What is the opening rate?

The opening rate is a common key figure ( KPI ) from e-mail marketing, which gives you information about the quality of the respective subject line. It is the total number of recipients who have opened your email. You calculate the open rate by dividing the number of emails opened by the number of emails successfully delivered. As a rule, you calculate the returns, so-called bounces, since your e-mail could not be delivered in this case.

Calculation example:

(125,000 emails opened / 500,000 successfully delivered emails) * 100 = 25% open rate

Professional e-mail delivery systems calculate the open rate using a built-in tracking pixel that is built into the code of the newsletter. As soon as the email is opened, the pixel is also downloaded and thus counts the opening.

How to interpret the open rate?
As a general rule, the higher the open rate , the better. However, a good open rate can mean something different depending on the industry, the type of e-mailing or the target group segmentation carried out. There can be strong fluctuations here. Therefore, use general benchmark values ​​for your industry and the key figures from your previous emails as a guide. This is the best way to gauge whether the numbers are getting better or worse.

How can you improve the open rate?
The opening rate can primarily be influenced by the subject line. It’s your door opener, as it’s the first thing the recipient sees of your email. Test different subject lines against each other to determine which one resonates particularly well with your recipients. The time of dispatch can also affect the opening rate . Therefore, vary the times or test in a split dispatch whether your e-mail delivers better results in the morning or in the afternoon, for example.

To optimize your subject line:

Make the subject line short and concise so that it is displayed in full in all common e-mail clients.
Be sure to use personalization such as a personal salutation. This leaves an individual impression and creates trust.
Important information should always be at the beginning, as the number of visible characters is limited.
The subject line should be as appealing and interesting as possible. Formulate them as a question, for example, or entice them with discounts and special offers. But be careful that it doesn’t sound too promotional or cheap, otherwise spam filters could kick in.
You can also attract attention with suitable symbols or emojis. Make sure, however, that these also match your company and the subject line.
Also, make sure the sender name and sender address match and are legitimate. This creates trust among the recipients and can also have a positive effect on the opening rate . In addition to the subject line, be sure to use the so-called preheader. This is displayed in the mailbox directly below the subject line and gives you the opportunity to convince your recipients to open the e-mail with additional information. Finally, you should make sure that you only send emails to relevant target groups. Segment your mailing list instead of scattering it across the entire database. Because relevant content to the right target group also ensures a better opening rate.