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    How to Boost Your Email Marketing Campaign Open Rates Today

    Written By Jason Rowse - Digital Marketing Expert

    Updated: 09/06/2021

    Open rates are an important way to judge the success of your email marketing campaigns and in this article we are going to look at the key basics around the issue, as well as approaches you could take as you look to improve your performance.

    What is a Good Email Open Rate?

    In an ideal world, every email marketing message that a business sends would be enthusiastically opened and read by their target audience. However, in reality, the issue is much more complicated than that. Open rates can be affected by a range of factors and this means that the idea of achieving a 100% success rate is simply not feasible.

    In fact, according to figures released by Constant Contact in December 2019, the overall average open rate across all industries stood at 13.94%.

    However, it should be noted that the figure fluctuates by sector, with primary and secondary education emails, for instance, achieving an open rate of 21.82% across the same period.

    Business TypeOpen Rate (Total)Click-Through RateBounce RateUnsubscribe Rate
    All industries – Overall Average13.94%6.86%8.85%0.01%


    How to Calculate Email Open Rate

    While the information above is handy when trying to consider the success of an email marketing campaign, how do you figure out the email open rate achieved by your own business?

    Well, the process of determining an open rate revolves around the following formula:

    Unique Opens/(Number of Emails Sent – Bounces)

    This means that your open rate can simply be calculated by dividing the number of opens you achieved by the number of emails sent – although you should also subtract any bounces to get an accurate outcome.

    Tips on How to Increase Your Email Marketing Open Rate

    So now you know the basics about email marketing open rates, how can you go about improving the performance of your upcoming campaigns? Here we take a look at seven key tips that could come in handy. 

    Get Your Subject Lines Right

    The subject line is perhaps one of the most crucial elements of an email marketing communication, as it is one of the first things that your target audience sees when your message drops into their inbox.

    Take some time to consider how you could improve your subject lines and make them more enticing. If it works, your audience should be encouraged and excited about opening your messages.

    Build Interest In Your Next Email

    Another approach could be to make it clear to the public that your emails are part of an ongoing discussion and conversation with them.

    Therefore, why not tease upcoming deals or content which will be featured in future messages?

    This again should help to entice them into opening your upcoming communications.

    Get Your Timing Right

    You should never underestimate the importance of sending a message at the right time, as it really can make all of the difference to open rates.
    Experiment with when you send your communications in order to determine the times that achieve the best results. This should then ensure that you are getting the best possible email marketing open rate that you can.

    List Segmentation

    Your customers and clients are not all the same, so you might benefit from splitting them into specific categories and then only sending them marketing emails that feature content relevant to them.

    This could be a masterstroke as you look to boost engagement and ensure that people are paying attention to what you are putting out.

    Check For Valid Email Addresses

    Email validation services are a useful tool that can make a big difference to your marketing efforts, as they allow you to confirm that the addresses you are sending messages to are viable and actually exist.

    This means you do not waste time and resources sending your communications to addresses that are simply never going to provide the results that you require. There are a host of great email validation services out there so you are sure to find one that will meet your needs.

    Remove Inactive Subscribers

    If people simply are not engaging with your emails and haven’t for some time, you could boost your email open rates by removing them from your subscriber list.

    While it might seem counter-intuitive to remove the details of a potential customer, there may be nothing to lose if they have been completely inactive for a long period of six months or more.

    Of course, prior to taking such a step, you could consider sending them one final email in an attempt to try and re-engage them.

    Mobile Optimization

    The State of Mobile 2020 report from App Annie revealed that consumers spent an average of three hours and 40 minutes on mobile devices in 2019. Smartphones and tablets have become a go-to device for many people and you should take that into account when preparing email marketing campaigns.

    Ensure your communications are optimized for mobile in all aspects. You should also consider how your subject lines would show up if viewed on a handheld system.

    Average Email Open Rates by Industry

    Business TypeOpen Rate (Total)Click-Through RateBounce RateUnsubscribe Rate
    Animal services14.47%6.25%8.25%0.01%
    Arts and culture14.61%5.63%8.08%0.01%
    Childcare 19.86%7.99%7.24%0.01%
    Education – primary/secondary21.82%6.77%7.99%0.01%
    Education – higher16.37%6.64%8.92%0.01%
    Financial advice10.55%5.35%9.15%0.01%
    Government agency20.42%7.72%9.33%0.01%
    Health and social services16.88%5.42%9.72%0.01%
    Legal services16.25%6.21%12.79%0.01%
    Real estate13.49%5.22%11.01%0.01%
    Religious organization24.36%6.24%8.96%0.01%
    Travel and tourism12.58%4.91%8.58%0.01%

    As of December 2019 – Source:

    Creating the Perfect Campaign

    Learning more about email marketing campaign open rates is an important step that should allow you to build better communications and achieve improved results.

    As well as looking at how your open rates compare to your sector and other industries, it is worth examining your previous efforts to see what your own average open rate looks like. From that point, you can set a benchmark and targets as to how you want to develop your promotions going forward.

    This feeds into how you will develop deliverability goals and, of course, your all-important conversion rates – the moment when those email recipients become customers.

    Bottom Line

    While there are so many digital marketing tools out there for businesses these days, email remains a hugely effective way of engaging with consumers and securing vital sales of products and services.

    Open rates are a fundamental way of measuring the success of your communications and whether they are having the desired impact on your intended audience.

    As we have outlined, just a few simple steps can help you boost your rate and ensure that your marketing is both efficient and effective.