How is the Average Open Rate On Email Marketing Calculated?

Calculating the average open rate for email marketing is done by using this simple equation:

Average Open Rate = (Number of Emails Opened/Number of Emails Sent) × 100

Suppose you send out 1,000 emails, and 300 of those emails are opened by the recipients. To find the average open rate, you divide the number of opened emails (300) by the total number of sent emails (1,000), and then multiply the result by 100 to get a percentage. So, it would look like this:

Average Open Rate=(300/1000)x100=30%

This means 30% of the people you sent emails to actually opened them. This percentage helps you understand how well your email marketing campaign is performing in terms of attracting your audience’s attention.

What Is a Good Open Rate for Email Marketing?

A good open rate for email marketing typically hovers around 15-25%.

Source: Constant Contact

This figure serves as a general benchmark for marketers to aim for in their email campaigns. However, it’s crucial to note that this is a generalized number and can vary significantly depending on your industry, niche, and the specific goals of your campaign.

A good open rate is not just a number; it reflects the relevance and appeal of your emails to your target audience. It increases the chances of your message being seen and acted upon, which can lead to higher conversion rates, more sales, and stronger customer relationships. It’s a key metric in assessing the effectiveness of your email marketing strategy and making necessary adjustments for better results.

Important

While striving for a high open rate is important, it’s not the only metric that determines the success of an email campaign. It’s equally crucial to pay attention to other aspects, such as:

  • Click-through rate (CTR): Indicates how many recipients are engaging with the content and taking the desired action, like visiting your website or making a purchase.
  • Conversion Rate: Measures how many recipients performed a specific action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a service, after clicking a link in your email. This directly ties your email campaign to your business goals.
  • Bounce Rate: Tracks the percentage of emails that could not be delivered to the recipient’s inbox. A high bounce rate might indicate issues with your email list quality or deliverability problems.
  • Unsubscribe Rate: Shows the proportion of recipients who chose to leave your email list following the receipt of an email. This metric helps assess the relevance and acceptability of your content to your audience.
  • Forward Rate/Email Sharing: Reflects how often your email is forwarded or shared with others. It’s a good indicator of how engaging and valuable your content is to your audience.
  • Engagement Over Time: Observing how engagement with your emails changes over time can reveal patterns in when your audience is most likely to open and interact with your emails.
  • Spam Complaints: Tracks how often your email is marked as spam by recipients. High spam complaints can severely impact your email deliverability and sender reputation.

Read more about measuring performance in marketing:

Why Open Rate is an Important Metric in Email Marketing?

The open rate in email marketing is a key indicator of how well your emails are grabbing attention. When more people open your emails, it suggests they find your subject lines interesting and relevant. This is the first step in engaging with your audience.

For your business, a good open rate means your emails are effectively reaching your audience, not getting lost in spam or ignored. For example, if you’re promoting a new product and your emails have a high open rate, it indicates people are interested in what you’re offering.

Keeping track of open rates helps you understand what works for your audience. If open rates are low, it might be time to rethink your email subject lines or the timing of your emails. This way, you can make changes that improve your overall email marketing strategy.

How to Increase Open Rates of Your Email Campaigns?

1. Personalize Your Email Subject Lines

Adding the recipient’s name or personalized details in the subject line can make your emails more appealing. Personalized subject lines are more likely to catch attention, leading to higher open rates.

Main Reasons for Using Personalization in Email Marketing

Statistics show increase in open rate as the leading reason for use of email personalization

Source: Snov.io

2. Segment Your Email List

Divide your email list into smaller groups based on interests, purchase history, or demographics. Tailored content for each segment makes your emails more relevant, potentially increasing open rates.

Note

According to data from HubSpot, segmented emails result in a 30% higher open rate compared to unsegmented emails.

3. Optimize Send Times

Test different times and days to send your emails. The right timing can significantly impact when your audience is most likely to open them. Testing different times and days to send your emails is crucial.

Additionally, utilizing email marketing automation software can greatly enhance this process. For example, Brevo offers a Send Time Optimization tool as part of its software. This tool analyzes your audience’s engagement patterns and automatically schedules emails to be sent at the most optimal time.

Brevo's Send Time Optmiziation Tool

Source: Brevo

Note

Automated emails have been found to have a 70.5% higher open rate compared to generic emails.

Source: Campaign Monitor data, 99firms.com

4. Keep Your Subject Lines Short and Compelling

Subject lines that are shorter usually do better because they’re simpler to read, particularly on mobile devices. A compelling, concise subject line can entice recipients to open the email.

Email subject line example

Example of an engaging subject line from Noom’s newsletter

Note

Based on GetResponse research, the optimal length for email subject lines is within the 61-70 character range for achieving higher open rates.

5. Use Pre-headers

A pre-header is a short summary text that follows the subject line when viewing an email in the inbox. This snippet of text plays a crucial role in influencing open rates by providing recipients with a brief insight into the email’s content. Using a pre-header can help increase how often people open your emails because it adds more information about what they can expect to read.

Examples of a pre-header and a subject line in a mailbox

Source: MailerLite

Note

According to a study by GetResponse, emails with a pre-header achieved an open rate that was approximately 7% higher compared to those without a pre-header.

6. Offer Real Value

Note

Insights from GetResponse reveal that shorter email campaigns, particularly the single-message autoresponder cycle often used as welcome emails, are highly effective, boasting a remarkable 94% open rate. This is because they often include something valuable, like a download link.

This success is attributed to the immediate value of these messages, like providing downloadable content. However, the key is to always provide value, which can keep even long email email campaigns interesting to subscribers.

7. Implement BIMI

BIMI, short for Brand Indicators for Message Identification, is a new email authentication method that enhances brand presence right in the inbox. By verifying a brand’s authenticity, BIMI allows a brand’s logo to appear next to the sender’s name, making emails immediately recognizable to recipients. Implementing BIMI can significantly improve email open rates.

Comparison of a mailbox mobile view - with and without BIMI

Source: Mailtrap

Note

According to the 2021 State of Email Report by Litmus, the use of BIMI has been associated with a notable increase in open rates by 21%.

8. Avoid Spammy Language

Specific words and expressions have the potential to activate spam filters, leading to your emails being placed in the spam folder rather than the inbox. Examples of such words include “Free,” “Guarantee,” “No Risk,” “Limited Time Offer,” and “Make Money.” These phrases are often associated with promotional or phishing emails.

To avoid this, use more neutral and informative language. For instance, instead of saying “Free,” you might say “Complimentary.” Replace “Guarantee” with “Our promise” or “We’re confident.” Instead of “No Risk,” try “Safe” or “Secure.” Swap “Limited Time Offer” with “Available until [date].” And rather than “Make Money,” opt for “Enhance your earnings” or “Grow your income.”

9. Regularly Update Your Email List

Remove inactive subscribers to maintain a healthy, engaged email list. A clean list means you’re sending emails to people who are more likely to be interested. You might like to read about email list cleaning best practices.

Effects of Email List Cleaning on Email Marketing Metrics

How email list cleaning affects key email marketing metrics

Source: Verifalia.com

How Does Tracking Email Opens Work?

Tracking email opens involves a simple process. When you send an email, a tiny, invisible image, often called a tracking pixel, is embedded in it. Every time a recipient opens the email, this pixel loads, sending a signal back to your email system.

This system records each open, allowing your business to see how many people are opening your emails. It’s a useful tool to measure the initial engagement with your email content. Remember, this only tracks if the email is opened, not how the content inside is interacted with.

Are Email Open Rates Always a Reliable Metric?

Email open rates can provide valuable insights, but they are not always a completely reliable metric for several reasons:

  • Tracking Limitations: Some email clients block the tracking pixels used to measure opens, leading to underreporting.
  • Preview Pane Viewing: If a recipient views your email in a preview pane, it might count as an open even if they didn’t fully engage with the content.
  • Multiple Opens: A single person opening an email multiple times can inflate open rates, giving a skewed perception of wider engagement.
  • Spam Filters: Emails caught in spam filters may never reach the inbox, impacting the accuracy of open rate data.
  • Device Variability: Different devices and email clients have varying compatibility with tracking pixels, which can affect open rate accuracy.

While open rates can give you an idea of how many people are viewing your emails, your business should also consider other metrics like click-through rates, conversion rates, and engagement over time for a more comprehensive understanding of email campaign performance.

Final Word: Start by Tracking Open Rates, Then Delve Deeper

Measuring email open rates is essential for your business, as it helps gauge how well your audience engages with your emails compared to industry averages. However, remember that this metric has its limitations, like tracking issues and device variability. For a clearer picture of your email campaign’s performance, also track metrics like click-through and conversion rates. These additional insights will guide you in fine-tuning your email strategies effectively.

Next Steps: What Now?

Learn More About Email Marketing

Frequently Asked Questions

What is open rate in email marketing?

The open rate in email marketing is the percentage of recipients who open a sent email. It’s calculated by dividing the number of opened emails by the total number of sent emails, then multiplying by 100. This metric helps gauge the initial interest and engagement of your audience with your email content.

What is an email marketing benchmark?

An email marketing benchmark is a standard or point of reference against which the performance of your email campaigns can be measured. It typically includes average industry rates for metrics like open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribe rates. These benchmarks help businesses evaluate their email marketing effectiveness compared to others in their industry.

Can an email open rate be over 100%?

Yes, an email open rate can technically be over 100%. This happens when individuals open the same email multiple times. For instance, if you send an email to 100 people and one person opens it five times, the open rate calculation could exceed 100%. However, this is an unusual scenario and not typical for most email campaigns.

Are email open rates accurate?

Email open rates are generally a good indicator of engagement, but they’re not always completely accurate. Factors like email clients blocking tracking pixels or users viewing emails in preview panes without fully opening them can affect accuracy. Thus, while useful, open rates should be considered alongside other metrics for a more comprehensive view of an email campaign’s success.

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