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Email marketing is traditionally one of the most successful strategies you can utilize to engage with your customers. In fact, emails have the highest ROI of any digital marketing initiative.

Your goal should be that contacts are opening your emails at a higher-than-average rate. However, if you don’t know how to find your open rate, you won’t be able to determine if your campaigns are successful. Read on to learn how to calculate your email open rate.

Do the math to calculate your email open rate

You can easily determine your email open rate by using a simple math formula. You’ll take the number of people who opened your email and divide it by the number of people that your email was delivered to. Then you multiply that number by 100. This is your email open percentage.

For example, if your email is delivered to 1,000 people and 200 of those contacts open your email, your email open rate is 20%.

A healthy open rate is between 20% – 40%

How to measure your open rate

The email open rate calculation is not difficult, but it could be tedious if you try to manually do the math for your emails individually. Fortunately, your email service provider (ESP) dashboard will be able to show your open rate for every sent email campaign.

What is the right formula for email open calculation?

Source: Campaign Monitor

Open rate is not the same as read rate

When you are reporting on your campaign, it’s important that you don’t confuse your open rate with your engagement rate. Just because someone opens your email doesn’t mean they actually read the message.

To determine your actual email engagement, you’ll need to focus on either your click-through rate or click-to-open rate.

  • Click-through rate: This metric calculates the number of people who clicked on your email CTA out of everyone who received your email.
  • Click-to-open rate: This metric calculates the number of people who clicked on your email CTA out of everyone who opened your email.

It all comes down to your subject lines

Your open rate is really a reflection of how well your subject line is performing. A good quality contact list will help, but if you don’t have a compelling subject line, even the most engaged audience might be wary of opening.

If your open rate is lower than the average, you can experiment with different styles of subject lines to improve engagement. It’s also important to note that various industries will have different benchmarks for successful email open rates.

Does it really matter?

Understanding the email open calculation is critical in determining the overall success of your email campaign.

If you have a high-performing email open rate, more of your contacts are seeing your email. The more eyes on your email, the greater the chance people will click on your CTA and convert into sales. This is especially true if you properly segmented your lists and nailed your messaging and timing.

If your email open rate is poor, a smaller audience is viewing your email, which could negatively impact all of your other performance metrics.

What now?

You now know the right formula for email open rate calculation and why it’s an important indicator for your overall campaign success, so you can focus your attention on improving your email open rate by optimizing your subject lines.

While you’re at it, make sure you’re using a properly segmented email list. This will also help improve your email open rates by ensuring the right people are seeing your email.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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