What’s a good response to an email?

I’m very happy with the fact that this email gets a higher open rate than the industry average, especially as it’s a daily email. However, that’s not as impressive as it sounds.

One of the reasons for the decent open rate, apart from my sparkling wit, is that everybody on the list has actually asked to receive the email. In comparison, many companies have created their mailing lists using “oh, go on then, send me other stuff if you must” check boxes, probably pre-ticked. Some won’t even have that level of buy-in. It’s not uncommon for companies to slap every email address they find on the publicity mailing list.

In comparison to these lists, it’s not that hard to achieve an above-average open rate. And what is that rate? Around these industries, about 20%. Remember, with a regular mailing, it’s not that an unchanging 80% of recipients don’t open the email, it’s that a different set of people open the email each time. For a targeted, one-off email with a compelling subject line, I’d expect a 50%+ open rate.

But when you next get a 0.1% response to an email offer, don’t be too disheartened. If your emails were untargeted, and unrequested in the first place, that might be 5% of the people who actually read them. Which would make it a very good response indeed.

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