Which Factors Can Impact the Open Rate of Your Newsletter? How You Can Improve Your Open Rate

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What is an open rate vs. click rate vs. effective rate? 

The open rate is the percentage of emails that were opened. You can distinguish between emails that have been sent and emails that have arrived.

The formula for this is: 

Number of opened emails ÷ Total number of emails

The click-through rate, on the other hand, is the percentage of recipients who clicked on a link in your email – the target of your email campaign. Here you can again distinguish between emails that were sent and emails that arrived.

The formula for this is:

Number of opened links ÷ Total number of emails

The effective click-through rate is the percentage of readers who clicked on a link in the email. The difference between this and the “normal” click-through rate is that the effective click-through rate only takes into account the people who actually opened your email – not all the emails that were sent.

The formula is:

Number of links opened ÷ Number of emails opened


What is a good open rate?

Open rates tell you whether your email campaign is working or not. A high open rate usually means that your target audience can identify with your newsletter subject line or finds it appealing, thus opens the email.

What the value of the open rate should be, depends on the different industries (see chart below), but most studies have found an average between 21% and 25%. The effective click-through rate has an average value of about 15% while the “normal” click-through rate has an average value between 2.43% and 4.1% 

Which factors can impact the open rate of your newsletter industry
Source: Sandra Holze


Which factors can impact the open rate of your newsletter? How to improve your open rate

1. Clean out your subscriber list

Do your subscribers still want to hear from you?

You should regularly email your subscribers and update the list, so you don’t work for nothing. 

Some customers have changed their email account and some customers -it’s sad but true- have simply lost interest in your company. In order not to keep annoying them (which can lead to a negative image of your brand) or keep writing to inactive accounts you should refresh the subscriber list regularly. It is best to set a specific time period as a goa (e.g. every 6 months).

But as is well known, hope dies last: Before you delete your inactive subscribers, try on last time to get their attention by sending them a farewell email. Ask if they are no longer interested and the reason for it. The best way to gain interest in these emails is through an unusual subject line, such as “It’s not you, it’s me.”, “Am i boring you?”, or “Is it really over?”.

2. Day and time

As the saying goes “timing is everything”. This is true for your email campaign as well. Many subscribers won’t open your email because it is a bad time for them. So when should you send it then? In the morning or in the evening, during the week or on the weekend? You can’t generalize the answer, because it depends on your target audience. Older subscribers are more likely to check their emails in the morning, while younger subscribers are more likely to check them in the evening. Also, it has a lot to do with what kind of topic your newsletter has. Newsletters that are hobby-themed are mainly opened on weekends, while emails with content for work tend to be opened during the week. It’s best to try different times to find out which time is best for you. Additionally, you should pay attention to whether your audience is in just one time zone or multiple ones and make sure to adjust that then. 

You can check out different results on different studies here.  

Here is a checklist about your target audience:

  • Age
  • Occupation – do they work early or late? When do they take a break?
  • Until when do they stay awake?
  • Do they have children
  • What time zones do they live in?

Here is an example based on a software company: 

Which factors can impact the open rate of your newsletter open rates per week
Source: superoffice
Which factors can impact the open rate of your newsletter open rates by hour
Source: superoffice


3. Sender name

The first impression counts! 

The sender name is one of the first things the recipient sees before opening the email and it is the most important factor for the open rate (see chart below). So if you use a “no reply” or a “????!!!!” sender name, then you know why your open rate is so low. Such names make people sceptical and cause them to move them to the trash basket. Make sure to use the name of your brand or your personal name.

Which factors can impact the open rate of your newsletter open rates by hour reasons for opening e-mail
Source: superoffice


4. Convincing content

Your email has been opened by your subscriber, so your work is done, right? 


A lot of marketers believe that opening the email along is enough to increase the open rate. However, it is also very important to create content that is enganing and interesting. Why? If you’ve gotten to the point where your subscribers open your newsletter, but then they realize that the content is bad, they will simply unsubscribe.

Here are a few tips on how to send good content:

  • Write like in private conversations:  readers like to think the email was written just for them
  • Write like a friend: Ask your subscribers how they are and if they are having a good time. They will feel closer to you
  • Humour: If you use humour and your readers laugh at it, they will associate your brand with something positive.
  • Give gifts: Show your customers that you value them and give them different discount promotions or free gifts


5. Don’t you forget about me

Nobody likes to be forgotten. Neither do you. That’s why it is important to write to your subscribers regularly – not only once a year. Remind them why your brand is so great and how they’ll benefit from your newsletter.

Also, be sure to draw attention to your social media. These days, most people spend a lot of their time on social media. This way you can always stay in touch with your customers and also score points with creative images and posts.


6. Newsletter subject line 

One of the most important factors that lead to a higher open rate are catchy newsletter subject lines. This is also what subscribers read first, so it is important to be creative. 

Here are a few tips for making subject lines stand out:

  • Use rhetorical questions, short sentences, call-to-action, humour, etc.
  • Avoid the spam folder by using proper spelling and grammar and do not use special characters, too many capita letters and punctuation marks
  • Use email segmentation 

For more tips on how to make your newsletter subject lines stand out, click here. 


7. Put emphasis on the preheader

Besides the subject line and the sender name, the 1st line of the email catches the eye because part of it is displayed next to the subject in the inbox – the so called preheader. Customers read these three things and then decide whether the email is worth opening. So try to make the preheader as exciting as possible to attract the reader.

There are also several helpful preheader tools to help you get the most out of your preheader.

e.g. Drip, MailingWork 


Which factors can impact the open rate of your newsletter preheader
Source: rapidmail




How can we help you?

It is no secret that a convincing newsletter subject line is one of the most important factors for a high open rate. We at neuroflash can help you get the most out of your newsletter subject line to boost your open rate. With our AI you can generate multiple customized subject lines with one click and at the same time our AI shows you which subject line would perform best out of all the options. Are you ready to create compelling subject lines with us? Then try our free version!

Use AI to write high-performing marketing copy faster. 10x faster.

Test neuroflash's AI copywriter with the free plan.

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