Why open rates still matter

by | Jun 30, 2022

When I was speaking at the recent Inbox 2022 event, I received a lot of comments from people where they quoted various email marketing experts who say “don’t pay any attention to open rates”.

In my opinion, it’s a big mistake to ignore open rates.

Here’s why.

The reason I still talk about open rates, and still monitor them for myself and my clients, is because they are still a relevant statistic in your business.

I agree that they’re no longer particularly accurate (they never were, if truth be told!). Right now as I write this, in June 2022, my best estimate is that they’re between 60% and 80% accurate depending on your audience.

You cannot and must not compare your open rates with someone else’s, because you’d be comparing apples with oranges. There are too many factors that influence email open rates and they’re totally different for every business.

But you must monitor trends in your business.

If your email rate suddenly decreases a lot, or if it suddenly increases a lot, it could be for one of two reasons:

  • Firstly, it could be that Apple or someone else has moved the goalposts again.
  • Secondly, it could be an indication that something is either working better, or not so well in your business.

So, don’t be afraid to look at open rates.

It’s just that they’re not a silver bullet.

You have to be clear that they’re just one statistic out of many that you should monitor in your email marketing.

It may be that Apple and Google and other mailbox providers mess things up for us to the point where we can’t use open rates as a statistic at all.

But we’re not there yet.

That’s the most important thing. So make sure you keep at least half an eye on your open rates.