How to Interpret Your B2B Email Open Rates

One of the most commonly-used email marketing metrics today is the email open rate. Despite its apparent popularity, however, it’s also one of the least-understood indicators of email campaign performance. The following are ways to help you correctly interpret open rates of B2B email blasts to contacts in your mail list.

  • Know how it’s measured. Before you work with any performance metric, it’s a good idea to have an understanding on how values like email open rates are measured and computed. Typically, email open rates are based on two kinds of activities that take place on the email page which are the loading of images and recipient’s clicking actions.
  • Don’t take it in isolation. A lot of email marketing metrics make little or no sense when taken separately from other indicators. For example, analyzing your open rates along with bounce and click-through rates from a round of emails to your CEO mail list offers better insight into the marketing strategy’s effectiveness.
  • Look at industry benchmarks. Email open rates may significantly vary from one industry to another or from one segment to the next. An open rate of 20% might have substantially different implications among two sectors. A good mail list provider can also give you information on various open rate averages.
  • Consider errors and inaccuracy. If you’re astute, you might have noticed something troubling about how open rates are measured. The measurement process depends on factors that may or may not take place even if your emails are actually opened by your mail list contacts. As such, it’s a good practice to account for discrepancies and errors when interpreting the results.

These are four steps that enable you to really make sense of your email open rates. Because this indicator tends to be misleading when taken out of context, it’s important for you to have some idea on how it works and under what conditions you should rely on it.