Open rates are a primary email metric that can give you a good idea of how your email campaigns are performing. If an open rate is strong, it usually means your subject lines are resonating well with your audience.

Typically measured as a percentage, open rates tell you how many successfully delivered emails were opened in your campaign. To find this out, Mailchimp for example, loads a tiny, transparent image into each campaign, and counts how often the image is loaded among the delivered campaigns.

Open rates can vary between audiences, industry and other factors – with the average open rate across all industries currently standing at 21.33% (data provided by Mailchimp and accurate as of October 2019).

So how can you optimise your open rates and improve your email marketing engagement?

Segment your audience

Think about who your subscribers are, and what kind of information is most useful to them. If sales reps, store owners, and consumers all receive the same campaign, some could become frustrated by irrelevant content and stop opening your emails. You can use subscriber location, interests, or activity to segment your audience, so you can send the right content to the right people. Segmentation helps you create stronger campaigns and build trust with your subscribers.

Test your subject line

The best way to know what resonates with your subscribers is to try different things. An effective subject line clearly describes what's inside your campaign, but you'll want to test a few variations to find out what works best for your audience.

Send time and frequency

Depending on your email marketing goals, you may send campaigns ten times a day or once a quarter. If your open rate is much lower than expected, consider testing when and how often you send. If you track the performance of each campaign you send, you can determine the perfect time to send emails to your audience.

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