Open rates are one of the best ways to tell whether your email strategy is working. This number shows what percentage of your audience opens the emails you send them. If you have a higher open rate, it usually means your subject lines resonate with your audience.
Here are a few examples of successful open rates:
- The highest open rates are found in government-related emails, with an open rate of 28.77%.
- Emails sent by hobbies entities come in second, with a 27.74% open rate.
- With a 27.62% open rate, emails about religion came in third.
- The average open rate for all industries we analyzed is 21.33%.
How to improve open rates
A low open rate generally indicates one of these things:
- Your subject line is not relevant or interesting enough
- Your audience is composed of a wide variety of subscribers
- You may be sending too many or too few campaigns
Test your subject line: The best way to know what resonates with your subscribers is to try different things in your marketing emails. 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 to get higher open rates.
Draft two or three subject lines that differ slightly, for example, "Company B Weekly Newsletter" and "This Week's News from Company B," and set them up in an A/B testing campaign. A/B testing should be a part of your email marketing strategy not only to improve your email marketing statistics but to deliver email users the content they want in a way that is appealing to them.
Tips for subject lines that you should include in your digital marketing strategy
Personalized Subject Lines: Use merge tags to personalize your subject lines with each recipient's name or location. Personalized emails are shown to increase open rates for most users, and may work well when combined with marketing automation in transactional emails, such as birthday deals, post-purchase follow-ups or promotional emails.
Be descriptive: Sometimes, it's better to be direct and descriptive than trendy. Seasonal slogans such as "Fall into savings" or "Sizzling summer bargains" are popular but don't offer a specific hook. Instead, try to communicate the benefits of your promotions, or call attention to specific deals.
Keep it short: For many recipients, especially those reading your emails on mobile devices, shorter is often better. We recommend you use no more than 9 words and 60 characters.
Limit punctuation: Our research shows that it’s best to use no more than 3 punctuation marks per subject line. Too many punctuation marks can make your email look like spam, especially if you use a lot of special characters.
Use emojis carefully: Our built-in emoji picker is a fun and easy way to add some visual pizazz to your subject lines. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when you use emojis.
According to our research, you should use no more than 1 emoji at a time.
Use emojis to supplement words rather than replace them, to make sure your main message gets across.
Different operating systems render different versions of emojis, so it’s important to test.
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 campaigns, so you can send the right content to the right people. Segmentation helps you create stronger campaigns and build trust with your subscribers. Segmenting your audience will increase the conversion rate and you'll get better email results than sending generic emails.
Audience segmentation tips
Once you’ve decided which segmentation strategies to go with, you can put the rest of your plan together. How are you going to target those people? Will it be via email, social media, or personalized landing pages? Here are a few tips for marketing smarter with segmented email campaigns.
Keep your segments more widely defined: Although the point of audience segmentation is to aim for specificity, it’s possible to segment your audience too far. It’s essential to have a smaller market with a defined need. If your market is so narrowly defined that it barely contains anyone, however, that’s a problem. You’ll either reach too few people, or you’ll end up spending time and energy writing messages for too many different audiences.
Focus on a few groups, but keep those groups broad enough to encompass relatively wide swaths of your customer base.
Aim for constant improvement: If the combination of audience segmentation strategies you used didn’t work, experiment with another mix until you find the most effective way to reach your potential customers. Measure the data to see where people are landing on your site, how long they’re staying, and what’s making them leave. Then incorporate that data into your next effort and into the day-to-day operations of your marketing.
Set goals, then measure them: Marketing goals are important. If your objective is to “reach more people,” for example, define what you’re looking to see from each of your segmented campaigns. That can include adding 500 more subscribers to your email newsletter, increasing the total number of products you sell by 20%, or doubling your email campaign’s click-through rate.
You should also make sure that your goals for each segment and your company’s overall goals are in sync with each other. Once you’ve set those goals, track them. If you met them, great!
If not, some tweaking is necessary. Setting goals and measuring them is simple—and it can provide valuable insights into the strengths and weaknesses of a marketing plan.
Use different channels: While email lists are absolutely key to communicating directly with your customers, there are more marketing channels you can explore when it comes to building better relationships and improving response rates.
Reach out to your customers with posts on social media on the platforms you know they’re most likely to use. Does your company sell ethically made makeup products? See about working with a beauty influencer on Instagram. Do you run a digital marketing agency? Try building a strong presence on Twitter and LinkedIn.
You can also reach and provide value to your audiences through blogging, whether it’s through your own site or someone else’s. Write a blog post that details something useful and position yourself as an authority on your product.
If you’ve got the skills or budget for it, try creating YouTube videos that are relevant to your target audience. Include links in the videos’ descriptions to get more subscribers to your email list or blog.
When you use different channels thoughtfully, you’ll see a return on that effort in the form of increased interest, increased sales, and repeat customers.
Click-through rates in email marketing statistics
Another good way to check how well your emails are working is to take a look at the click rates. The click rate is a percentage that tells you how many successfully delivered emails got at least 1 click. This number shows whether or not your audience finds the emails you send relevant enough to click through and check their email for more.
Here’s what standard click rates look like:
- Hobbies have the highest click rate, which is 5.01%.
- Media and publishing emails see the second highest click rate, at 4.62%.
- Government comes in third, with a 3.99% click rate.
- The average click rate for all industries we looked at is 2.62%.