How to Calculate Email Open Rate (10+ Examples) – Expandi

7 mins

Wondering how to calculate your email open rate?

The open rate of your email campaigns might seem pretty straightforward and self-explanatory at first.

It’s simply the number of people who opened your message from your email list, right?

But as far as outreach key performance indicators go, your open rate is one of the primary metrics that determine the success of your campaigns.

Think about it this way:

You could have the best cold email marketing campaign in the world.

But what’s the point if no one’s opening your emails?

It all begins with your email subject line.

And below, we’ll teach you how to use the open rate formula you can use in your email campaigns and a number of email subject lines that get clicks and opens.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • What Is An Email Open Rate In a Campaign And How Is It Measured?
  • Outreach Campaign Email Open Rate Industry Average And Benchmarks
  • 10+ Email Subject Line Examples to Gain Higher Open Rates


Before we begin!

Did you know we’re constantly sharing the latest outreach hacks and successful campaigns – down to the exact templates and subject lines in our private Facebook group? Be sure to join the LinkedIn Outreach Family for all things email marketing and LinkedIn outreach as well!

Now, here’s what you need to know about email open rates to make sure your next email campaign is a hit!

What Is An Email Open Rate In a Campaign And How Is It Measured?

First, let’s start with the obvious.

What is an email open rate, and how do you measure it, exactly?

Well, as we covered in our email marketing KPIs article, your open rate is the percentage of email recipients who opened your message.

What constitutes someone opening an email?

Here’s how it works:

Open rates can be tracked in HTML because they include a tracking pixel, an invisible image displayed when the recipient opens your email.

Then, when that image is downloaded from their web servers, the email is recorded as being opened.

This might seem a little technical, so you might be wondering – just how accurate are my email open rates then?

Good question!

Let’s take a look.

Accuracy of tracking email open rates

The short answer is that your open rate is only an approximate indicator, and it’s hard to say with a 100% guarantee.

Many privacy features might be causing the inaccuracy. Such as the latest Apple Mail Privacy Protection or if your email recipients have the option to display HTML with images turned on.

Similarly, several people may choose to receive images without displaying any images. In that case, your email open rate tracking pixel link will be ineffective.

Keep in mind that this is the case for both email tracking tools and cold outreach campaign tools.

Another thing that might affect your email open rate percentage has to do with whether or not you’ve warmed up your email inbox and gone through an outreach campaign deliverability email list.

And of course, you also have to consider the overall accuracy of your email recipients and their contact info—as in, whether you found the correct email or not.

In other words, how many emails from the number of emails you sent actually landed in the right inbox.

But that’s a bit too off-topic for this guide.

So, be sure to check out our complete guide to email warmup for more info on delivered emails and other actionable steps you can take to boost your overall email open rates and the number of emails that land in an inbox when reaching your contacts.

How to calculate your email open rate

To determine the open rates of your email campaigns, the open rate formula is as follows:

Email open rates = emails opened / (emails sent – emails bounced)

Here, bounced emails mean the total emails sent that could not be successfully delivered to the recipient’s inbox.

But don’t worry, you won’t have to get a calculator every time you want to calculate your email open or click rates.

Every email marketing tool will display your open rates and other email performance indicators from the main dashboard.

For example, with Expandi, you can view your campaign statistics for email and LinkedIn outreach directly from your dashboard.

And because it’s all automated, you can first view someone’s LinkedIn profile with the tool, see if there is an email address associated with the profile, and then send an automatic email message and even a follow-up on autopilot for the future.


In fact, running email and LinkedIn outreach campaigns with Expandi is easy!

You can get even higher email open rates by following up with your potential customers on LinkedIn.

All this, of course, is done automatically.

Learn how to set up your email sequence outreach flows for more info on using Expandi in your outreach.

Now, let’s get back on track.

The accuracy of your email open rates isn’t as important as the actual percentage number behind the KPI.

So, let’s look at some average email open rate benchmark numbers and then some subject line examples and best practices to boost your open rates!

Outreach Campaign Email Open Rate Industry Average And Benchmarks

Let’s say your outreach marketing campaign receives an open rate of 67%.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

Well, it’s hard to say.

Meanwhile, you could also have a 95% email open rate but no replies because your email subject line is misleading and misleads your email recipients.

So, a few factors are at play here when you send your emails.

Your email open rate doesn’t exist in a vacuum.

First, you also have to consider your other email metrics, such as your reply rates, click-through rate, conversion rate, and more.

Then, you also have to look at the industry benchmark averages for your specific industry.

According to Backlinko, only 8.5% of outreach emails receive a response.

And below, we’ll teach you how to write email subject lines that get clicks and high open rates.

But until then, let’s take a look at some industry average open rates so that you have a better idea of how your campaigns are performing.

HubSpot looked at email benchmarks for various industries and analyzed the email metrics of over 19,033 customers to calculate the open, click-through, hard bounce, and other email rates for each industry.

Average email open rates by industry

According to HubSpot, The total average open rate across all industries is 20.94%.

Here’s their breakdown for this indicator by industry:

  • Computer and electronics – 19%.
  • Business services – 20%.
  • Software and internet – 20%.
  • Media and entertainment – 21%.
  • Telecommunications – 21%.
  • Health, pharmaceuticals, and biotech – 21%.
  • Retail – 23%.
  • Other – 23%.
  • Financial Services – 23%.
  • Manufacturing – 23%.
  • Education – 25%.
  • Real estate and construction – 26%.

Though, keep in mind when looking at your email open rate, you should use it as a comparative metric.

This means you send an email campaign one week.

And as a rule of thumb, you should be aiming for an open rate far beyond the average benchmark, up to 50%-70%.

Now, if you’re wondering how to hit those high open rates, let’s look at some email subject line examples and quick tips to boost your email marketing performance.

10+ Email Subject Line Examples to Gain Open Rates Up to 80%

This will largely depend on the specifics of your campaign information—such as the total email recipients, your target audience, and more.

So, first, let’s take a look at how to improve your email open rate in general:

  • Use a proper sender name. An email sent from a specific person has more credibility than a company name. For example, “John from (Company Name)” instead of “Company Name Marketing.”
  • Use a profile picture, so you come across as more human. See how to do that here.
  • Perfect your subject line. When doing outreach, you’ll come across one trend: the simpler your subject line is, the better. Try to keep it concise, relevant, catchy, and of course – personalized.

Now, let’s take a look at some cold outreach email subject line examples that have gotten us open rates as high as up to 80%.

  • Quick question, {first_name}.
  • Quick q for {company_name}.
  • Hey {first_name}, is safe outreach important for you?
  • Thoughts on this?
  • Let’s talk LinkedIn
  • Trouble personalizing your outreach?
  • Quick question about [topic]
  • (Influencer) liked this – thought you might too
  • Follow up on [topic]
  • Connected on LinkedIn – saying hi! 👋
  • You’ll love this, {first_name}!
  • Last opportunity for this offer!

And here are some conversion-driven elements these subject lines have in common that compel the recipients to click on the email:

  • Scarcity and fear of missing out.
  • Personalization.
  • Including relevant pain points.
  • Name anchoring and social proof by bringing up other big names.
  • Curiosity and simplicity.
  • Following up or mentioning something specific.
  • Relevant and straight to the point.

Though you could use clickbait subject lines to get your total recipients to click on the emails, we’ve found that simply misleads them, which makes them less likely to work with you.

Instead, keep it simple!

One final tip we can offer here is that sometimes your emails might get a high open rate but a low reply rate.

This is all too common.

However, one simple solution is to always follow up with your email recipients when that happens.

For that, check out our follow-up email templates you can reuse that reduce the dread for selling and closing deals.

What Now?

What now?

Well, as we mentioned above, your outreach campaigns start with your subject lines and your recipients actually opening your emails.

Let’s recap how that works:

  • What is the meaning of open rate?

An open rate is a percentage of how many of your emails in an outreach campaign were opened. Usually, it’s based on your email subject lines, and you can tell a lot about your campaign by looking at how many people opened or replied to your emails.

  • What is a good opening rate?

The industry average benchmark for an email open rate is between 19%-26%. However, by following the best practices and subject line examples mentioned above, you should be aiming for an opening rate of at least 40%-70%+.

  • What is an open rate in marketing?

In email marketing, the open rate metric measures the number of people who opened your email messages, whether it’s a LinkedIn InMail or a cold outreach email. You divide emails opened by emails sent minus emails bounced to calculate your open rate. Your open rates are determined by the subject line you use in your outreach for the most part.

Speaking of, we’re constantly sharing the latest outreach templates and subject lines you can use in your marketing campaigns in our private Facebook group. Be sure to join the LinkedIn Outreach Family today!

Or, if you’re ready to launch your email campaign directly and gain high open rates, be sure to sign up for an Expandi live demo and gain access to a free, 7-day trial to automate your sales outreach now!



This eBook is your ticket to never wondering how to promote your LinkedIn event the right way ever again

This FREE eBook will teach you all the tricks

  • The exact 1on1 examples we used (many times over) from our content plan (posts, video, polls)
  • How to automatically Invite your network throughout the month
  • 7 ‘Untapped Promotion’ strategies to get over 1000+ people to register for your event
  • How to interact with all attendees before the event and after the event

What works now won’t work again in a few months 😉 So…If you want take the swing and benefits – before it’s too late and before everyone starts using them

Download your FREE eBook now

Previous Post
Expandi LinkedIn InMails Playbook: How to Book 14 Calls Per Week
Next Post
Top 5 LinkedIn Hashtag Practices, Examples and More – Expandi

More posts