What Is A Good Email Open Rate And Ways To Improve It

You work hard to write the best content and design eye-catching graphics to make sure your email campaign becomes a success. 

But what if you don’t get a good email open rate? Sure, it can be disheartening. 

If you want to improve, you need to get to the root of the problem. Some of the common issues may include:

  • Low delivery rates
  • Frequent spam complaints
  • Unengaging subject lines
  • Sending too many emails

Because of such issues, many marketers believe that email campaigns are now past their prime. They feel social media is the new oil of internet marketing. So, they bid an emotional (kind of) farewell to their email strategies. 

But is just one side of the coin? Here’s a stat that’ll make your judgment easier. Litmus reveals that for each $1 you spend on email marketing, you get an average return of $42.

The bottom line is that email marketing also offers a tone of opportunities to grow your business. So, don’t give up just as yet.

Instead, work on improving your campaigns to get a better open rate.

Email open rate is a critical KPI to monitor the campaign’s success. It gives you the percentage of emails opened by the end-users. Using this data, you can modify your email content, subscriber list, delivery time, and a lot more.

Here’s how you can calculate it:

Image Source: Snov.io

Now that you know how to calculate your email open rate, let’s move the conversation forward. 

What Is a Good Email Open Rate? 

Email marketing can help you generate more leads and get a high ROI. To ensure that your campaign is successful, it is important to aim for a good email open rate.

But, what’s the ideal open rate that you should target? According to Constant Contact, anything between 15-25% is a decent open rate. 

Another source delves deeper to showcase how the average email rates for the past few years have changed. 

Take a look at the screenshot below:

Image source: SuperOffice

You’ve got a ballpark figure for reference now. That brings us to the next question — how can you improve your email open rate? Let’s find out in the next section.

7 Effective Tips to Improve Email Open Rates 

To engage your subscribers and get them to open your emails, here are some tips that you should keep in mind:

1. Offer Value

Strive to send emails that your target audience looks forward to reading. In your newsletters, include educational resources that genuinely provide value to them. In addition to this, it should also be relevant to their preferences.

Consider the example of a tech-oriented business with a healthy email subscriber base. Their email campaign should typically target the latest technology trends, comprehensive case studies, and other such content.

But what if they suddenly start promoting a financial firm? It can lead to a loss of subscriber base and dent their credibility. This, in turn, can also affect their open rate in the long-term.

Not sure if your email content and strategy inclines with the idea of offering true value to the users? 

Here’s a 3-step evaluation process from Campaign Monitor, which helps in validating the same:  

Image Source: Campaign Monitor 

In email campaigns, it’s imperative to stick to your domain of expertise. Even when you introduce new subjects in the campaign, make sure they are at least related to your audience’s interests. Pipeline a few introductory newsletters about your new venture or collaboration to avoid unsubscriptions.  

2. Prune Your Subscriber List 

A consistent list evaluation ensures that you have an active subscriber base. All you need to do is analyze the list periodically and remove all the inactive users.

But before removing subscribers, you can implement the win-back technique and send them one final email. You can send messages like “Do you wish to continue being a loyal subscriber?” or provide discounts to win them back.

You can craft an emotional message, sprinkle some humor, or include sarcasm (at your risk). Here’s a sample email that you can take inspiration from: 

Image Source: HubSpot 

Even after that if someone wants to unsubscribe, let them do it. The idea behind pruning your list is to get a better idea of how many active subscribers you have. Also, keeping inactive subscribers in your list can harm your engagement rate. 

3. Optimize the Campaign for Mobile Phones 

Before finalizing your email marketing campaign, make sure that the email’s text and images appear as you intend them to in mobile devices. It’s also a good idea to include loadable media, use large fonts (to compensate for smaller screen size), and utilize larger CTA buttons

OptinMonster reports that around 58% of people check their email first before doing any other online activity. 

Image Source: OptinMonster  

With the increasing use of mobile phones, it becomes easier for people to check their emails. In fact, Constant Contact reveals that more than 61% of all emails are accessed from cell phones. 

So, guess what happens if your email isn’t optimized for mobiles? 

Ignored. Reported as spam. Deleted.

To avoid this, it’s a good idea to optimize your emails for your mobile phones. 

4. Email Subject Lines Are Important

Your email’s subject line is the king, so don’t take it too casually.

If your subject line doesn’t catch your audience’s attention, all the effort you put into crafting the content goes in vain. So, spend time on your email’s subject and follow it up with crisp content that’ll help you boost your conversion rate.

The length of your subject line is equally critical. According to RetentionScience, email subject lengths that range between 6-10 words deliver the best open rates.

The image below shows the variance in open rates with changing subject line lengths:

Image source: Retention Science 

Keep the subject catchy, valuable, and short. This will optimize your subject line for mobile phones too. 

5. Personalize Your Emails 

Personalization can go a long way in nurturing a relationship with your subscribers and striking a chord with them. Campaign Monitor informs that users are 26% more likely to open an email with personalized subject lines. 

So, how can you personalize your emails?

Users want to connect with people and not some vague brand bots or tools. Keep this in mind while crafting your email content. Talk to the recipients like they’re your friends, in a conversational manner. It is also a good idea to address recipient’s by their name.

Another technique that can help you personalize your campaigns is segmentation. You can leverage collected user data to add a personalized touch to your campaigns.

You can personalize the emails based on your subscribers’ geolocation, interests, or other demographic factors. This will ensure that your emails are relevant for your recipients.

Through location-based email targeting, you can also send a word of caution in areas witnessing thunderstorms, earthquakes, and other such calamities. You can also wish your subscribers on their regional festivals. 

6. Authenticate Your Emails 

Authenticating your emails can help you win over your recipient’s trust. Wondering how? Take a look at this example:

Jason receives an email from a famous recruiting agency asking for a quick survey. He spends 10 minutes answering those questions, and in the end, he shares some personal information as well. 

He then receives another email from the same agency warning their subscribers about fake email accounts and email spoofing. For Jason, it was too late to correct his actions. After this instance, he pledges to never open any email sent by that agency. 

It could also happen to your email campaign if you don’t use email authentication.

Authentication proves your identity, thereby ensuring that you land in their inbox. If this fails to happen, your email might get filtered as spam or not get delivered at all. 

7. Decide When to Send Your Emails 

To improve the chances of your recipients opening your email, you should send it when they are most likely to be checking their inbox. 

GetResponse conducted a study to find out the best weekdays for sending emails. Surprisingly, weekends were not a good time to get good open rates.

Here’s a graph that depicts the average open rates for all seven days: 

Image Source: GetResponse

While the above graph provides a good reference point, you’ll have to rely on trial-and-error to find out what works for your brand. Analyze a few email campaigns to understand your target audience’s habits.


Email marketing can provide you with a positive ROI. But only if you know how to engage your audience and keep a good open rate. Use a mix of the techniques mentioned above to boost your email open rate. Keep in mind that getting results may take time, effort, and persistence. 

Do you have any questions about any of the strategies mentioned in this post? Please feel free to ask them in the comments section.

About Sumeet Anand

Sumeet Anand is a B2B Marketing Expert skilled in SEO, Social Media Marketing and Content Marketing. He helps brands and businesses out there generate leads with his top-notch content strategies and is featured on various major media publications across the globe.

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