An open rate depends on a variety of things when it comes to email marketing. Not everyone will open your email, so you shouldn’t expect a 100% open rate when you send out a campaign. It’s not impossible to get 100%, but you’ll need to be somewhat psychic. So what is the expected open rate of an email campaign?

Some would be surprised to see that on average, across all industries, it’s 15% – 20%. Since that is across all industries, let’s break it down by a couple industries, measured during the course of one year as learned from Smart Insights:

  • Automobile: 24.9%
  • Computer Software: 22.1%
  • Food Service: 22%
  • Insurance: 29.7%
  • School: 27.9%

We can see that the average, when broken down into different industries, is improved. Don’t worry if you aren’t getting these numbers! There are certain tools and tips that you can put to use in order to increase your open rate … even if it’s just a little bit.

  1. Segment your list. Creating a segmented, more targeted list will improve your opens rates. In retail, you may try to track what products your subscribers are interested in and promote similar products.
  2. List Hygiene. When people hear list hygiene they think, “Deleting contacts, NO!” However, deleting contacts that don’t read or open your email is beneficial when you really look at it. You reduce the total emails you send, saving you money. You’ll also reduce the greymail and possible abuse complaints, increasing your deliverability.
  3. Preview Text. This is an advanced tool for some which allows users to control what subscribers see before even opening the email, enticing users to open the email beyond the subject line. Remember not to lie or be deceptive about that either.