What Does Open Rate Really Tell You?

Demand Creation ‌• December 31, 2009

We often get asked by our clients about the open rate of our email sends.  I’ve always found this to be an interesting question in the B2B space because of the way most corporate users read their email.  Most corporate users are subject to their corporate standards and Microsoft Outlook is by far the most popular email client – see Campaign Monitor survey results.  By default, most email clients (desktop or web) do not download images automatically.  Embedding an image in your email is how email senders monitor the open rate.  Only when a recipient reads their email and allows embedded images to be downloaded does that count as an “open.”  Unless you are sending a public service announcement, most emails incorporate some type of call to action usually related clicking through on an offered link (much like you see in this post).  Those “click-throughs” are a much more reliable indicator of email effectiveness in a B2B setting.  For a great review on what “open rates” mean and how you should be thinking about them, here is a great article explaining all the details.

Have a Happy New Year and may your lead nurturing efforts in 2010 be ever so productive.


Sam McCue
Inbound Marketing guru, avid fisherman, and all-around backcountry enthusiast.

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