Have you ever wondered if your email newsletters are performant as well as they should be? Oh we know that email marketing platforms will give you a lot of reports, charts and figures on how each of your campaigns performed, but do you know what any of that means in the real world? How do those figures translate into real people interacting with your content? While there are a few things you can do with this data that the programmes give you, today we’re going to focus on the open rate.

What Is Open Rate, And Why Does It Matter?

An open rate is pretty much what it says in the tin it’s how many people opened your email. This is a good way to judge the deliverability of your emails, as well as how good your headlines are at hooking readers in. Your open rate should be the first thing you look at, as all of the other information your mail client will provide is based on how many people opened the email in the first place. Most software will give you the number of people who opened the email, and then represent it as a percentage out of 100.

What’s A Good Email Open Rate?

Generally speaking, a good email open rate is 20.94% or higher. This is the average open rate for email newsletters in general, without taking any other factors into account. That might seem a little low, but trust us when we say it’s impressive if your newsletter open rate reaches this point! There are a number of different things that can impact your open rate and bring it down, and it’s these things that tend to create a low average open rate. A few of the things that can lower your open rate include:

Your industry
The health of your list
The quality of your subject line
The benchmark open rate for your industry 

That last one is the most important because each industry has a different average open rate, and this should inform your expectations when you’re reviewing your campaign performance. 


Why Do Open Rates Vary By Industry?

While the general email open rate average is 20.94%, you shouldn’t rely on that as your benchmark. Instead, you should look at the average open rates for your own industry, and set your expectations around that. Since industry open rates can vary wildly, this helps you get a better idea of what’s realistic from the outset. 

To give you more of an idea, here are some average newsletter open rates by industry:

Education: 25%

Computing & electronics: 19%

Business services: 20%

Retail: 23%

This is why it’s important to know the average email open rate for your industry, as this gives you a good benchmark to aim for.

How Do I Improve My Open Rates?

If you find yourself falling behind the average open rate for your industry, then there are a few things you can do. The easiest and most effective is to work on your subject lines. Yoursubject line is the only thing your customer has to go on when deciding if they want to open your email or not, so it’s important to get it right. Best practices for email subject lines include:

Keep it short and sweet: Email newsletters perform best when every element of them is short and sweet. From short and catchy subject lines to content that’s only around 400 words long maximum. Remember that you’re invading their inbox, so you need to make your point quickly.
Tailor it: Research shows that people respond well to emails that are tailored to them, and don’t feel like blanket, impersonal emails. There are lots of different types of software that can help you with this, so it isn’t a lot of effort to boost your open rate.
Tell people what to expect: Give them a reason to open your email by telling them what’s inside. Special offers? Tips and tricks? Discount codes? New product launches? Put it in the subject line.
Avoid capitals and exclamation marks: This is the easiest way to get yourself caught in a spam filter and make sure your email never even reaches an inbox. Lots of capital letters and excessive punctuation are common in scam emails, which is why pretty much all spam filters will catch and detain them.


It’s also important for you to monitor the health of your email list and make sure that the recipients on it are relevant and would receive value from your emails. You also need to make sure they are real people, and you haven’t just bought an old data list or added a bunch of people you don’t really know. Keeping a healthy list of organic and genuinely engaged people will hugely improve your open rate and your ROI in general.

At Moyralla Marketing we love working with business owners to help them harness the power of email marketing. Our experts are on hand to support you with every stage of the process, from designing email templates to creating and sending campaigns. We can even talk you through the reports afterwards, so you can see exactly how successful your campaigns have been. If you would like to know more, just get in touch with the team today.