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What Is a Good Email Open Rate and Email Click Through Rate?

email open rate

The marketer’s nightmare… Questions that haunt the marketer in the middle of the night are: “Was my campaign any good?” and “Could I have got a higher Email Open Rate and Email Click Through Rate?” For just like a film director, who is judged on the success of his last film, marketers are judged on the success of their last campaign and they also always ask what is a good email open rate and CTR? 

What is Email Open Rate and Email Click Through Rate?

Email Open Rate – It’s the number of emails sent out that are opened by the recipients divided by the total number of emails sent out and expressed as a percentage.

Email Click Through Rate – Also expressed as a percentage figure is calculated by dividing the number of clicks received by the number of emails delivered.

Email Open Rate and Email Click Through Rate Statistics

Current statistics for email marketing responses:

  • Average email open rate: 19.7%
  • Average email click-through rate: 3.6%
  • Average unsubscribe rate: 0.25%
  • Average bounce rate: 2.2%

Now compare those figures with the results that Mailigen’s clients can expect:

  • Average email open rate: 21.72%
  • Average email click-through rate: 3.3%
  • Average unsubscribe rate: 0.06%
  • Average bounce rate: 0.7%

The message here is that the battle for the customer’s attention is getting hotter and the customers are getting more discerning in what they open and active.

What influences Email Open Rates and Email Click Through Rate?

What influences these figures? The size of your database is one key factor. Usually, the smaller database is better targeted and has fewer zombie subscribers. The type of emails sent out has an impact as well. Informative content is more likely to attract attention whilst purely promotional content is less popular.

How to improve the performance of your email marketing campaign

Here are a few suggestions from us:

  • Concentrate on the subject line of your email. It’s essential to get this right as it might be the only thing the customer looks at before they decide to open your email. Make it short, relevant and attractive to the customer. Some recommend that you keep the subject line to six words in length or less.
  • Put some time and effort into creating a call to action that will entice the customer to click on your link. Think about what the customer will see as a benefit and use it. Be bold, the call to action must be clearly presented and any links highlighted. This is not the time for shyness.
  • Segment your email list to make sure the content you send them is relevant to their needs. If they haven’t been active, i.e. not opening your emails or clicking on links, then put in place a re-engagement campaign to either bring them back into the fold or remove them from your lists completely. You should reach out more often to the active subscribers, keeping them interested and engaged.
  • Test, test and test again. Use A/B Split Testing to discover what works for your customers. Try out different subject lines, email layouts, colors and even when you send out your emails. All these variables, plus many more, can influence the success or failure of your campaign.


You must keep records of each and every email marketing campaign you run to determine what is a good email open rate for your emails. Chart the data and make a note of what works and what doesn’t work. Only by paying constant attention to your performance can you hope to improve it and, hopefully, hit those goals you set yourself at the start of the business year.

Goals? Yes, I hope that at the start of each business year you sit down with your clients, or your employer, and work out where your marketing efforts are meant to lead. How will you be able to judge your performance if you don’t?

What Is a Good Email Open Rate and Email Click Through Rate?
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    October 4, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    I’m confused
    So CTR applies to emails delivered, not just the ones opened?
    If a typical CTR is 2%, that means that for a list size of 10K emails, all delivered with no bounce, that’s going to produce 200 click throughs? Even if the open rate is 20%, so only 2000 emails are opened.
    So it’s Click throughs = emails delivered-bounces x CTR
    NOT Click throughs = emails opened x CTR

    Thanks for clarifying

    October 9, 2017 at 10:47 am

    Hello Jean! Thank you for your question. The calculation is as follows:

    100 / (total emails sent – bounced emails)*(unique subscribers who clicked) = CTR%.
    For example: 100/(196-9)*9 = 4.81%

    Hope this makes it clearer. Please let us know if you need more info.

    October 9, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Yes I understand thank you.
    I found out about CTOR, or click to open rate, which is a different metric.

    October 9, 2017 at 11:22 am

    @@jean_stclair:disqus in Mailigen campaigns reports you can also see Click-To-Open-Rate.
    The calculations is as follows: 100 / Unique Opens * Unique Clicks = CTOR%
    Example: 100/48*5=10.417%

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