Sanjana M
Author: Sanjana M

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The email open rate is a metric that marketers use to determine how many individuals "see" or "open" business emails they send out. The most popular way to quantify it is as a percent, computed by dividing the number of emails opened by the overall number of emails sent (without including those that bounced.)

Unique email openings are also tracked by some Email Service Providers (ESPs). Exclusive email opens, similar to email openings, eliminate any duplicate opens.

Email Open Rates are being tracked. A transparent 1x1 pixel, or a tiny transparent tracking graphic, is commonly inserted in sending emails to monitor open rates. When the customer or browser used to view the email asks for that picture, the picture's host server records an "open" for that message. Unless one of the following events occurs, the mail would not be considered open:

  • The receiver chooses whether or not to allow photos in the email.
  • The email is interacted with by the receiver by clicking on the link.

Although open rates were one of the first measures used in email marketing, their continuous use has proven contentious due to differing viewpoints on its utility.

The overall amount of "opened" emails, represented as a proportion of the total population of emails sent or—more commonly—delivered, is most frequently used to compute the open rate for mail sent to numerous recipients. The total number of emails delivered is calculated by subtracting the number of bounces produced by those emails from the total amount of emails sent.

Many webmail providers and email clients also block graphics by default, and recipients can choose only to get text-only copies of emails. No image call may be performed in both circumstances, thereby decreasing the open rate measurement's accuracy.

Because the request for a tracking image provides no evidence of whether the email's receiver really viewed or just read the email, this approach creates problems with interpreting.

Why are they seen as reliable?

One of the most critical measures of an online marketing campaign's effectiveness is the open rate. It aids in determining which aspects of your email strategy need to be improved.

Take it as a wake-up call if your email open rate is not that high. Consider an email marketing strategy in the form of a funnel. Unless the receivers open the email you've sent and study it to the conclusion, they will not execute the final and most desirable step in email marketing (typically a click-through).

Despite its relevance, the email open rate is much more effective when used in conjunction with other digital marketing success indicators such as the click-through rate (CTR), spam complaints, unsubscribe rate, as well as forwarded emails.

Many marketers utilize open rates as a comparative metric, comparing the results of emails sent out to identical recipient categories at various times or with multiple subject headers.

What are the factors that govern email open rates?

The reality is there is no such thing as a universally acceptable email open rate. The open rate of emails varies by industry, kind of email (triggered email, newsletter, or even a transactional email), and a variety of other factors. Aside from that, there are a few sociocultural and technical factors influencing the open rate of emails:

  • In comparison to e-commerce enterprises, companies that deal with art, sports, religion, and hobbies have a greater email open rate.
  • Ones with more specific topics have a better open rate versus emails with broad issues.
  • The lower the open email percentage, the more extensive the mailing list.
  • Because some people have their pictures turned off, their open will not be counted (unless they click-through on the link that's sent inside the email).
  • Because there are no pictures in simple text emails, they will not be opened.
  • The ability to preview photographs is available in some email clients. Although it will be counted as opened, the recipient may never really open it.

To summarise, you don't need to use the email open rate as the primary criterion for email marketing success. However, if the rate suddenly drops, it means something is wrong, and it's important to intervene. On the other hand, a higher open rate usually signifies you're on the right track of successfully executing a campaign!