An open rate will tell you the percentage of emails that were opened from your distribution. It's calculated using this formula : 

Open Rate = (# of emails opened / (# of emails sent - # of bounced emails))
For example: 400 emails sent, 110 opened, and 90 bounced. The open rate would be 35%. 

There isn't really an exact typical open rate. This is because open rates depend on many factors including the size of your list, when the email was sent, among other variables. However, it's generally known that an average open rate between 20-40% is to be expected. There are few distributions that get above a 50% rate and almost none will get an open rate in the 70-80% range. 

When thinking about open rates, it is important to consider your industry and the topic you're emailing about. Organizations that have close relationships with their audience will likely see a higher-than-average open rate. You will also likely see a higher open rate if you are emailing about a niche topic to a very targeted list, rather than a broad topic sent to a very large list. 

Here are a few suggestions to help improve your open rate: 

  • Have relevant details about email in the subject line 
  • Place the most important content in the top of email body, so those who preview it will be more likely to open the actual email
  • Send your email at a time that isn't typically busy for the recipients

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