What Is a Good Open Rate for Email? 4 Strategies for Success

Apr 25, 2024

✍️ Author: Sinead O'Connor


In an ideal world, each person on your email list would open every carefully crafted message you send. However, this is not the reality for most businesses. Instead, unread emails—especially marketing emails—are deleted constantly.


You may be wondering, “What should I expect for open rates, and how can you compel my audience to open my emails more often?”


This article will help you understand what good email open rates are and simple strategies to improve yours.


Table of Contents:

Why Email Marketing Metrics Like Open Rate Matter

Understanding the significance of email open rates is essential for business owners who rely on email marketing.


Successful email marketing campaigns have high open rates. Open rates measure how much your audience engages with your emails, indicating the relevance and appeal of your content. A high open rate suggests that your emails resonate well, while lower rates might prompt a reassessment of your strategies, including content, design, or timing. Explore the key insights this metric reveals:


  • Message Effectiveness: If your message resonates with your audience, your email open rates will be higher, and confirm that your content is relevant to them.
  • Conversion Opportunity: Over time, you’ll have historical data that helps you understand the connection between open rate and conversion. Generally speaking, the higher the open rate, the higher your chances of your audience converting.
  • Overall Engagement: This is a clear measure of engagement – if your rates are low, you’ll want to create content around topics that matter more to your audience.

Email Open Rate vs Bounce Rate vs Click-Through Rate

In addition to open rates, two other email marketing metrics are absolutely essential to measuring campaign success: bounce rate and click-through rate (CTR).


These metrics offer comprehensive insights into audience reach and engagement. Let’s explore what they are, how they’re related, and how they’re calculated:


  • Email Open Rate: An email campaign’s open rate reveals the percentage of people who opened an email out of everyone who actually received it
  • Email Bounce Rate: An email bounce rate refers to the percentage of emails that never make it to a recipient’s inbox (that is, they’ve “bounced back” to the sender).
  • Email CTR: The click-through rate for email is the percentage of people who click on at least one link in a message.

How to Calculate Open Rate

To find the open rate for a specific email campaign, first figure out how many you sent originally, then determine how many bounced to find out how many emails were actually received. Divide the total number of opened emails by your total received, and you’ll get the open rate.

Open Rate Formula (%)

[Total # of Opened Emails / (Total # of Emails Sent – Total # of Bounces)] x 100

How to Calculate Bounce Rate

To find the bounce rate for a specific email campaign, first figure out how many you sent originally, then determine how many bounced. Divide the total number of bounced emails by the total sent and you get the bounce rate.

Bounce Rate Formula (%)

(Total # Bounced Emails / Total # of Emails Sent) x 100

How to Calculate Click-Through Rate

You can either calculate total clicks through (Total CTR) or unique clicks through (Unique CTR).


  • Total CTR accounts for every individual link click, meaning if you open an email and click three links, all three instances are counted.
  • Unique CTR accounts only for unique clicks, meaning if you open an email and click three links, only one instance is counted. Think of it as the percentage of users who click.
Total CTR Formula (%)

[# of Clicks / (Total Emails Sent – Bounces)] x 100

Unique CTR Formula (%)

[# of Users Who Click / (Total Emails Sent – Bounces)] x 100

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Factors That Influence Email Open Rates

Several factors can impact these rates, ranging from the technical aspects of email delivery to the content and timing of the message itself. Understanding these factors can help marketers fine-tune their campaigns for better performance and higher engagement.


  • Subject Line Quality
  • Timing and Engagement
  • List Segmentation and Personalization
  • Email List Health

Subject Line Quality

Think about all the emails you receive every day. Do you open them all? Maybe not. Now think about the ones you do open. Odds are, the sender and the subject line are how you determine if it’s trash, read later, or read now.


This is why the success of each email marketing campaign hinges on the quality of its subject line. No matter how valuable the content is, it’s all for naught if you can’t get anyone to read it. Below are some tips for increasing your open rates with better subject lines:


  • Be Concise: This is your first impression. Your subject line should grab your readers’ attention quickly and clearly.
  • Build Curiosity: By hinting at a benefit while not fully sharing it, your readers will be enticed to open your email to learn more.
  • Don’t Be Spammy: Avoid all caps, click-bait headlines, and excessive emojis and punctuation. Also, avoid words like “free” and other words often used in spam/junk emails.
  • Tailor for Your Business: Take the opportunity to build your community by incorporating things unique to your wellness business.
  • Personalize: Add first names to your subject line and watch your email open rates grow.

Timing and Engagement

The day and time you launch a campaign will significantly impact results. On evenings and weekends, people are typically off the clock and busy with their own lives. To get your timing right, get a better understanding of your audience and their preferences. Check out these tips to optimize your timing:


  • Leverage Analytics Tools: Use email marketing software to track when your emails are opened most frequently. This will help you identify the best times and days to send emails that maximize engagement.
  • Understand Your Audience: Consider the typical daily routine of your target audience (e.g., working professionals, stay-at-home parents).
  • Industry Benchmarks: Look up industry-specific data on peak email engagement times for wellness sectors.
  • Feedback: Occasionally, ask your audience directly via surveys about their preferences for receiving emails.

List Segmentation and Personalization

No one likes to receive lengthy, generic messages. Increase your email open rates and overall engagement by creating content that speaks to specific segments of your audience rather than bulk, generic messaging.


Segmenting your email list allows you to tailor your communications based on specific characteristics and behaviors of your subscribers, enhancing relevance and engagement. This approach builds a loyal customer base and improves your email marketing results.


For example, if your yoga studio also has retail, you could message your clients who’ve attended a yin or restorative class and send them a discount on yoga props and accessories. Below are more tips for you to consider:


  • Demographic Segmentation: If your CMS collects basic demographic information, use those data points to make targeted class and content recommendations. For example, older clients might prefer gentle yoga or meditation classes, while younger clients might be more interested in dynamic or power yoga.
  • Behavioral Segmentation: Look at how clients interact with your business. Segment based on attendance frequency, types of classes attended, and purchase history. Frequent attendees might appreciate advanced classes or loyalty rewards, while newcomers might benefit from introductory offers or beginner classes.
  • Engagement Level: Track how clients engage with your emails. Segment those who frequently open and click through from those who don’t. Tailor content to re-engage inactive subscribers, like special offers or a “miss you” message, and deepen relationships with engaged ones through more personalized content.
  • Customer Journey Stage: Create nurture sequences that speak specifically to each customer journey stage. New subscribers might receive welcome emails with a guide to getting started with yoga, while long-term clients might receive content aimed at deepening their practice or exploring new aspects of yoga.

Email List Health

A perfectly healthy email list has no duplicate, irrelevant, or inactive contacts. While it’s not the end of the world if your email lists aren’t perfect, it can eventually damage your reputation as an email sender. If your reputation is damaged enough, you’ll be marked as spam. Below are more tips on how to keep your list healthy.


  • Don’t Buy Email Lists: When you buy a list of emails, you pay a bunch of money to get unverified contacts. You have no idea how many contacts are honeypots custom-made to capture your email and identify you as a spammer.
  • Don’t Send Unsolicited Emails: If someone hasn’t signed up for your emails, unsolicited messages are likely to be flagged as spam, which can really hurt your deliverability and general reputation.
  • Don’t Send Out Wide-Ranging, Generic Email Blasts: This tactic often generates more unsubscribes from your email list than conversions. The importance of relevant, targeted messaging cannot be overstated.
  • Keep Your Email Contacts Logically Segmented Into Lists: Segmenting your audience into lists helps you easily create personalized emails.
  • Clean Your Email Lists: Remove unengaged, unsubscribed, invalid, or duplicate contacts. This ensures those you send emails to are interested and engaged, improving deliverability overall.

Track, Measure, and Optimize Open Rates

It’s no secret that compelling content is essential to a successful campaign. Although it takes extra work, it’s worth it!


Don’t ignore the results of your efforts—tracking, measuring, and optimizing email open rates are important next steps. To help you get a jumpstart on your optimization tactics, here are some good places to start:


  • Monitor Data Closely: Monitoring open rates provides crucial metrics that help you understand how well your email campaigns are performing and what aspects might need adjustment.
  • Evaluate Audience Segments: Open rate data helps you understand which segments of your audience are more engaged. This allows you to tailor your content more specifically to the needs and interests of different groups within your audience.
  • AB Testing: Conduct A/B tests on various elements of your emails, including subject lines, email layouts, and personalized greetings. This testing allows you to compare different approaches directly and adopt the strategies that work best.

Average Email Open, Click-Through, and Bounce Rates by Industry

Compare email performance metrics across different industries in the table below.

Industry Avg Open Rate Avg CTR Avg Bounce Rate
Media and Publishing 34.22% 4.36% 0.09%
Online Communities 37.14% 3.33% 0.14%
Professional Services 32.74% 3.04% 0.39%
Education 35.64% 3.016% 0.22%
Consulting 29.61% 2.91% 0.37%
Health and Fitness 37.06% 1.86% 0.17%
Retail 35.05% 2.07% 0.13%
E-Commerce 29.81% 1.73% 0.11%
Vitamin Supplements 27.34% 1.19% 0.14%
Beauty and Personal Care 31.89% 1.3% 0.14%
Artists 42.16% 2.79% 0.19%
Entertainment and Events 37.29% 2.31% 0.18%

The data in the following table is from a 2023 Intuit Study

Achieve Email Marketing Success and Grow Your Business with OfferingTree

To master email marketing, you need to do more than craft great messages. You need to understand audience behaviors and what they’re telling you.


Good email open rates are a testament to a strategy that resonates, but achieving them requires attention to detail across multiple facets, from compelling subject lines to optimal timing and robust list segmentation.


With the right strategies and tools, email marketing can transform from a routine communication effort into a powerful engine for business growth and customer engagement.

Explore OfferingTree’s robust marketing features, including email marketing and automation sequences, that are integrated seamlessly into our all-in-one business management software. Try OfferingTree free for 7 days, or watch a demo of the software in action!

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