Part 2 of 3 – Stats That Impact Your Business: Open Rate

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Hello class, today I want to talk with you about the ever elusive open rate. This statistic may be the cornerstone of your business once you have developed your list. Open rate is essentially the number of people that actually open the emails you sent to them, divided by the total number of people that received your email. Here is the formula for my math geeks: emails opened/emails sent = open rate (again, move the decimal or you’ll cry.)

Arguably, opens are the most important metric for your email marketing campaigns. If your subscribers aren’t opening your emails then they are not clicking on the links and buying the products that you promote. It all starts with the open. In sales, it’s all about the close but in email marketing it’s all about the open.

Different email marketing experts have different benchmarks on what a good open rate is. Of course this will have something to do with the kind of list you have built, as well as the quality of the interactions you have with your list. Not to mention the tier level of the traffic you sent to your opt-in pages. Bad traffic = Bad subscribers (see math isn’t hard.)

It’s always a good idea to shoot for a 10% open rate at the least. I have definitely seen higher open rates but it usually will depend on the relationship you have with your list. If you build a trusted relationship with your list you will see higher open rates.


Factors That Impact Open Rate:


  • The Subject Line 

    The subject line of your email will impact your open percentage. Long and unappealing subject lines will cause a massive drop in your open rates. Subject lines that are spammy will cause a double whammy by not getting an open, and getting a spam complaint. (and I don’t mean when a Hawaiian is angry about the lack of meat on his plate) Clear, concise, and short subject lines have had a history of increasing your open rates. You want to peak their curiosity with your subject line.


  • Timing

    Is timing everything or nothing? Many Digital Marketers will argue that the timing of sending emails will also affect your open rates. The specific days of the week will also make difference when to send your emails. The right time and day to send will depend on your list. This why it’s important to monitor your stats and to see what days and what times seem to accumulate the most opens.

To save time, you can just use Sendlane’s Optimized Timing feature that will track when each of your subscribers tends to open their emails, and then sends them emails at those times. It takes all the headache out of making sure that you are sending to your subscribers at the right days, times, and timezones.

One other piece of information you want to consider is: the first few lines of the actual email you are sending. Most email providers give a one to two sentence preview of the content of your email, and it’s usually just the first few lines. So class, what should you do with the first few sentences of your email? Anyone? Bueller, Bueller? You should make your first few lines amazing and powerful. It could be sole reason why someone opens your email.

Thanks for reading, and we value your comments. Let us know the best subject line you have used. When you share you make the world a better place. 🙂

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Dave Bender

Dave Bender

Project Manager at Sendlane
Dave is Sendlane's Project Manager. Raised in sunny San Diego, he has worked in all aspects of Internet Marketing for the last 12 years. He has acquired a deep understanding and knowledge that covers SEO, PPC, Social Media, and Digital Marketing.
Dave Bender