Email Marketing Open Rates


According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing delivers a return on investment of $43.62 for every dollar spent. And the great thing about email is that it's easy to do if you use a good email-marketing service. That is a return of 4,362%. If this number is true email marketing should be a part of practically any marketing program.



For all of my customers I include some kind of email marketing tactic within their total email marketing plan. Since starting I have started to see some trends and have gathered some learning on email open rates. In this blog I will share what I have learned so far.


From my experience, I have witnessed the following results across the 27 mass emails that Profitworks has sent. Note, these numbers are for lists generated from customer databases or contact emails generated, not from on going newsletter distribution lists. As you will see further down in the article, newsletters with a loyal readership and predetermined send schedule seem to get a better open rate.


Email Marketing Results - December 2010

Average open rate = 16%

Open rate range = 0-50% (I definitely learned a few things from the 0%)

Open rate among existing customers = 19.5%

Open rate among non customers = 16.3%

Average open multiple (the total number of email opens divided by the number of unique email opens) = 2.09 x

Open multiple range = 1.00 x to 5.38 x


It is very interesting that if opened, the average reader will open the email twice, and that it can be as high as 5.38 x for any given campaign. This is great for your branding with those people that do open the email because it means your brand and business is on their mind not just once but multiple times. We all know that with branding and advertising to work repetition is key so this is great news.


I have not sent any newsletters to date but below is some information on the average open rate for newsletters. The data is from Marketing Sherpa's Email Marketing Benchmark Survey


Industry Average Open Rates of B2B vs B2C

Business to Business Email Newsletter Open Rate Average = 23%

Business to Consumer Email Newsletter Open Rate Average = 25%


Of additional interest is which type of emails recipients consider to be the most worth reading. This is insightful.


Industry Average Open Rates By Email Type

Transaction Confirmations = 64%

Account Summaries = 55%

News Alerts = 20%

Newsletters = 20%

Promotional Offers = 18%


Maybe an idea is to put news alerts and promotional offers in transaction confirmations and account summary emails?


And finally here is some other slightly random but interesting information regarding email open rates. Forrester Research shows that 59% of consumers open email based on their individual interests and 51% open emails based on their needs at that time. Marketing Sherpa and Q Interactive found that 56% of recipients considered email from a known sender that was “just not interesting to me” to be spam. So in other words make sure you make the email interesting to your readers.


I hope you have found this article interesting and helpful. If you currently do not get email open rate statistics from your campaigns I would highly recommend signing up for a service that provides this information for you. Without statistics it is very hard to improve the effectiveness of your campaigns. There are a bunch of programs you can find online. I usually point people towards either Constant Contact or Aweber. Both are low cost and easy to use, plus they come with great features like in depth analytics, design templates, subscription management and automated message capabilities. Even if you already have decent analytics they may be worth switching to because of the additional features. For websites built on Joomla the email marketing program Acymailing is also a great option.


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