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You put time and effort into your email marketing campaigns, so it’s natural that you want to know exactly how well they’re doing. One way to track the success of a campaign is through the open rate.

What is the open rate?

The “open rate” of an email campaign is defined by the number of emails that are opened by the receiver. The open rate is calculated by dividing the number of “opens” by the number of emails sent (discounting any that have bounced) It sounds very simple, but it’s a bit more complicated than you’d think.

How are “opens” tracked?

Simply clicking on the email doesn’t necessarily count towards your open rate. In-built metric systems track the open rate by using tracking pixels embedded in the images of the email. So, if a user has images disabled, or the email takes so long to load after they open it that they close it again before the images have loaded, this won’t count towards your open rate.

Why are open rates important?

Measuring your open rate is an important task because if the customer or client doesn’t open the email, they can’t click on it or view the information you’re trying to send them. Some campaigns encourage users to click links that send them to your website, while some simply offer information. Neither of these important things can be achieved if the email isn’t opened. Having the email opened is the first hurdle to get through to ensure a good return on investment.

Improving your open rates

If you notice that you have low or decreasing open rates, there are some steps you can take to try and improve the efficacy of your future email campaigns and improve the open rates.

Firstly, try to ensure that you’re not sending too many emails too frequently, ‘spamming’ users can cause them to place your emails in junk folders or simply unsubscribe.

You should also ensure that your images aren’t too big and that the email isn’t comprised entirely of images. Images that aren’t compressed take too long to load and emails that contain just images are more likely to be sent to the junk folder automatically.