Email Campaign Open Rate vs. Click through Rate

Email Open Rate vs Click through Rate

How are you measuring the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts? There are several KPIs (key performance indicators) worth tracking to strengthen your email marketing efforts. Two dominant metrics reported within email management tools are Opens and Clicks.

Before diving into how each of these popular metrics can be interpreted to improve your email marketing messages, let’s first define their meanings.



Open Rates

An open is recorded when the images load within your email message. Even plain text email messages can have open tracking by using small transparent images. Because open tracking relies on the recording of an image download, the reported number is not 100% accurate. Here are a few reasons why your open rate is often misreported:

  • An HTML email can still be read without downloading images. Many email platforms, like Outlook, have images turned off by default.
  • In email platforms that download images, a message viewed briefly in a preview pane while scrolling through an inbox would count as an open.
  • An open cannot be tracked with true plain text emails.

Average open rates for B2B companies are around 30%. Factors that influence your open rate the most include:

  • Your list. An in-house email list comprised of existing customers will be more receptive to your message because they know and trust your brand.
  • Your subject line. The subject line is your email message’s first impression and can dissuade or entice.
  • Day and time. The best time to send emails varies based on industry. Discovering when your list is the most likely to read your emails will likely require testing.

Click Through Rates  

The click-through rate represents the percentage of your readers that clicked on a link within your email message. Typically, gaining message clicks is the ultimate goal of an email campaign. Clicks are a sign of an engaged customer or prospect. You have now transitioned that email recipient to a website visitor, with the opportunity to browse products, read additional content and contact your business.

The elements that often impact your click-through rate include:

Your message. How much you cram into an email message can influence reader behavior as much as the message itself. Aim for concise, value-driven content in your emails.

  • Your offer. Does your email contain your latest blog article, or a chance to win a free Ferrari? While your email efforts need to be business focused, be mindful of the quality of your content and offer.
  • Your design. Does your email design reflect the same level of professionalism and experience as your business? A well-designed email projects credibility, and well-placed calls-to-action will certainly effect your click-through rate.

Understanding what can influence your email message’s success will help you develop stronger campaigns. Not sure where to start when interpreting your email marketing metrics? The Proximity Marketing team is happy to evaluate your email efforts and assist with content and design improvements. Contact us to get started.


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