Open Rate Email: Understanding and Tips to Optimize

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        Jan 28, 2019

On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you think your subscribers your open rate email? The answer is simple, very less, probably as low as 1 to 3. According to the DMA’s Email Benchmarking Report 2018, the open rate email over the past one year have increased by at least 0.5%, with an average of 18.1% for the entire year. However, this is still below the 20% mark.

The question that lingers is, is the average rate the accurate representation of your open rate email? No, definitely not as it may vary from business to business. In that case, can you as a business do something to increase the open rate of your newsletter, if yes, what?

In this article, our focus will be on understanding what open rate email of an email is, does the design of your newsletter matter, and how to increase the open rate of your newsletter.

Understanding Open Rate Email:

Email open rate is a measure that helps you understand how many subscribers have opened the email you sent them. It is one way to know how successful your email marketing campaign has been. The email open rate can be calculated easily by means of a mathematical formal,

Open Rate Email = Unique Open / (Number of Emails Sent – Bounced Emails)

Number of Emails Sent = Total emails sent
Unique Open = Distinct number of recipients who have opened your email
Bounced Emails = Undelivered emails

Now that we’ve seen what is open rate, let us move on to seeing how we can improve it. After all, an improved open-rate means you have raised your level of user engagement.

Does the design of the newsletter matter?

Just like website design helps enhance the user experience thereby helping boost sales of your products similarly, newsletter design too matters. On first glance, designing a newsletter might seem simpler as there is not much to consider, however, it should not be taken lightly. The more appealing the design the more it will increase performance.

One of the most important things when it comes to newsletter design is the content. Engaging and attention-grabbing content especially, the subject line is the deciding factor if a subscriber will hit open or leave the email unread. However, you need to invest your time carefully crafting the newsletter in a strategic manner.

Two things you need to take care of when designing a newsletter are:

  1. Content: Keep the content minimum but sufficient. A concise and content-rich newsletter is vital to increasing your open-rate.
  2. Graphic Design: A clutter-free easy to navigate newsletter is not only visually appealing but also helps grab the reader’s attention. In fact, based on our own experiment of modifying the existing design of our blog newsletter, we have seen an increase in the open rate of our blog newsletter campaign. On that note, if you miss reading our article then you can subscribe to our blog and get updated via our monthly newsletter. 

Having concluded that the email newsletter design is imperative when it comes to aiding the increase of open-rate, let us see other ways to increase the open rate of your newsletter.

4 Ways of Increasing the Open Rate email of your Newsletter

  1. Optimising the subject line:
    According to a report, 47% of the email recipients decide to either open the email or not based on the subject line. And as seen above, engaging content is the key to improving open rates. An optimized subject line that is in line with your business aids the subscribers to click the open button. When thinking of the perfect subject, remember ‘Less is More’ your subject should have less number of words, however, make sure it conveys all you want to say. Read this article for a detailed guide.
  2. Adding sub-header
    Sometimes your subject line is short and if you don’t have a sub-header then chances the content displayed is directly the start of the newsletter. This can dissuade the reader from not clicking ‘open’. Instead, a better option would be to use a different line that aids in your cause. For example, if it is a promo newsletter then a good sub-header would be something along the lines of the sale. Eg: Click now to avail the exciting offer/ Sale ends in 48hrs/etc. 
  3. Mobile friendly newsletter
    Today majority of the users access your website through their mobile phones. And thus, it is safe to say they would even open their emails on the same device. In fact, as per a study by Return Path, 55% of emails were opened through a user’s mobile. The growth has been tremendous and we are to only see a rise in it. Going with these statistics, it is important to have a mobile-friendly newsletter so that it adjusts the content properly with smooth navigation.
  4. Testing your newsletter campaign before hitting send
    Finally, always test your newsletter campaign before hitting send. This is important so that you check how your newsletter looks in term of design, if the links embedded work properly or are broken, as well as, is the font and colour of the newsletter are previewed. A point to remember, a preview is different than a test campaign. First, you preview then you test and once satisfied you send the newsletter. Several tools like Campaign Monitor, MailChimp etc help in sending customized newsletters to your audience. Another advantage of using such tools is that they even help you to test your newsletter as they enable you to preview your design before hitting the ‘send’ button.

Does the Sender Email ID Matter?
Email addresses reflect the essence of your brand. A professional email address helps in forging a bond between you and your customer. Not only this, a professional email address adds to your credibility.

Take, for instance, you receive an email two brands endorsing their products. The following are the email address of each brand:
Brand A =
Brand B =

As a user, which email are you most likely to open? The answer is probably, Brand B.

Thus, a professional email address not only aids in increasing the open rate of your newsletter but also in conversion and revenue generation. An Email Service Provider (ESP) helps you get a professional email representing your business along with features like abundant email storage space, reports on email – delivery rates, read rates and link click-through rates. However, choosing the right ESP is a task as it should be reliable. Here are some of the features you should check before finalizing your ESP.

We are CloudRocket, provide business email services that cater to a wide variety of audience. Our email service is open source, abundant storage space and plans priced, as low as, Free on all hosting plans. You can check our plans here.

Wrapping up!
So here you have it, some ways to help you in increasing the open rate email of your newsletter. A good open rate email not only means success for your campaign but is also a way to keeping your subscriber engaged about your business eventually enhancing your brand and its revenue.

We hope you found this article useful and if you have any tips of your own that you would like to share, feel free to leave a comment in the comments section below!

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