Open and click rates are key metrics to every email campaign you send and they are shown on the email reports page. What many people don't realize is that they aren't fully accurate due to a number of factors that are beyond your control.

Email open tracking

Opens are tracked using a tracking pixel, which is a small, one pixel, transparent image that loads when emails are opened. This tracking pixel is inserted at the very bottom of emails.

Open tracking is not 100% accurate, several factors affect it:

  • Since open tracking relies on an image, if contacts block images in emails, the tracking pixel cannot load and opens aren't counted.

  • Long emails may be clipped in some email clients. In clipped emails the tracking pixel is cut off and opens aren't tracked.

  • In some cases when emails are previewed in inboxes all images in the email are downloaded and this counts as an open even though contacts only previewed the email.

  • For users who read their emails in Apple Mail and they turn on Mail Privacy Protection every email is counted as opened. This is because the tracking image that open tracking relies on is preloaded even if contacts don't actually open their emails.

  • Opens by readers who see the text-only version of your emails (every email includes an auto-generated text-only version for readers where HTML emails are turned off) aren't counted because the text only version doesn't include images that open tracking relies on. Note that very few contacts get the text-only version since the smartphone era has started.

  • If opens aren't tracked in an email (for example because images are turned off) but a link is clicked, the click will automatically mark the email as opened.

Email click tracking

Click tracking is much more accurate than open tracking.

While open tracking is undercounted in some cases (see details above) click tracking is never undercounted: every click by your contacts is tracked, however, it may be over counted due to bot clicks: Some spam filters click every link in emails as they analyze links for potential malicious content. Read more about bot clicks.

What are considered good open and click rates?

When you look at open and click rates for your email you probably wonder if they are good or bad?

Opens

Open rates measure how successful you were in getting people interested enough to open your email. There is no universal baseline "good" open rate, it varies greatly based on your audience and your industry and your content so the best way to look at open rates is to compare them to emails sent to the same list.


Based on what we've seen over the years open rates between 15% and 30% are "good", anything higher than that indicates you have a very engaged list.

Benchmark your open rate and work on improving it.

How to improve open rates?

The three major factors in getting good open rates (in addition to other factors such as time of sending, frequency of emails to the same list and more) are the sender, the subject line and the pre-header text because all of these are shown directly in inboxes.

Read about how each of these components work and how to optimize them to get better opens rates:

You can also use AB testing for your sender, subject line and pre-header text to further optimize open rates.

Sending personalized emails is another effective way to get more opens.

Of course, getting emails to inboxes is a prerequisite to opens: be sure you have your sending domain authenticated using DKIM.

Clicks

Click rates are a essentially a measure of how interesting your audience finds your email content: of the people who opened the message how many clicked at least one link. Similar to open rates there is no universal "good click rate".

The average click rate of our clients is between 2% and 5%. Anything higher means your content is great and you provided ample opportunity for your contacts to click through to landing pages.

Look at the "links clicked" report for your emails to see which articles garnered the most clicks and adjust your content strategy accordingly.

Did this answer your question?