How To Improve Open Rates for Email Marketing in 2024

Email Marketing
How To Improve Open Rates for Email Marketing in 2024
Article by Bisera Stankovska
Last Updated: March 22, 2023

Many factors affect the success of your email marketing efforts, but there's one important metric you should pay attention to if you want to boost sales and make your customers happy. And that is your email open rate.

This guide covers everything you need to learn about email open rate, why it's a crucial campaign metric, and the average open rates for email marketing by industry.

Average Open Rates for Email Marketing: What You Need to Know

Understanding how your email marketing campaign performs is crucial for its success. One of the most important metrics to measure is the email open rate — the percentage of people who click on an email after it has been sent.  

Let's look more closely at open rates for email marketing to see why they're important and how to calculate them. 

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What Is Email Open Rate and Why Is It an Important Email Campaign Metric?

The email open rate is the percentage of people that click on an email after it has been sent. It is an important metric because it tells you how successful your email campaign was. A high email open rate means more people see what you're promoting, which increases the chances of making a sale.

Measuring your email open rate allows you to see how many people are opening the emails you send them so that you can improve your marketing strategy.

How to Calculate Email Open Rate

You can calculate your email open rate by dividing the number of recipients who have opened your email by the total number of emails sent.

Use this calculation:

Number of Opens / Total Number of Recipients * 100%

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What Are the Average Open Rates for Email Marketing?

The great thing about the open rate is that it doesn't require users to take any action, making it valuable for marketers.

MailChimp says a good average email open rate should be between 17% and 28%. Email marketing average open rates vary by industry or device, but most fields see around 20% of recipients opening emails from unfamiliar senders.

This data shows the average email open rate by industry in 2023:

Business Type 

Open Rate 

Click Rate (Clicks/Delivered) 


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 




Seven Factors That Affect the Email Open Rate

Consider these factors before starting your email campaign to ensure its success:

  1. Subject Line: This is an email's first and most essential element. It should be short and specific, with a compelling call-to-action (CTA) that entices the reader to take action immediately.
  2. Content: Keeping your emails brief and relevant is one way to increase open rates. Tedious or lengthy emails will likely be ignored.
  3. Personalization: Emailing people by name when you can help personalize your message increases open rates.
  4. Length of Email: Emails with fewer words are usually easier to read and are less likely to be ignored.
  5. Email List Quality: An email marketing service like Mailchimp lets you track the number of subscribers who are opening your emails and how many times they click on them. If your email list isn't delivering high-quality subscribers, then it might not make sense to spend time improving your open rate because you'll get low response rates.
  6. Email Frequency: Emails sent infrequently will generally receive better responses than those sent daily or weekly.
  7. Email Design: Don't underestimate the importance of creating an eye-catching design. With so many emails being sent every day, it's easy for yours to get lost in someone's inbox without being noticed if it doesn't have an appealing look about it.

Eight Tips on How To Increase Email Open Rates

If your email marketing efforts aren't generating the open rate you hoped for, there are some easy ways to fix that.

These email marketing tips will help increase your email open rates:

  1. Send Emails at the Right Time
  2. Personalize Your Emails 
  3. Include Relevant Images 
  4. Implement Permission-Based Email Marketing 
  5. Try to Use Emojis in the Subject Line 
  6. Develop Email Automation Campaigns 
  7. Don't Spam 
  8. Consider Paying for Advertising

1. Send Emails at the Right Time

HubSpot recommends sending emails between 9-10 am or 5-6 pm. Even if you don't have a regular office job, you should remember that many people still do, so it's best not to send emails during their work hours.

2. Personalize Your Emails

Whether through an autoresponder or just on the spot, personalizing emails can make them seem more relevant to recipients and improve their open rates. For instance, maybe you have a different email marketing campaign geared toward other regions of the country.

In this case, you may want to tweak language or graphics depending on where the emails are sent. By doing this, recipients will feel like they're receiving targeted content which could lead to higher open rates for your emails. 

3. Include Relevant Images

Adding images helps engage readers and improves email open rates because readers get visual cues about what they're reading without having to read all the text. Pictures keep things interesting. One important note about using images: always include alt text (alternative text) when attaching photos to emails because not everyone sees images online as clearly as others do.

4. Implement Permission-Based Email Marketing

A permission-based email marketing strategy means you will only send emails to those who have opted-in rather than using a mass email blast. This way, you're not bombarding your subscribers and annoying them with irrelevant messages. You'll also be able to avoid spam filters since people are opting in on their own accord.

5. Try to Use Emojis in the Subject Line

One email marketing tip that might surprise you is adding emojis to the subject line. Research has shown that 56% of brands that use emojis in their subject lines have a higher open rate than those that don’t. It may seem that these little characters won't be able to convey your message. But using happy faces in subject lines appeals to positive emotions among those who see these emails.

6. Develop Email Automation Campaigns

Automating campaigns allows time management based on needs, goals, and objectives. It's easier than ever to develop automated campaigns now, thanks to platforms like Campaign Monitor, MailChimp, HubSpot, and ActiveCampaign, which offer drag-and-drop editors that allow marketers and entrepreneurs alike to create professional-looking emails quickly.

7. Don't Spam

Avoid spamming recipients. Sending too many emails in a short amount of time can decrease the likelihood that your emails will be opened or clicked on. On average, you should limit the number of emails you send to 10-20 per day and the best place to do that is in your opt-in box or autoresponder.

8. Consider Paying for Advertising

Email marketing tips are helpful, but if you're going for an even higher open rate, it might be worth considering paying for advertising. This means that you would pay someone else to reach out to potential customers on behalf of your company and bring new leads onto your email list.

What's the Difference Between an Open Rate and a Click-Through Rate?

An email open rate is the percentage of people who see a specific email and take some action, like opening the email. On the other hand, an email click-through rate is the percentage of people who see a specific email and then click on a link inside that email.

The difference between open and click-through rates can be confusing because they both measure different things. Open rates are great because they show engagement, that people are opening your emails to read them.

Click-through rates are also valuable because they show that your emails are interesting enough that other people want to find out more about your company by clicking on a link within the email.

Here’s how to calculate your click-through rate:

Number of Clicks Your Email Generated / Total Number of Emails Sent * 100%

What Is a Bounce Rate?

A bounce rate is the percentage of emails sent but never opened. It's not a metric you want to see high because it means your email wasn't interesting enough for the recipient to open. This could be due to several factors, such as content quality or email formatting errors.

Bounce rates are crucial because they help you identify what's working and what isn't with your current strategy. They also tell you how often people unsubscribe from your email list when they don't open any of the messages you send them.

Wrapping Up: Average Open Rates for Email Marketing

Email marketing has a long way to go before it becomes the best way to reach your audience. It’s often more personal than other forms of communication, making it an ideal tool for marketers looking to build customer relationships.

Email open rates are a great metric that you can use to measure the effectiveness of your email campaign. The open rate will tell you how many people opened the email and read it, which can indicate how interested they were in your offer or message.

The good news is that this is an ever-evolving field, meaning there are plenty of ways to improve your open rates and build trust with your audience, this includes outsourcing a premium email marketing agency to handle the nitty-gritty for you!

Email Marketing Open Rates FAQs

1. What's the difference between an open rate and a click-through rate?

An email open rate measures the percentage of people who opened your email, while a click-through rate (CTR) measures the percentage of people who clicked on a link within your email after opening it.  

In other words, the open rate measures the reach of your email campaign, while CTR measures the engagement or effectiveness of your email content. 

2. What are good email open rates?

A good email open rate is typically between 17% and 28%. However, the average email open rate can vary depending on the industry or device used.  

On average, religious organizations have the highest email opening rate of almost 43%, compared with technology services with a modest 21.5%. 

3. How to track email open rates?

To track email open rates, use tracking pixel, a tiny invisible image provided by Google Analytics. When a user opens an email that contains this tracker, the image will download and the email will be recorded as open.  

Some email marketing tools, like Mailchimp and HubSpot, also allow you to track which specific recipients opened your email. Still, this tracking might require additional settings and is only suitable for some types of email marketing campaigns. 

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