How To Interpret Email Open-Rates

How To Interpret Email Open-Rates

When it comes to email marketing, the favorite statistic is the open-rate. It is considered as being the perfect indicator of how their mailings are received. This metric is important in judging the success of your email campaigns and newsletters. Your task is not only to get the email there but to ensure that it is opened. If your aim is to have your recipients read your email, then you have to achieve a high open-rate. This article will help you in getting a broad understanding about open-rates, how they are determined and whether they are reliable.

How is open-rate determined?

If you use email marketing tools like Nexus Mailer to send emails and newsletters to your audience, then the job of establishing the open-rate is not a major issue as it is done by Nexus Mailer. The tracking feature of your email marketing solution counts the number of ‘unique opens’, which implies that list members are never calculated twice, despite of the fact that they open the email more than once. Invisible graphics written in HTML are used to track the open-rate. They are placed on the server and when a list member opens and views your email, the graphic is downloaded. All downloads are spotted and the open-rate is subsequently obtained.

Are open-rates reliable?

The open-rate gives you a good estimate of the number of people who are opening your emails. However, two attributes, namely the ‘false negative’ and ‘false positive’ are involved in the ‘open-rate’ jargon, which can cause irregularity and unreliability.

  • False Negative In case the email is downloaded from the server and then viewed offline, it will not be tracked and counted as the graphic has not been downloaded. A false negative occurs as the open-rate is actually higher.
  • False Positive The recipient might have used the preview feature of his email client. The invisible graphic is downloaded and the email is recorded as opened though it has not been opened and read, but has only been previewed. The open-rate calculated will therefore exceed the real value, causing a false positive.
  • With the increased use of anti-spam, some images are blocked to protect the recipient from seeing unwanted images. Therefore, the invisible graphics is not loaded and consequently not downloaded when the email is being opened and read.

You therefore cannot link the success of your email campaigns to only the open-rate. Other metrics should be used in parallel.

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