Email Deliverability

Should you care about email open rates?

Noel
LAST UPDATED
July 4, 2024
READING TIME
7 min.

Let’s start with a shocker:

Email open rates are sometimes inaccurate.

Recipients can block open tracking in various ways, skewing your precious open data.

And yet…

Open rates are still important!

Here’s why:

Calculate your success ➗

For any email marketing, the numbers tell you how you’re doing.

Without numbers, you can’t measure your success. And you can’t improve what you can’t measure.

Sure, open rates can be inaccurate sometimes, but they’re still an important metric to use when calculating your conversion rate.

Some inaccuracies on a large data set do not invalidate the data. It’s all about the big picture.

So how do you calculate your open rate?

Well, most email-sending tools do it for you; see lemlist below:

But if you want to do it manually, you just divide the number of opens by the number of emails sent.

So, if you sent 1000 emails and got 500 opens, your open rate is 50%. 500 divided by 1000 is 0.5, or 50%.

Easy peasy…

Why are email open rates sometimes inaccurate? 🤷‍♂️

As touched upon above, open rates can be inaccurate.

Usually, this happens because open tracking cannot be executed due to one of the following reasons:

  • Recipients have turned off open tracking. With Apple Mail’s Privacy Protection, images, and content (including the tracking pixel) are preloaded before the user opens the email. Every mail sent to an Apple account with this feature enabled will result in an open, even if the recipient never opens the email!
  • Recipients have disabled images or external content for their emails. In this case, nothing external can be downloaded, including the tracking pixel.
  • Emails over 100kb may get clipped and not downloaded in their entirety, meaning the tracking pixel never gets loaded.

Open rate still matters 💪

Despite potential inaccuracies, open rates are still important.

There’s been a lot of hype around Apple Mail’s Mail Privacy Protection feature, some claiming it rendered open rates useless.

It’s important to note that this feature only skews the open rates of emails sent to Apple Mail users who have this feature enabled.

Yes, the data will be skewed somewhat but it’s too early to conclude that open rates are useless. Over large data sets the numbers will even out.

For now, open rates are still very useful. They’re still the best stat to calculate conversion rate with.

If you want to learn more about open rates, read:  What is email open rate and how do you calculate it?

Noel

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