Skip to main content

Factors That Affect Email Open Rate and Tips to Improve on Them.

Meka is an affiliate marketer with passion for building marketing blogs. His marketing style centers around SEO traffic and list building.

As an email marketer, one of your main goals is to have your emails opened and read. This is the major reason why email marketers are seeking to improve the open rates of emails they send out to segmented audiences. Having your emails opened and read is the most essential element to having a successful email marketing strategy.

If your emails are not opened, then your recipients will not be engaged, and you are missing out on a huge marketing opportunity. When looking at the results of your emails you should be aware of the fact that you will not always get the results you wanted. In this article, we will be discussing some tips to consider when creating your next email marketing campaign in order to increase your email open rate.

What Is Email Open Rate?

Email open rate is a metric that measures the percentage of recipients who open an email. A higher email open rate is generally indicative of a successful email marketing campaign, meaning that more people are interested in the content of the email and are more likely to act on it.

Assuming a person has 2,000 subscribers on their email list, an open rate of 25% would mean that 500 of them opened the email. The email open rate is simply the number of open emails divided by the number of subscribers.

The open rate is only calculated based on unique opens. Therefore, if someone opens an email more than once, it is not registered as a unique click. Bounced emails are not taken into account for the calculation.

Open rates can be calculated using the following formula:

EMAIL OPEN RATE = {Opened Email/ (Sent Emails – Bounced Emails)} X 100/1

To illustrate this, let's say a grocery store sends emails to 2,000 email subscribers. Out of these, 150 emails bounce. So the total number of delivered emails is 1850, and out of those, 1,480 are opened. Therefore, the open rate would be calculated to be 80%.

Factors That Affect Email Open Rate

While email is an incredibly useful marketing tool, it's not without its problems. There are a few factors to keep in mind before starting an email campaign that may affect its overall performance.

If you're already running a marketing campaign, take a look at these factors to see if you can identify which ones are affecting your results. From there, you can optimize your campaign for better performance.

  1. Content Relevancy
  2. Send Time
  3. Industry or Shared Interest Group
  4. Email List Quality
  5. Quality of the Email Content

Content Relevancy

Make sure your content is relevant through personalization and segmentation. This is because if your content is relevant to your target audience, they're more likely to open your emails. So focus on creating content that appeals to your target readers. Test different subject lines to see what works best. Also, try changing the style of your email copy. Making sure the image's color palette matches the email copy can help make it easier for your audience to read.

Send Time

The time of day you send your email can affect how many people see and open it. If you send your email during business hours, there is a better chance that people will see and open it. It is not logical to send an email to a business list at 6 p.m.

Thinking about the target’s behavior, habits and availability will increase the open rate. If certain groups are likely to do personal activities on a computer during a lunch break, they may benefit from receiving the email at noon. It can be difficult to find the right time of day because there is no obvious answer. It is often best to experiment at different times.

Industry or Shared Interest Group

There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to the frequency of content distribution. Some industries, such as news media, can send out new content daily. Others, like retail, may only release new content once a month. Different subscribers have different wants and needs in terms of the amount and frequency of information they desire. Some subscribers may want a lot of information all at once, while others may want smaller amounts of information spread out over time.

It is best to start slowly with email frequency and then increase based on subscriber response rates.

Email List Quality

One way to improve email open rates is to focus on building trust with potential subscribers. If they know they can expect relevant and useful information from you, they are more likely to open your messages. Another tip is to make your emails more interesting by focusing on what the reader will get out of them.

To ensure your email list grows organically, provide opt-in forms, content upgrades, and use social media. There are a few ways to build a bad list, but two of the most common are tricking people into subscribing and buying a list. Unfortunately, spamming is also a popular method, but it's much harder to do than it used to be because of the effectiveness of spam filters.

Scroll to Continue

Quality of the Email Content

Email marketing can be a great way to reach potential customers, but only if the email copywriting and content are compelling enough. Keep the email copy easy and simple to read, and don't use too many images that could make it look cluttered. Be sure to avoid email tracking links in your copy, as these are blacklisted by Email service providers (ESPs). This can negatively impact email deliverability and open rates.

What Is A Good Email Open Rate?

Email open rates are one of the metrics used to measure the success of an email marketing campaign. The bounce, click, open, and unsubscribe rates for your campaign give you valuable insights into how your emails are being received. They also provide a starting point for improvements!

Bounce rate measures the number of emails sent compared to the number of emails delivered. Managing your bounced emails can help you improve your open rate.

Click rate compares how many people clicked on a link in your email compared to how many emails were successfully delivered. Open rate measures the number of emails opened compared to the number of emails sent.

According to reports by, as of May 2022, the overall average open rate of all industries is 30.35%.

A low open rate generally means your email sent doesn’t stand out. But before you take any decision on your open rate it would be nice to note that the open rate varies with industry. The table below gives a summary of their report:

Email open rate, click rate and bounce rate based on business type as of May 2022.

reports by

Business TypeOpen Rate (Total)Click Rate (Clicks/Delivers)Bounce Rate

All Industries – Overall Average




Administrative & Business Support Services




Child Care Services




Consulting Services




Dining and Food Services








Faith-Based Organizations




Family and Social Services




Financial Services




Health and Wellness




Home & Building Services




Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers




Legal Services




Manufacturing and Distribution




Nonprofit Membership Organizations




Nonprofit Services




Personal Care Services




Real Estate




Recreation, Sports & Entertainment




Repair and Maintenance








Technology Services




Transportation Services




Travel & Tourism




How to Improve Email Open Rates

Email marketing campaigns are a mainstay of online marketing, and if you’ve tried to keep abreast of best practices, recommendations for email open rates have gone up and up. Some tips to help you improve your email open rate are:

  • Personalize Your Subject Line
  • Segment Your Contacts
  • Send At The Most Active Time Of Day
  • Make the Benefits Obvious
  • A/B Test Your Subject Line To See What Works Best!

Personalize Your Subject Line

Your readers are constantly bombarded with emails every day. Make yours stand out from the rest by personalizing your subject line for each of your contacts! Adding your contacts' names or other detail unique to them will help to grab their attention. Try adding emojis to make your subject line even more eye-catching.

Segment Your Contacts

Targeted content is more likely to be opened and read by recipients. Segmenting your contacts into groups based on their location or interests allows you to send emails that are tailored to each group's taste. This not only improves your open rates but also increases click rates and engagement.

Send At The Most Active Time Of Day.

The first step to getting more open is knowing your audience. While everyone might have an email address, different demographics check their inbox at different times throughout the day. Some people check their email right when they wake up in the morning, while others do it during lunch. But whenever you choose to send your emails, you'll be more likely to reach your target audience if you know when they're most likely to check their inbox.

Make the Benefits Obvious

What are the benefits of opening your email? By putting these benefits front and center, you are more likely to get the attention your email deserves. If people believe they will be rewarded for opening your email, they are more likely to do so.

If you're holding a sale or have a discount coupon, put that right in the subject line! The preheader is a great way to supplement your subject line and further persuade recipients to open your email.

A/B Test Your Subject Line To See What Works Best!

Do you have an idea for a great subject line, but something is holding you back from clicking that send button? If you have a Plus account, you can try out your idea with A/B testing! This allows you to compare two different subject lines, while your contacts do the work of picking a winner. There's no need to worry about it!

Your contacts' engagement with your email will be measured based on which subject line they open, and they will only receive one version of your email. This way, you can see which flavor they prefer.

In conclusion, to boost your engagement on your email newsletter, consider sending a test campaign to a small sample group before sending it to your entire list, and then watch how they respond. Use email tracking reports to measure which email elements make the most impact, and determine what is working and what isn’t.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2022 Emeka Okorie

Related Articles