How to get More Accurate Email Open Rates


Of course, anyone who sends email blasts wants to know the email open rates – or how many of the emails were actually opened. While a conversion rate will tell you how many people responded to your email versus how many were sent out, it is still important to know how many emails were opened even if someone didn’t respond.

Open email rates are important because even if someone didn’t make a purchase, they were at least interested enough to open the email and glance at the information. This means they may be moved to make a purchase on a later email, with may be worth sending.

While most email programs have software that uses a pixel that records whether the email was opened or not, this information may not always be accurate. This is because often times the pixel may be part of a graphic which may or may not load if the email is opened and may not give an accurate reading. It is generally accepted in the email world that this mechanism may be inaccurate up to 35% of the time.

So if you do not trust your email software to track the email open rates, or you do not use email software that has this feature, you can still get an accurate idea of how many people are opening your emails when you send out offers like coupons or promo codes - even if they don’t use them.

One way to figure out your email open rate is to work backwards with one of your more successful emails. If the conversion rate is a standard 3% to 7%, then your open email rate can be approximated as 9% to 22%. These are good conversion rates and a successful email. Also, as you can see, conversion rates relate to open email rates at about 30%. Rates will vary depending on the industry and quality of the list, but this is a good rule of thumb.

You can also test your email open rates by using an A/B testing method. This means that you send two different emails out to one list. Group A will get one email and group B will get the other. Using the above percentages, you can observe not only which emails got the most sales but also figure out the email open rates for each email group.

Whether or not you have email software, you should always measure the results of your emails because if you don’t, email promotions become a hit or miss proposition. This means that if you reach a point in your business when you really need to make sales, you can count on an email blast to make them if you have documented success.