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Open Rate

Optimizing your open rate is one of the best ways to increase your email marketing performance. By definition, open rate is a measure primarily used by marketers as an indication of how many people "view" or "open" the commercial electronic mail they send out (thanks, Wikipedia!). While the metric seems simple on the surface, it gives valuable insights into areas of future growth and improvement. We'll take you through how to calculate this metric, how to understand it in the context of your industry, and how to apply it to the platforms you're using now.

How to Calculate Open Rate

You can calculate the open rate by dividing the number of emails opened by the number of emails delivered. Open rate can be assessed for various time-periods (i.e. day, week, month, or year) and if your emails delivered are tied to certain products or campaigns, you can assign a specific open rate for each.

If you’re confused about how to define emails opened, emails delivered, and emails bounced, we’ve included some nifty definitions and examples below:

  • Emails opened are the emails that your recipients opened upon receiving. This will indicate the number of people who are interested in your email.
  • Emails delivered are the emails that you sent to your recipients that reached them. You can calculate it by subtracting the number of emails bounced from the number of emails sent.
  • Emails bounced are the emails that you sent to your recipients but was not received by them. There are several reasons for this which include: invalid email address, non-existing email address, user inbox full, and/or server down.

When choosing what to include in your calculations, remember: consistency is key! That means, if you decide to include XYZ in your open rate for the month, you should include it in the next month’s open rate as well. Having consistent metrics will allow you to better identify the causes of good or bad performance. For instance, if you increased the number of your emails delivered and the open rate is still low, then you should consider reoptimizing your subject line.

An email with a well-crafted subject line will keep your open rate high.

Connecting Open Rate to Your Business

Again, as you begin (consistently) monitoring open rate, you’ll be able to find insights specific to your strategy. Of course, it’s also important to understand your open rate in relation to your broader industry. To help you know what to expect, we’ve included a list of the average open-rate per industry:

  • Advertising and Marketing Agencies - 19.30%
  • Agriculture - 20.50%
  • Automotive and Aerospace - 12.60%
  • Construction, Contracting, Manufacture - 22.40%
  • Consumer Packaged Goods - 14.50%
  • Education - 23.40%
  • Engineering, Architecture, and Design - 20.40%
  • Financial Services - 20.20%
  • Food and Beverage - 13.00%
  • Healthcare Services - 19.70%
  • Logistics and Wholesale - 18.90%
  • Media, Entertainment and Publishing - 18.10%
  • Nonprofit - 25.20%
  • Real Estate - 19.90%
  • Retail - 13.90%
  • Travel, Hospitality, Leisure - 15.70%

Further, while you can find this metric from many channels, we’ve identified popular platforms that are particularly relevant to open rates. These may be good places to begin if you’re getting started with this metric:

  • Klaviyo: This is a platform that focuses on email marketing and automation. It will not only give you the computation of your open rate, but it will also help you improve the KPI.
  • Mailchimp: This is an email marketing automation platform that will automatically compute your open rate. Like Klaviyo, Mailchimp aims to help its user have more effective email marketing campaigns.
  • LinkedIn: LinkedIn is an online community for marketing. One of its features is delivering sponsored InMail and computing the total open rate per campaign.

Tracking Open Rate with Lido

While open rate is easy to calculate, it’s important to keep in mind that the open rate is one of many valuable metrics to track your performance. If you don’t want to spend hours at the end of the month juggling numbers from your Klaviyo, Mailchimp, and LinkedIn accounts, consider trying Lido. Lido can help you build a dashboard to monitor your data and give a look into how your key metrics (such as open rate) change over time.

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