Open Rate

Open Rate is a key performance indicator used in email marketing to measure the percentage of recipients who open a specific email out of the total number of recipients.

It is a key indicator of how effectively an email campaign captures the interest of its audience.

This number helps to understand how engaging an email campaign is, especially showing if the subject line and the sender’s name were interesting enough to make people open the email.1


open rate formula visual

Open Rate is calculated by dividing the number of opened emails by the total number of emails sent (excluding those that bounced) and multiplying the result by 100 to obtain a percentage.


The primary purpose of tracking the open rate is to gauge how well your audience receives your email communications.

It helps you understand whether your emails are capturing your recipients’ attention and encouraging them to take the next step in the sales funnel.

By analyzing open rates, marketers can identify areas for improvement in their email campaigns and make data-driven decisions to enhance their effectiveness.


  1. Insight into Audience Engagement: Open rate provides valuable insights into how engaged your audience is with your brand and content.
  2. Improves Email Deliverability: Monitoring open rates can identify and remove inactive subscribers, improving email deliverability.
  3. Optimizes Campaign Performance: Understanding open rates can help optimize various elements of your email campaigns, including subject lines, send times, and content, leading to better overall performance.
  4. Increases Conversion Rates: A higher open rate often correlates with higher conversion rates, as more engaged recipients are likelier to take the desired action.

Factors Influencing Open Rate:

  1. Subject Line: A catchy and relevant subject line can significantly increase the open rate.
  2. Sender Name: Emails from a recognized sender are more likely to be opened.
  3. Send Time: The time and day of the week can affect open rates, as people are more likely to open emails during certain times.
  4. Email List Quality: A well-segmented and up-to-date email list can lead to higher open rates.
  5. Mobile Optimization: With increasing users checking emails on mobile devices, mobile-optimized emails are more likely to be opened.2

Best Practices to Improve Open Rate:

  1. A/B Testing: Test different subject lines and send times to see what works best for your audience.
  2. Personalization: Tailor the email by using the recipient’s name and other personalized information.3
  3. Avoid Spam Triggers: Ensure your emails do not contain words or phrases commonly associated with spam.
  4. Engaging Content: Provide valuable and relevant content encouraging recipients to open your emails.
  5. Regular List Cleaning: Remove inactive subscribers from your list to maintain a high-quality email list.


Marketers and sales professionals commonly use an open rate to evaluate the success of their email marketing campaigns.

It is a vital metric in CRM systems and email marketing platforms, helping teams track the performance of their outreach efforts over time.

By regularly analyzing open rates, businesses can refine their email strategies, ensuring they effectively communicate with their audience and drive them through the sales funnel.


Imagine you have sent out 1,000 emails for your latest product launch, and 200 of those emails were opened.

If 50 emails bounced back and were not delivered, the open rate would be calculated as follows:

open rate calculation example

This means that approximately 21.28% of the recipients who received the email opened it, providing you with a baseline to measure the effectiveness of your email campaign and areas for improvement.4

Interpreting Open Rate:

  • A high open rate indicates email campaign success but should not be the only metric considered. Engagement metrics like click-through rate and conversion rate are also crucial.
  • Industry averages for open rates can vary, so it’s important to benchmark your open rate against relevant industry standards.

Related Terms:


1. Wikimedia Foundation. (2023, April 18). Open rate. Wikipedia.

2. SuperOffice. (2023, September 6). Email open rates: A scientific, step by Step Guide for 2023. Email Open Rates: A Scientific, Step by Step Guide for 2023.

3. Feld, S., Frenzen, H., Krafft, M., Peters, K., & Verhoef, P. C. (2013). The effects of mailing design characteristics on direct mail campaign performance. International Journal of Research in Marketing30(2), 143-159.

4. Arnold, J. (2007). E-Mail Marketing For Dummies®. United States: Wiley.

Scroll to Top