I often get asked in MailChimp training what a good open and click rate is. Although email marketing open and click rates differ by industry there are various general guidelines.
What are open and click rates?
The most basic measures in email marketing are open and click rates.
Definition of open rate
An open rate is the proportion of messages that were opened as a percentage of the total number of email message sent. For example if we sent our email campaign to 100 contacts and 20 open the email message they receive then the open rate is 20%.
We infer from an open that the recipient has read the marketing email we sent them. Open rates however aren’t totally accurate as MailChimp (or any other email marketing platform) rely on the recipients email reader reporting, in some way, the open back to MailChimp. When an email reader reports an open to MailChimp then MailChimp has to rely on that data and assumed it is correct (for example an email reader with a preview pane may or may not report the preview as an open).
Definition of click rate
The click rate is the proportion of total recipients that have clicked (or tapped) a hyperlink in the email message that they received. The click rate is expressed as a percentage. If we send our email campaign to 1,000 recipients and 56 subscribers click at least one hyperlink in the campaign, then the click rate is 5.6%.
What is a good open rate?
As mentioned previously, open rates differ by industry. Even within an industry, open rates may differ significantly. As an example, I’ve seen open rates range from as low as about 10% right up to 87% within government agencies and local government.
MailChimp offer various data about open rates within industries. Ultimately it’s important to initially keep improving your open rates. After awhile your open rate will plateau and then it’s critical to retain your improved open rate.
What is a good click rate?
You should be getting a minimum click rate of 10% of your open rate. If your open rate is 21% you should be getting a minimum click rate of 2.1%.
How to improve open and click rates
There are many factors that positively and negatively affect your open and click rates. Below are a few items however there are many more factors to consider.
- Segmentation: Sending relevant content to people is critical for both open and click rates. For example if I’m holding MailChimp training in Melbourne then I’ll send a campaign advertising training to people in Melbourne only (and not those in Sydney, Adelaide, Hobart, Brisbane and so on).
- Personalisation: Adding a simple personal greeting such as ‘Hi [first name]’ is known to improve click rates. If you don’t have the first name for your contacts then you can always get MailChimp to magically add first names for you.
- Subject lines: Open rates are heavily influenced by your subject line. A relevant and catchy subject line will get you more opens.
- Hyperlinks: If you don’t have links in your message then your your click rate will be poor. In addition, if you send content to people where they have no interest in your content then your click rate wont be good.
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