9 min read  | Marketing Automation

What’s a Good Open Rate for Email Marketing Campaigns?

See how you stack up against key industry benchmarks and learn how to improve the open rate on your next email campaign.

How do you measure the email open rate?

Before we get too carried away, let’s cover the basics.

An email open rate is the percentage of recipients who have opened emails from a specific campaign. This key performance indicator can reveal how engaging (or not) the email is and how accurately subscribers have been segmented.

Number of unique email opens ÷ ((number of emails sent - email bounces) x 100)

Open rate and click rate are the most common metrics to measure email marketing campaign effectiveness, but neither is guaranteed to be 100% accurate. They are both great general indicators, but even the most meticulously-tracked campaign has room for reporting error. Here’s why.

Privacy features like Apple Mail Privacy Protection (MPP, available in the Mail app on iOS 15 and iPadOS 15) can cause open rates to be artificially inflated. If you’re curious to know more about the nitty-gritty, this blog from Litmus details how this feature technically functions.

Other common culprits of inflated open rates include the use of a “preview pane” feature, manual forwards, and emails that are shared online using the “view in browser link.” To keep things interesting, open rates can also be under-reported when users opt to read an email in HTML without displaying images, among other things.

All this is to say that comprehensive campaign analysis should also include additional data such as conversions, bounces (hard and soft), click-to-open rate, unsubscribes and subscriber growth. Even still, open rates provide the best snapshot into overall engagement over time, particularly when stacked up against benchmark open rates. (Pro-tip: all HubSpot plans include an in-depth email performance data dashboard to monitor the previously mentioned metrics and more.)

How does the target industry or business effect the email open rate?

Open rates change based on industry and business type, so let’s make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. Knowing what kind of results to expect can help determine how successful a campaign is, and provide a benchmark for analysing performance.

The average overall email open rate varies depending on who you ask. MailChimp reports that the average open rate among their customers is 21.33%. While HubSpot relies on data from Mailerlite, reporting that the average open rate is much higher at 41.31%.

So, let’s break it down.

Here are some key industry-standard email open rate benchmarks.

Recruitment and staffing


Software and web app




Business and finance









Note: These are the B2B benchmark open rates most relevant to us and our clients. Mailerlite has the most comprehensive and recent data we could track down; take a peek at the additional stats here.

How do these B2B email open rates stack up in context? Here are the industries with the top overall open rates

Government - 46.9%
Medical, dental, healthcare - 46.7%
Non-profit - 46.5%

Why the big differences? It’s far more likely that an email from your medical provider will contain important, timely information that you need to be on top of. An email from your friendly marketing team, however, may be full of relevant and interesting industry information, but your life does not depend on it. (It’s ok, we don’t take it personally.)

Regardless of what industry, location or business vertical you find yourself in, there are best practices and tactics to max out your open rate to its fullest potential.

How can your email open rate be improved?

Follow this five-step checklist to increase the unique opens on your next email marketing campaign.

  1. Aim for quality over quantity

    This goes for both frequency of emails and number of subscribers. Consider the cadence of your campaigns and the value you’re providing to that specific audience. 

    Tidying up your CRM and email list will remove low-quality and outdated emails, i.e. recipients who were not opening your emails anyways, therefore increasing your overall open rate. Smaller, more engaged email lists will result in stronger metrics. If your email lists need some love, check out this blog where we break down how to deep clean your HubSpot CRM data.

  2. Pay special attention to the subject line

    This element can make or break your open rate. Think of it like a hook; is it interesting and relevant? Keep it short and snappy, be descriptive and ensure it aligns with your segmented audiences. 

    Go even further by personalising subject lines with the recipients name, location or other custom information. One study found that email personalisation increased open rates by 29-50%, but that only 22% of emails utilised this tactic.

    And lastly— test, test, test. Follow best practices and draft a few slightly different subject line options to A/B test. Over time, this will reveal what resonates with your audience, and how to best communicate with them.

  3. Segment email lists

    Sending the same email to your entire email list likely means that the information will be irrelevant to some of those people, resulting in lower open rates. There are heaps of creative ways to slice and dice your email list, here are 30 to get you started

    The more information you have about your customers, the more opportunity there is to send tailored emails that resonate with that user. This will increase brand trust and nudge them further along in the customer journey.

  4. Review technical best-practices

    There are a number of small elements nested within every email campaign that contribute to open rates. Take a few minutes to review your email sender name, optimise your email send time, ensure your logo is included in your email template(s), tidy up your email lists regularly and double check the mobile-friendliness of your design.

  5. Test, track and optimise for ongoing improvement

    As mentioned, A/B testing your subject line can have the most immediate impact on open rates, but why stop there? The data you’ll glean from this type of testing is like a recipe for high performing campaigns that you can use again and again. Pretty valuable, right? 

    Other elements that you can test include design and images, preview text, content, CTAs and audience segmentation. Take the time to regularly review your results, and you’ll be empowered to make data-driven decisions on your next email marketing campaign.

Where can I find help with B2B email marketing?

There’s a lot to know in this arena, and we’re here to set you up for success. The Aamplify team has a combined two decades of experience in email marketing - we’d love to share our best tricks of the trade with you.

Let Aamplify help your business with our B2B email marketing expertise.