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22 July 2013
Email Marketing

What is Open Rate?

When you send a mass email to your contacts, you are probably curious about how many of them read it. The “open rate” is a measurement of the amount of emails that are opened (or viewed) by the recipients.

To calculate the open rate, you divide the number of opened emails by the amount of delivered emails and express the result as a percentage. So, if you delivered 50 emails and 10 of the recipients opened it, you have a 20% open rate.

   Here’s the calculation:
   10 opened emails/50 delivered emails = 20% open rate

Open rates are not 100% accurate because recipients must enable images in the email or click on a link in the email in order to calculate the open rate percentage. But, the open rate does serve as useful measurement of the effectiveness of an email blast.

As a rule of thumb, an open rate of about 20-30% for a reasonably sized email list is about average with few email blasts getting above a 50% open rate and almost none above 80%, primarily because people are too busy to open all of the emails in their inboxes.

Here are three tips to increasing your open rate:

1) Make the Subject Line Stand Out: Word the subject line of your email so that it’s compelling enough to make people want to read it.

2) Try Sending Emails at Different Times and Days: You want to avoid sending an email blast on a Monday morning because that’s when people play catch-up after the weekend and will disregard your email.

3) Put the Most Important Information at the Top: Journalists write news stories with the most important information in the first few paragraphs, and that’s exactly how you should structure your emails as well.

Sarah Griffith is Executive Editor of, an Advice Interactive Group product. She’s worked with BubbleLife since 2011, transitioning to Advice during BubbleLife’s acquisition in 2017. Sarah has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism-Public Relations from Baylor University and has a passion for all things related to content. She has formerly served in multiple roles at BubbleLife, including Digital Marketing Consultant, Account Executive, Business Editor, and Neighborhood Editor, helping expand the company from eight community websites in Dallas-Fort Worth to more than 250 nationwide. When out of the office, Sarah can typically be found listening to live music and engaging in a never-ending hunt for the best queso in Dallas.