Email Open Rate

Email marketers use different ways to evaluate how successful their email campaigns are, and one of the important method is the open-rate, which determine the percentage of people who actually opened your email and looked at it. Open rates are typically measured using an HTML IMG tag embedded in outgoing emails, calling for a small, transparent tracking image. When the client or browser used to display the email requests that image, then an “open” is recorded for that email by the image’s host server.

Open rate can be calculated in different ways. Two of the most common examples are the number of emails opened divided by the number of emails sent or the number of emails opened divided by number of emails received. These two calculations will give very different results, but the important thing to remember is to use the same calculation consistently and watch how the open rate changes over time. If your e-mails are not opened, all your efforts in setting and sending them are in vain. So, all email marketers want to improve their open-rates to increase their email marketing.

Here are some factors that influence your open rate:

    * The source of your list. Rented lists will usually have much lower open rates than the house lists.
    * Frequency. It is very important how often you send e-mails. If you mail too frequently, people will be dissatisfied and might not open your emails. On the other hand mailing rarely the recipients may forget you and delete your emails before reading.
    * Your email format. Email systems can only track open rates on html emails.
    * Your audience. A recent survey show that business-to-business (B2B) email campaigns generate higher open rates than business-to-consumer (B2C) campaigns.
    * The email client used by your readers. If your readers view  your email in the preview of a client like Microsoft Outlook, it will be considered as an open. If your readers use a Web-based email reader like Hotmail, they usually have to click on the ‘from’ field or subject line to open the email. This is counted as a”true” open.
    * Your recognition factor. The ‘from’ field is one of the most important factor in motivating a recipient to open an email. People are more likely to open an email from a sender they recognize. First of all the recipients will open an email from a sender that they recognize. Include your organization name in the ?From? line, in this way you’ll minimize the probability of being deleted without opening.
    * Your “Subject” Line -  is the first impression to the recipient. Take time to write an effective and creative subject line which will stimulate people to open the email and read it. Including your company name on this field, will decrease the risk to be marked as spam.
    * Your Sending Times. The best day and time to send emails varies according to the company and the target. Test different alternatives to find which day and time works best for you.

How to you improve your open rate?

    * Get permission. Doing this your success rate will certainly be higher than without permission. Also, once you have established a relationship with new customers, ask them to put you in their address book.
    * Keep your lists up-to-date. Delete undeliverable addresses and “bounces”. You can make your job easier by including easy-to-follow unsubscribe instructions with every single message you send.
    * Avoid promotional words or phrases like: ”Special offer”, “Free”, “Limited time”, “Buy now” - these will be trapped by a spam filter or deleted by the reader.
    * Experiment with your subject line. Try different subject lines and see what works best.
    * Keep your subject line short .
    * Keep the “from” field the same over time. In this way you’ll be recognized.
    * Know what’s happening in the spam world. For example now a lot of spam comes from female names - usually just a first name. So,people often delete email from unknown women more quickly than any other mail.
    * Send your email to yourself. And see how does it look in your inbox.
    * Select appropriate font colors. Avoid colors like yellow, fuchsia, aqua and other colors that are hard on the eyes and score higher on the spam filters.