What is a Good Open Rate? Know the Number You Should be Striving for and How to Hit it

If you are investing in an email marketing strategy, you need to know your average open rate as well as what a good open rate is, comparatively. Understanding open rates is extremely helpful for testing, measuring, and analyzing your email marketing process. It ensures the effectiveness of your email campaigns so you aren’t spending a fortune trying to reach your target audience.

What Does an Open Rate Tell Me?

The concept of open rates is simple – it tells you how much of the email you send is actually being opened and read. A good open rate is indicative of a strong email list, message, subject line, and deployment schedule. It helps you pinpoint why people may or may not be reading your emails, which is usually due to one of the following reasons:

  • They never received it due to spam filters, incorrect contact details, or email blocking
  • They actively deleted it (this could be due to a variety of reasons)
  • They are not at the correct level of interest for your content
  • They got it, maybe even saw it, but haven’t had time to read it yet
  • They don’t understand why they are getting it and unsubscribed
  • They received it but simply ignored it, potentially due to the day/time of delivery


Regardless of the reason why your audience is not opening your email, you should know. Why? Because you don’t want to waste your time and money sending emails that no one is opening or reading.

What is a Good Open Rate?A good open rate typically falls between 15-25%, depending on your industry, company size, and campaign type. e-Newsletters, for example, tend to receive higher open rates than sales emails. Of course, there are companies that see much higher open rates than this – some even upwards of 50% – which are usually achieved through email marketing strategies and marketing tools that improve conversion, quality of data and personalization.

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How to Achieve Good Open Rates

Open rates are affected by a variety of factors. Here are some tips for achieving good open rates:

Strong Subject Lines

Subject lines are a high contributor to email marketing success. They are the first thing your audience sees in relation to the email you are sending. Try including your company name in the “From” and/or “Subject” fields to reinforce who you are and why they should open the email.

Also be upfront about what’s inside your emails. Vague or sales-oriented subject lines are a surefire way to get your email sent directly to someone’s spam or deleted folders.

Fresh, Updated Lists

Keeping your email list(s) up to date can help you strengthen your open rates. Since people change email addresses every few months, it’s important to monitor hard bounces and find creative ways to stay in touch with subscribers.

Weeding out inactive email addresses on a regular basis is a best practice for maintaining fresh, updated lists. Checking spam filters for reasons why your email may not be reaching your intended recipients is another way to optimize your campaigns for maximum opens, clicks, and conversions.

Building and maintaining a database of contacts can be expensive and a big tax on your marketing budget. This is why many leading companies prefer to outsource demand generation services.

Email Targeting

By identifying the right audience, deployment schedule, and message before an email is sent, you can significantly improve open rates. This is called email targeting, and helps you reach the people most interested in your brand when it matters most, so conversion rates are at their peak.

Adding nurturing campaigns to targeted email campaigns is another way to improve open rates by helping you reach prospects at different times of day, using varied subject lines and calls to action.

Final Thoughts

Achieving a good open rate is only the first step to successful email marketing. Once you find yourself in a groove, try finding new ways to optimize your campaigns. Check out our recent blog post, “The Do’s and Don’ts of Amazing B2B E-Mail Marketing” for some helpful and creative ideas.

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