Vladislav Podolyako
Jul 06, 2021
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Everybody talks about how important it is to maintain a high open rate, yet they never explain how high your open rate is supposed to be. Moreover, a few sources mention that there is an individual qualifier for each industry. 

No wonder that email marketing beginners get clueless. They try to use cookie-cutter KPIs for their roadmap, get confused about their stats and end up thinking that they’re falling behind. Sometimes, they even believe that they invested in the wrong channel. 

 In this post, we’re going to outline the following:

  • Are there different email open rates?
  • Why should email marketing take into account an individual email open rate? 
  • What is a good open rate for your email?

Now, let’s shed some light on the mystery of the perfect average open rate for your industry.

Are there different email open rates?

According to the Content Marketing Institute research results, 87% of marketers use email marketing to achieve their business goals and distribute content.

At the same time, the stats say that only around 59,7% of emails get opened by their intended recipients. For that reason, some doomsayers start talking about the death of email marketing and embracing other sales channels. Why pursue a channel that delivers so little? 

The devil is in the details. In our case, it’s in the individual needs, specifics and qualifiers for each industry. For example, the Media, Entertainment and Publishing industry has a more accepting audience and access to a wider range of creative and conversational opportunities compared to the Education industry.  However, it is also more competitive than the latter, making it difficult to find a way to your recipients through all other senders. In some cases, the target audience is more old-fashioned, still harboring distrust towards vendors who reach out via email, while other industries rely on a more streamlined user experience and, thus, are eager to try out new things. 

Each behavior pattern of your potential recipients and each small component of your workflow do count. To showcase this, here is a list of average email open rates for each industry. 

According to these statistics, the average email open rate is around 18%, but if we dive deeper into a particular industry, we’ll see a different result.  

Why should email marketing take into account an individual email open rate? 

We’ve established that an average email open rate may differ, depending on the industry. But how does it help you with email marketing?

  1. Your roadmap becomes clearer. When you know not just generic data but a piece of information that is highly relevant to your area of expertise and your campaign goals, you can plan your journey more carefully. You’re well aware of potential bumps during your ride to the end goals, and you can establish key performance indicators that actually reflect the needs and specifics of your industry. Context wins the race. 
  2. You get better at nurturing engagement. Once you know the inner workings of email marketing in your industry, you can use this knowledge to your advantage, paying close attention to the behavior of your target audience and intercepting them just when they’re about to slip away from your sales funnel. 
  3. You’re no longer scared of data. When you understand what to expect, you can approach each issue with a cool head. Bounces seem too high? No, it’s an average result for your industry, keep calm and run an inbox audit.
  4. You know how to experiment. Both B2B and B2C areas encourage creativity because everybody hates monotony. It’s in our nature to crave something new, refreshing, different. Even a single message a day keeps the boredom away. An interactive element, a subtle challenge in a subject line, a video tutorial…the choice of tricks becomes more evident after you figure out the inner workings of the email outreach within your industry. 

The main challenge of keeping email open rates stable lies in grasping the mentality of your intended recipients as well as the key performance indicators that matter to your industry in particular. 

So, upon tackling that challenge, you can now polish every component that can increase your average email open rate:

  • Captivating subject lines. The introductory elements of a cold email template make a huge impact on your email open rate. A generic or boring subject line would prompt your recipients to ignore the entire email and move on to other, more interesting messages. A proper subject line must appeal to the recipient and convey the reason why you decided to reach out. Once you make your subject lines more industry-specific, with a dash of professional slang and relevant insights, you are guaranteed to get more opens and responses from interested users. 
  • Better audience segmentation. If you sell to several large cohorts of consumers, you sell to people of different age groups with different preferences and goals. It would be unfair to lump them all together and neglect the uniqueness of each potential buyer. Exploring the connection between your industry qualifiers and your email open rate allows you to address that difference and use it to divide your target audience into segments. From that point, you’ll be able to craft templates that would go straight for the readers’ hearts.
  • More productive campaigns. How many campaigns is too much? How would you know if you need an extra campaign for customer retention? In general, it takes more than one campaign to secure a steady flow of clients and buyers, but you need to know the exact amount. If you segmented your mailing list, you already know the number of campaigns and A|B tests necessary for achieving high open rates. Additionally, active industry research can help you with that. Explore how many campaigns your competitors use on average, how often they send their newsletters and updates. Are you keeping up with them? 

From that, we can come to a simple conclusion: If you don’t know how your industry affects your email open rates, it’s too early to talk about advanced email marketing. Don’t base your sales efforts on generic, superficial data. Never hesitate to dig deeper and actually research your target audience and the market you sell to. The time invested in expanding your background will expand your ROI as well! 

What else is included in a good open rate for your email?

So, it was a small insight into email open rates by industry and how much they differ from an average email open rate. We hope this information will help you gain a better comprehension of your email marketing KPIs and let you build more efficient campaigns. To ensure that this post will definitely help you with your goals, we’d like to add some more tips on keeping your average email open rate high:

  • Explore spam filters. Learn how they work, what triggers them. Know your plan for getting yourself out of a blacklist (yes, even legitimate senders end up there sometimes, nothing to be ashamed of) and see how to avoid getting blacklisted
  • Run deliverability tests. The best way to understand low email open rates is to track data from your mailbox audits and deliverability tests. Advanced tests, such as the ones offered by Folderly, instantly point out the source of your deliverability problems and provide tips on improving it. 
  • Never stop warming up your domains. We’ve seen many great campaigns hindered by seasonality. Too many senders simply stop sending messages and interacting with their target audience during summertime since many of their recipients are on vacation. Such a decision would often lead to low performance stats in autumn and lengthy recovery periods because email services had to get used to the renewed activity from inactive domains. 

Want to check your average email open rate right here, right now? With Folderly, you can do that and much more. 

Vladislav Podolyako
Vladislav Podolyako
Founder & CEO
Vlad’s decades of entrepreneurial wisdom and business building experience have allowed him to successfully mentor a diverse group of business owners, entrepreneurs in growing their companies. A recognized expert in the areas of transforming organizational culture and leadership development, B2B Sales, Marketing, spent more than 10 years building technology products, with a background in communication networks and electronic device engineering.

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