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Email Open Rates

Email open rates are a statistic that gives you an idea of how many people opened the email you sent to your distribution list. Keeping track of the trending of this statistic is important as it allows you to determine what motivates people to open and read your email.

How Are Open Rates Determined?

Most email list management software or vendors will embed a small 1x1 pixel image in the email which is also known a tracking pixel. When that image is shown in the persons email client it tells the email list mananagement software that person X, just opened the email. Just from one little pixel most email list programs can tell which person opened the email and how many times they viewed the email.

In more recent years a lot of email providers automatically disable images from loading which has dramatically lowered the open rates. It's no longer viewed as an accurate measure of successful opens.

Some list management software also incorporates link clicking into the open rate to give a better indication of your true open rate. If an encoded link is clicked it will count towards the open rate. Obviously if they clicked a link they opened the email.

How Do You Increase Open Rates?

There are many different ways to increase your open rate.
  • Ask the person you are emailing to add you to their safe senders list.
  • Have a catchy subject line that entices people to open the email.
  • Embed some graphics. Embedded graphics are automatically shown in most email clients since they are considered less risk.
  • Run your emails through a spam filter and check the spam score. Read "How to Avoid Spam Filters."
  • Try to get on the different whitelists that are available. Do a White List Search to see which ones you are already on.
  • Improve your sender reputation. Read "How to Avoid Losing Reputation."

Below Are Some Industry Average Email Open Rates

Email Open Rates By Industry

Source: Unlock The Inbox

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