You may be wondering: What is a good email open rate for 2019?
And how about click-through rates? Are they related? Can these
metrics be improved?
In other words, you may be worrying about your upcoming
If you’re concerned that 2019 may be a challenging year for
digital marketing, don’t worry. We have answers to simplify the
Email marketing: Still a workhorse for digital marketing
You may be wondering whether 2019 is going to be a tough digital
marketing landscape with all the online advertising clutter. While
it’s true that some aspects of digital marketing are much harder
than they used to be, that’s not the case across the board.
For example, gaining exposure for your Facebook page posts is
much more difficult now than in the past. Facebook changed their
algorithms in recent years to make unpaid posts less visible to
followers. (Facebook, of course, wants your business to spend money
on their ad services.)
What about email?
Email, surprisingly, continues to see great results in the
online marketing world since your emails reach customers directly.
There’s no need to concern yourself with ever-changing algorithms
in order to be seen.
A review of important email metrics
As a digital marketer, you want to know if your email campaigns
are on target or failing. The more information and data you can
gather about actual customer engagement with your email campaigns,
By tracking email delivery rates, open rates, click-through
rates, bounce rates, and more, you can better understand what
you’re doing right, and what might be going wrong in your email
When using Campaign Monitor and some of other email service
providers, you get access to some of the most
detailed email analytics in the industry.
But it’s important to be clear on what these metrics actually
track. For example: Do you know what a bounce rate is vs. a
Let’s take a look at some common email metrics you need to
What’s the difference between delivery rates and bounce rates?
Delivery rate refers to the percentage of
emails that reach their intended inboxes. It’s not the same as an
open rate (which we’ll talk about below). It simply means the
email was successfully delivered.
Bounce rate refers to the percentage of emails
that bounce back. An unsuccessful delivery isn’t necessarily
counted in the bounce rate. An email actually has to bounce (return
to your email program) to count as part of the bounce rate. Emails
can go undelivered because of a number of things, like an issue
with the mail server.
Bounce rates can include
soft and hard bounces. If a person has a temporary stoppage of
email, most likely due to a full email box, that’s a soft bounce.
A hard bounce is for an email address that no longer exists. You
should try to keep your bounce rate under 2%.
What’s a good email open rate for 2019? What about click-through
The open rate is the percentage of people who
open your email. The click-through rate, on the
other hand, is the percentage of subscribers who click a link
within your email.
Out of the two, the click-through rate is the most important
metric for lead generation. If people read your emails but fail to
take the action you want (visiting your site and buying/donating),
then your emails still have some work to do. High open rates,
however, are valuable when trying to build brand awareness and
You’re probably looking for a “good” open rate or
click-through rate, but good rates actually depend upon your
particular industry. (See
the rates for your industry here.) It also depends on the type
Open rates have been historically better on desktop computers
than mobile devices. However, mobile email marketing has gained
traction over the last decade, as you probably understand from
first-hand experience. Almost half of all emails are read on mobile
devices now, meaning
mobile could potentially dominate email marketing.
Open rates also depend on the type of email campaign:
triggered, autoresponder, and newsletter. Triggered (requested
emails) and autoresponders, of course, get higher open rates
(45.70% and 34.80%) than newsletters (22.83%).
depending on the industry, can range from 1% to almost 5%.
Expect a click-through rate of 2.5%, but shoot for at least 4% as a
goal (unless it’s just not feasible for your industry).
Pro tip: if you see a company claiming it gets a click-through
rate of 10% or more, be suspicious. Click-through rates are
naturally lower than this because emails must first get into
inboxes and be opened.
Categories like hobbies and publishing tend to get higher
click-throughs, which makes sense. For example, a content website
that sends relevant new articles would probably get a higher
average click-through rate than something solely
To get the best idea of what your business should be targeting
for click-through rates, do some research on your industry.
What is CTOR (click-to-open rate)?
Your click-to-open rate or CTOR is another critical metric to
track, even more than your open rate. The CTOR is a measure of how
many click-throughs your opened emails are receiving. Click-through
rates are based on clicks per subscribers. CTOR tracks clicks per
opens (or reads).
In other words, CTOR measures the effectiveness of your email
copy. Once people open your email, how many people take action?
For example, let’s say that you have one campaign where 1,000
emails were opened, but 10 people clicked (1% CTOR). In another
campaign, 500 emails were opened, with 10 people clicking (2%
CTOR). Which campaign is more effective? The second one. This
effectiveness is what click-to-open rates chart.
And, in actuality, both of these campaigns were fairly
ineffective–you really want a CTOR of 20 to 30% when promoting
something. For triggered emails, it should be even higher, perhaps
30 to 40%.
Wondering how to improve your CTOR or any of these metrics now
that you know what they are? Keep reading.
How to improve your email open rates, click-through rates, and CTOR
Ultimately, the goal of improving your email metrics such as
opens, click-through rates, and CTOR is to improve sales. (Or, in
the case of some online publishers, improve traffic to improve
sales of advertising.)
You could create the most-read newsletter on the planet, but
remember, it also needs monetization.
Here are three main points to consider when trying to improve
your email marketing metrics for 2019:
1. Set realistic goals
As we talked about above, a good click-through rate is 4%.
Don’t set a ridiculous goal like 100%. Unless your campaign only
has a single faithful subscriber, it’s unlikely you’ll reach
this kind of goal.
2. Write great copy
You need to add value to your email marketing campaigns. Don’t
just slam subscribers with sales pitches.
Write high-quality, informative copy. Check out Campaign
guide to cultivating loyal readers from your email
3. Run A/B campaigns to test your copy
Don’t just guess about what type of copy works. Test it. Use
A/B testing to see which version of your copy gets more customer
You might need to do this multiple times to get the right tone
for your email campaign or newsletter. Even if your campaigns are
doing pretty well, this testing should also be done periodically to
ensure your emails still have the desired effect.
4. Clean up your lists periodically
If you’re getting low delivery rates and high bounce rates,
it’s time to clean up your email list. Get rid of the dead
weight. Sometimes, you can improve your email effectiveness by
reducing the size of your list.
Send an email to your subscribers, inviting them to opt-in and
continue hearing from you. While you don’t necessarily need to
drop everyone who neglects to respond immediately, you can put
non-responders into a “lapsed segment” and look at other
strategies to re-engage them.
To summarize, knowing your open rates, click-through rates, and
CTOR stats can improve your email marketing campaigns. At the ver
least, understanding these metrics will let you know when you need
to sit down and revamp your email marketing strategy.
The good news is, email marketing is still a great way to market
in 2019. Just remember:
- Set realistic goals
- Write good copy
- Run A/B campaigns to test your copy
- Clean up your lists periodically
Keep these tips in mind and you’ll have a leg up over your
Source: FS – Email Marketing Blogs!
What Is a Good Email Click-Through Rate for 2019?