What is a good open rate?

Written by  Mitch O'Callaghan Thursday, 26 April 2012 10:30

Most email marketers tend to use 25% as the average when it comes to open rates, this is a number obtained from DMA email benchmarking reports, but this is an average that covers all sectors. 

As professional email marketers we need to look at our specific sector metrics to determine what is a good ‘Open rate’ for our email campaign.
The metrics really do vary from sector to sector, for example:
Retail and Travel has a average open rate of 22%
Education is 26%
And Publishing has a larger 29%
B2B campaigns get an average open rate of 24% where-as on average 28% of B2C campaigns are opened.
Another factor that will affect a good open rate is whether your campaign is for Retention or Acquisition. On average Retention campaigns acquire over double the open rate the acquisition campaigns. Once you have worked out what is a good open rate or your campaign, then you make targets and start to improve.
Improve your open rate!
The way that you capture your data will heavily affect your open rate. When setting expectations for you’re on going relationships with your database welcome campaigns and preference centres are essential. Let the recipient choose what they want to hear about and let them know what to expect, this way when they see the email in their inbox they were already expecting it and a lot more likely to open.
Subject lines. We all know that your subject line has a massive impact on open rates, but also the subject line must have as much relevance to the email as possible to avoid unsubscribers. Personalisation is also key in the subject line.
Is your content a one off? Your content has to have some relevance to the last to keep your customers updated and interested. If giving out promotional codes, maybe think about splitting the code over two emails, that way you pretty much guarantee a load of opens on the following campaign.
Take notice of your reporting.
Learning from your reporting is the only way hat you will improve your metrics. Email marketing is about trial and error, try new things, but make sure that each time you do, you are checking each part of reporting to see where the campaign performed and where it could have performed better. Use the reporting to influence your next campaign.

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