What Is A Good Open Rate For Email Blasts During A Promotion?

Dominika Paraiova
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If you run a promotional email campaign, you're probably wondering what is a good open rate for email blasts. Well, it depends. When it comes to a good open rate there are many factors to consider. A promotional blast won't have the same open rate as a welcome or abandoned cart email. Therefore, looking at the general open rate of your industry might be misleading.

But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself here. What exactly is an email blast? A typical email blast is a single email sent to a large list of subscribers without any personalization. It's a "spray and pray" tactic that can work, but following the steps below, you'll learn some powerful strategies which perform much better.

In this article, we're going to have a closer look at email open rates for several email categories in eCommerce. These will help you set a better benchmark for your email campaigns. You will also learn why email blasts can actually hurt your open rate and what to do instead.

What Is a Good Open Rate for Email in eCommerce?

Finding the industry average is not difficult. All major email providers publish their email statistics regularly. In general, these open rates can fluctuate from 15.68%, according to Mailchimp, to 22.38%, reported by Getresponse. But these numbers cover all types of emails from welcome emails, abandoned cart emails, to promotion email blasts.

So, is the industry average a good indicator?

Relying on the industry average is like comparing the calories you burnt jogging to average calories burnt for all sports combined. Every sport is unique, and some are more challenging than others.

The same principle applies to your average email open rate.

Email Lists Are Not Created Equal

There are countless niches in an industry like eCommerce. You might be wondering, "What is a good open rate for email in such a segmented industry?" Every niche has a unique list of subscribers with individual interests and preferences. Also, people are more emotionally attached and engaged in some markets than others.

Let's have a look at an example. According to a 2019 study from Klaviyo, Fashion and Apparel stores have an average open rate of 11.40%. At the same time, stores in the Arts and Crafts niche have a 14.20% average open rate.

The difference might look small at first sight. But even a slight difference like this can have a significant impact. This 2.80% difference can bring 280 more open emails on a list with 10,000 subscribers. With an average 4% click-through rate, this could bring 11 extra customers.

What would that do for your business?

Open Rate Vs. Click-Through Rate

Some may argue that the open rate is not that important when your click-through rate makes the sale happen. But consider this. If subscribers won't open your emails, it doesn't matter how irresistible the offer is or how good your email copy is.

Don't get me wrong. Click-through rates are crucial for your sales. However, what will happen if someone ignores your email, unsubscribes, or worst, marks it as spam?

That's why improving your open rate is crucial. You can test different tactics to boost your open rate and see what resonates with your email list. But before you do that, set a benchmark for yourself.

Most of the email providers will calculate the open rate for you, but there's another step you can do. Take the last ten email campaigns and calculate the average of these open rates. This will give you a much better perspective of the overall performance of your campaigns.

The Power of Behavior-Based Emails

Can you guess what is a good open rate for email flow after the user abandoned the cart or left your website?

This type of email has one of the highest open rates simply because they are highly targeted to the subscriber. The subscriber receives the email shortly after they indicated an interest in a particular product.

According to the 2019 report by Klaviyo, the range starts at 18.20% in the Garden and Home Goods niche and goes up to 36.40% in Media and Entertainment. These stats are from abandoned cart emails. The numbers are even higher for abandoned browsing emails.

Some service providers allow you to retarget subscribers who were browsing products on your website but left without purchasing. Stay with me here. You're about to find out what is a good open rate for email when you follow back with your customers.

The open rate for these types of emails is one of the highest in the industry. Klaviyo reports open rates from 25.60% in the Health and Fitness niche to 44.90% in Arts and Crafts. These numbers are astonishing compared to a simple industry average.

Why are these emails outperforming any other email type? It's simple.

"When someone gets a message straight after taking an action, they're more likely ready to read and respond to it."—Irek Klimczak, Content Marketing Expert for GetResponse

Utilize the Power of Database Segmentation

Think about the people you know. Are they all the same? Do they enjoy the same things? Do they have the same hobbies and interests? Probably not.

The same goes for your email list. Not everyone on your list will have the same interests and preferences. That's why segmenting your email list is crucial.

This simple step can get you ahead of your competition. However, 89% of all marketers don't segment their database and they send the same message to everyone.

You see, what is a good open rate for email for the whole industry won't show you your true potential. It only gives you the statistics of what the majority of marketers do.

Is It Really Worth It?

When you segment your database, you can target every group of your subscribers with a different personalized message. You can use their interests, purchase history or behavior. Instead of sending out a message that many of your subscribers find irrelevant, send them a personalized one.

This will help you build relationships with your customers and keep them engaged.

"Personalize your subscriber experience and make sure the conversation keeps delivering value to them. Your audience will appreciate it and pay you back with interest."—Michal Leszczynski, Content Marketing Manager for GetResponse

Top 5 Segmentation Criteria for eCommerce

Consider these categories when segmenting your list:

  1. Location - this is especially useful if you sell in many countries or worldwide. Use this to run a customized campaign for every area.

  2. Website behavior - does your subscriber log into their account often? How often do they visit your website? You can use their customer behavior to send automated, highly targeted messages and boost your open and click-through rate.

  3. Interests - if you sell a wide range of products, observe what category of products they are purchasing or browsing. You can run different promotions based on the buyer's habits. Offer complementary products to their previous purchases.

  4. Customer value - keep your most loyal customers engaged and happy. Nurture your customers and try to reengage those who haven't purchased anything for a longer period.

  5. Buyer journey - someone who recently made a purchase may not want to be bombarded with additional offers. On the other hand, people who haven't purchased in a while might be waiting for a discount or a good deal. Surprise them.

The Old Marketing Practice

So what is a good open rate for email sent to a segmented list?

When your list is segmented, you can target each group with a specific message and offer that will resonate with them the most. According to optinmonster.com, segmented email campaigns perform 14.31% higher than non-segmented campaigns.

Wouldn't it make sense to send a personalized email to each one of your subscribers?

That's why a traditional email blast is considered to be an outdated marketing technique and may even hurt your open rates.

What would an additional 14.31% do for your eCommerce store?


Now you know that looking at what is a good open rate for email as an industry average can give you false data. Email flows perform differently depending on the niche and also the type of email.

Email marketing made a huge step in the past few years. It's no longer just about pushing the same marketing message to every single person. On the contrary, the trends shifted towards personalized messaging which keeps customers engaged and builds relationships.

And here are the steps that I don't want you to miss:

  1. Check the average open rate in your niche for a specific email campaign. Use it to set a benchmark for your next campaign.

  2. Use behavioral-based email flows. This way you can target your customers when they indicate an interest to purchase.

  3. Segment your email database and send personalized messages to your subscribers.

You may feel that it's not in one's power to write a personalized message to every single customer. And you don't have to.

At Copywriters.com, we have writers who specialize in writing compelling emails at any step of the buyer's journey. If you are ready to boost your open and conversion rate, book an appointment with our copywriting team.

Dominika Paraiova

Dominika Paraiova is a copywriter certified by Dan Lok™ Education Inc. Thanks to her extensive experience in marketing, she has a deeper understanding of how a single piece of copy can make or break a marketing funnel. Her goal is to write compelling copy that will capture your brand’s voice, tell your story, speak to your audience, and bring in new customers.

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