What Is the Industry Standard for Email Open Rates?

What Is Industry Standard for Email Open Rates?

Dec 05, 2022

AudiencePoint Team

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If you’re sending marketing emails, you want to ensure that your subscribers open them and engage with your content. This makes open rate a key metric for determining email marketing success and one of the most important email marketing benchmarks. This article will outline industry standards for email open rates and explain how you can improve open rates for email engagement success.

Defining Email Open Rates

An email open rate is a key metric used in email marketing to measure the percentage of recipients who open a given email out of the total number of emails sent. This metric is crucial for marketers as it provides insight into the initial level of engagement with their email campaigns. To calculate this rate, the total number of opened emails is divided by the total number of emails delivered (emails that did not bounce), and the result is then multiplied by 100 to express it as a percentage. Understanding this figure helps marketers gauge the effectiveness of their email subject lines, timing, and overall campaign strategy. High open rates typically indicate that your subject lines are resonating with your audience, making this metric a critical indicator of email marketing success.

What Is a Good Email Open Rate?

A good email open rate will depend on the industry. Open rates can vary by industry since different types of businesses receive different levels of consumer engagement and interaction. A good range to aim for with email open rates is between 17-28%, excluding Apple MPP opens. If you’re in this range, it is a good sign that your subscribers are engaged with your email content. 

Factors Influencing Email Open Rates

Several key factors can significantly impact your email open rates, and understanding these can help you tailor your campaigns for maximum effectiveness. These include:

  • Subject Lines: The first element your recipients see. A compelling subject line can make the difference between an opened email and one that’s ignored. Personalization, clarity, and a touch of creativity can enhance open rates.
  • Send Time and Frequency: Timing is everything. Sending emails when your audience is most likely to engage can dramatically increase open rates. Additionally, finding the right balance in email frequency is crucial; too many emails can lead to subscriber fatigue, while too few may cause them to forget about you.
  • Email Personalization: Personalizing emails beyond just using the recipient’s name, such as tailoring content to their interests or past behavior, can significantly boost open rates. Personalized emails tend to resonate more, fostering a sense of relevance and connection.
  • Audience Segmentation: Dividing your email list into smaller segments based on demographics, interests, or behaviors allows for more targeted and relevant email campaigns. Segmented campaigns often see higher open rates due to their personalized approach.
  • Mobile Optimization: With the increasing prevalence of mobile devices for checking email, ensuring your emails are mobile-friendly is non-negotiable. Emails that display poorly on mobile devices are likely to be ignored.
  • Sender Reputation: Your reputation as a sender affects how email service providers treat your emails. A solid sender reputation can improve your email deliverability, increasing the likelihood that your emails reach the inbox rather than the spam folder.

What Is the Average Email Open Rate across industries?

The average email marketing open rate across industries is 21.33%, not counting Apple MPP opens. For most businesses, being at or above this number is a good sign that you are likely hitting or exceeding industry standards for email marketing open rate. 

Email Open Rates by Industry

The following list will cover average email open rates across major industries. Industries such as marketing have some of the lowest open rates, while industries like education and sports have some of the highest open rates. Knowing the average for your industry will help you better understand what open rate metrics you should aim for during your email campaigns. 

  • Agriculture: 23.31%
  • Art: 26.27%
  • Construction: 21.77%
  • E-Commerce: 15.68%
  • Education: 23.42%
  • Electronics: 19.29%
  • Finance: 21.56%
  • Gambling: 21.62%
  • Games: 21.10%
  • Health and fitness: 21.48%
  • Insurance: 21.36%
  • Legal: 22.00%
  • Marketing: 17.38%
  • Medical and healthcare: 21.72%
  • Music: 21.88%
  • Personal care and beauty: 16.65%
  • Politics: 22.94%
  • Real estate: 19.17%
  • Restaurant: 19.77%
  • Retail: 18.39%
  • Sports: 24.57%
  • Travel: 20.44%

Knowing open rates for your industry will help you understand how your emails compare to your competition. If you’re getting higher open rates than the industry average, your emails are likely performing better than your competitors, which will help you take advantage of the many benefits of having high open rates. 

Why Is Email Open Rate Important?

Email open rate is essential for improving or maintaining your email engagement. High open rates will lead to improvements in other important metrics, such as:

  • Click-through rate
  • Conversion rate
  • ROI
  • Bounce rate

Open rate is essential for improving click-through rate, conversion rate, and ROI, because email subscribers can’t engage with your content or follow a call to action if they don’t open the email in the first place. Ensuring you maintain high open rates will lead to better overall email engagement and increased revenue, helping you spend your marketing budget more effectively.

Email open rate is also crucial to lowering your bounce rate and email deliverability and avoiding emails being sent to spam. Consistently low open rates can cause receiving domains to stop accepting emails (leading to high bounce rates) or might immediately send them to spam. It’s hard to recover open rates once this starts happening, since subscribers won’t see your emails in the first place. This makes it essential to maintain high open rates and re-engage or remove inactive email subscribers as soon as possible. 

How to Improve Email Open Rate for All Industries

The best ways to increase your average open rate are:

  • Engaging subject lines: The average person receives hundreds of emails each day, which means you must make your subject lines stand out to subscribers when they scroll through their inboxes. Engaging subject lines that showcase the value of your emails and their usefulness to subscribers will lead to higher open rates. 
  • Research your target audience: Understanding the wants, needs, and interests of your target audience will help you send emails that are relevant to their needs. Using targeted keywords in subject lines and sending email content that is of value to your subscribers’ needs will lead to much higher open rates. 
  • Optimize send times: Emails are more likely to be opened by different audiences at different times. AudiencePoint’s insight software can monitor email subscriber activity, so you can send emails when your subscribers are most likely to check their inbox. 
  • Consistently provide value: You will improve open rates by consistently delivering value to your email list in your marketing emails. Email subscribers who find value in your content will look forward to reading your emails and are more likely to look for them while scrolling through their inboxes. 

By improving these aspects of your emails, you will likely see higher open rates that will help you get excellent email marketing campaign results. 

Effects of Apple MPP on Open Rate

Apple’s mail privacy protection (MPP) has impacted the relevance of the open rate metric. Apple MPP causes emails sent to Apple devices to be opened on Apple’s own proxy servers before landing in inboxes. This inflates open rate numbers when they are tracked with email analytics tools. 

However, AudiencePoint is aware of this, and our email insight software can identify Apple MPP opens to provide you with accurate data that you can use to improve email engagement. 

How AudiencePoint Can Help Increase Your Open Rate

AudiencePoint’s email insight software can provide you with data that can help you increase your open rate and take your email marketing strategy to the next level. Our software tracks data from your marketing campaigns to provide actionable information for improving email campaigns and engaging your audience. Taking action to improve email engagement will lead to better open rates and increased success of email campaigns. Contact us today to learn more about how AudiencePoint can help with your email marketing efforts.