To understand who’s included in the opened response rate, it helps to understand how WebbMail’s tracking works:
The html version of your WebbMail campaign includes images, like your logo, that display when the recipient opens the email. Well, there’s an invisible image in the html campaign that doesn’t display but which gets ‘called’ just like the real images. A person opens your email, and the campaign calls our server to request the images. WebbMail’s server delivers the image and counts the email as having been opened. (Our methods are a bit more complex than this, but you get the idea.)
We can also track opens for anyone who receives the plain-text version of your campaign and visits at least one of the links you’ve included in the email – remember that WebbMail automatically delivers the html version whenever it can but has a plain-text version ready in case someone’s email client isn’t set up to receive html.
So in short, two actions are trackable as opens: viewing the images in your email, or clicking one of your campaign’s links.
What isn’t trackable?
If someone receives the plain-text version and doesn’t follow any of the links. Or if someone downloads his or her emails and views them offline. In either case, the recipient could have received and read your email without showing up in your open numbers. Generally, this should be a small percentage, but it does serve as a reminder that your open rate is an approximate number, as best we (or anyone) can track.
So what’s normal?
We hate to generalize too much about what ‘average’ is. Open and click-through rates can vary wildly based on your organization, your industry, the kind of email campaigns you send and the kind of audience you have. Recent reports from people like DoubleClick put the average open rate for consumer-oriented email campaigns in roughly the 35-45% range, with business-to-business open rates sometimes going higher. Again, it varies by industry and all the other aforementioned factors. Our advice is to experiment with things like subject lines, message and frequency, and see how all of your response numbers stack up against the only benchmarks that truly matter – yours.
Using another email marketing service that isn’t easy to use or doesn’t have great support? Consider trying WebbMail Email Marketing!