What is a Good Open Rate Percentage for Email Marketing?

Many e-commerce businesses consider email marketing to be one of the most effective ways to attract and retain customers.

With a little experimentation, you can determine which rate is the best for you. Here are some basic guidelines for what constitutes a “good” open rate:

It Should Be A Statistic That Is Meaningful

Unless you are sending massive email campaigns to hundreds of thousands of subscribers, your email open rates will almost certainly be low. For that reason, it is important that your open rate is a statistic that is meaningful.

This means that your open rate should always be reported as a percentage and not a raw figure. It’s also important that you track open rates for multiple emails. You can use a tool like Litmus to do this effortlessly. Once you have set up automated emails in your account, all you have to do is click on the little eye icon next to each message and the open rate will be displayed at the top of the email.

It Should Be Calculated From An Identified Subset Of The Email List

The second important thing about your “open rate” statistic is that it should be calculated from an identified subset of your email list. Your email list will be the sum of all of your contacts who have given you their permission to receive emails from you. The more narrowly you can define this list, the more accurate your open rate will be.

For example, if you have a list of subscribers who have purchased a specific product in the past but haven’t done so in the last month, your open rate for that product will be close to zero, as most of those subscribers are not going to be seeing your emails. On the other hand, if you have a list of subscribers who have purchased a product in the last month, your open rate for that product will be higher, as these subscribers will likely be seeing your emails.

It Should Be Calculated By Considering The Overall Email Campaign

Your open rate is only one piece of the email puzzle. You should also track the number of people who click on a link in your email, the number of people who unsubscribe, and the number of people who actually open the email.

By taking these three factors into consideration, you will have a much better understanding of the effectiveness of your email campaign. Moreover, you will be able to compare the results of different emails and tweak your strategy accordingly. For example, if you find that a certain email is opening up to 20% of recipients but only 5% of those clicking on a link within the email, you may decide that you need to change something about the email content or the email marketing campaign as a whole.

It Should Be Calculated After Trimming Poor Performers From The Analysis

Last but not least, we come to the most important guideline of all: your open rate should be calculated after you have removed poor performers from the analysis. Even though your open rate may be high at the moment, that doesn’t mean that you are reaching the right audience or that your emails are actually effective. You should remove any contacts from your email list who haven’t opened a single email from you. Moreover, you should consider any contacts who have opened only one or two of your emails as “low performers” because, even though their open rate is high, it indicates that your emails aren’t effective and should be removed from further consideration. The process of trimming poor performers is always an iterative one and you should always be looking to improve your open rate through testing new email campaigns.


At the end of the day, your goal is to send email messages to as many people as possible. However, even if you have the best intentions, email marketing is a difficult and often trial and error process. By following the guidelines laid out above, you can significantly increase the chances of your email campaigns being successful. Moreover, you will have the data you need to make more informed decisions along the way.

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