Open Rate Metric In Email Marketing [Expert Tutorial]

Open rate is a common metric used in Email Marketing. But is it a good metric for judging a successful email campaign?

At the end of this post, you’ll clearly understand what Open rate really means and if at all it is important in Email Marketing.

To begin, let’s understand what Open Rate is.

What is Open Rate In Email Marketing?

In Email Marketing, open rate simply means the rate at which recipients of your emails open or read them.

In other words, Open Rate is the amount of times people open your email out of the total recipients.

How Is Open Rate Calculated In Email Marketing?

Below here is the formula for or how Open rate is calculated in Email Marketing.

No. of times email was opened
___________________________________ x 100
Total Number of Email Recipients

Why Open Rate Metric is Important In Email Marketing

Typically, every email marketer would want their emails to be read irrespective of your email campaign goal.

Reading an email is the beginning point of any successful email marketing campaign.

So, one good reason why Open Rate is important to Email Marketing is that it gives an wholistic overview of how many people opened your email.

This could be a way to test how good your email subject is especially when you do A/B testing.

Is Open Rate A Good Metric To Judge A Successful Email Campaign?

While the open rate metric is a good starting point, it is never sufficient enough to be the sole determinant of a successful email campaign.

In the industry today, many “marketing gurus” brag about their high open rate like it is everything email marketing is all about.

However, that is not the case.

Here are 6 reasons why Open Rate is not a Good Yardstick of A Successful Email Campaign

  • Open Rate takes record of how many people opened an email. But in reality, many people open email so the email is marked as read.
  • Opening an email simply does not mean reading the email.
  • Many people skim through an email after opening it in like 3-5 seconds and off they go.
  • Opening an email does not necessarily signify interest in the content.
  • Even those who take their time to open and read your email content may not necessarily take any expected action after reading.
  • Worse still, many people open an email only to eventually unsubscribe from your list.

How Then Should Open Rate Metric Be Viewed?

Open rate metric should be viewed as it is – open rate. It should not be misconstrued as a benchmark for a successful email campaign.

Although it is a common practice to brag about open rate, advice for you is to keep the metric to yourself.

At best, the metric gives a general overview of how many people opened your email – which is a good starting point.

As mentioned above, for so many reasons, people could open your email and stil not do anything meaningful thereafter.

What Then Is A Benchmark For A Successful Email Campaign?

You may ask “So, if open rate is not a benchmark for a successful email campaign, what then is?”

Contrary to what you may read elsewhere, there is no one metric that is a benchmark for a successful email campaign.

The only thing that determines the success or failure of your email campaign is your campaign goal.

Ask yourself:

“What is the main reason why I’m sending out these emails?”

Are you selling a product? Do you want your email lists to buy your product? Or Are you a blogger who’s trying to get traffic to your blog? Do you want your email list to take a specific action; answer survey questions, reply to emails or anything?

The point here is that; your set goal or what you want people to do after reading your email is vs they actually did or did not is the perfect benchmark for success or failure of your email campaign.

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