Why can’t we Give You a Number for eDM Open-Rate?

Many often ask what ‘open rate’ means, and whether the open rate they are getting is any good or not. Here's a brief guide to help you understand what an open actually is, how they are measured and what typical rates are.

What is an open rate?

Open rate is a measure of how many people on an email list open (or view) a particular email campaign. The open rate is normally expressed as a percentage:

How is it measure?

It is important to understand that the open rate is not a 100% accurate measure. Recording an ‘open’ can only happen if the readers email client is capable of displaying html with images, and that option is turned on. So if you are sending text-only emails, there is no way to record open rates. Similarly, people reading your html email without images showing will not be recorded as opens.

Another issue is that your readers may have a preview pane in their email client. That preview pane might be displaying your email automatically (and therefore downloading the images) without the reader ever having to click on it or read it.

What is a typical open rate?

Really, there is no typical open rate. The rate obtained for any list, or group of lists will depend on how it was measured, when it was sent, the size of the list and a zillion other potential variables.

There are certainly some broad trends in open rates.

  • As list size goes up, the open rate tends to fall; possibly because smaller companies are more likely to have personal relationships with their list subscribers.
  • Companies and organizations that are focusing on enthusiasts and supporters, like churches, sport teams and non profits see higher open rates
  • More specific niche topics, like some manufacturing areas also typically have higher open rates than emails on broader topics

So what if you or your clients just have no idea of what is a reasonable open rate? The bottom line is this:

If you are getting an open rate between 20% and 40%, you are probably somewhere around average.

Very few lists of reasonable size are getting much above 50% open rates from normal campaigns. Your list may have some specific factors that give you higher rates; if so, well done. People are too busy, inboxes are too full and the measurements are technically limited.

How can I increase my open rate?

There are a ton of elements you can vary to try to entice more of your subscribers to open up your emails. Here

are just a few things you could try:

  • Experiment with your subject lines: Try including details about the content of the email right in the subject line, instead of using your standard subject.
  • Send on a different day: Are your subscribers too busy on a Wednesday morning to read your email, leaving it languishing down the inbox? Maybe a Friday afternoon email would be welcomed.
  • Get the important content up the top: Remember that many people will see a preview of your email before deciding to open it or ignore it. Make sure your email is recognizable, and that your key points are in the top third.



Campaign Monitor

edm mock

Without doubt, Electronic Direct Mailer (eDM) is one of the most sought after tool in the online media world. Its ability to instantly deliver information into the inbox of a potential consumer (push method) is unmatched. Furthermore, our system is able to track open rate as well as click through rate and this has greatly helped marketers like you to evaluate the performance of the broadcast. We've also adopted a double opt-in method to ensure that all our recipients are genuine individuals who wish to receive materials from us.

In-house production is also available to facilitate your interactive marketing needs. To take advantage of our specialised creative services,

Contact Us for more information!

Subject Line 88 characters including whitespace
Max. File Size HTML & images file sizes no more than 150KB
Dimension Width: Max. 760 pixels, Min. 650 pixels Height: Max. 1024 pixels
Format HTML with images (GIFs & JPGs) ONLY
No Rich Format Elements Allowed (E.g. Flash, QuickTime)
Other Requirements ALL images must include both <alt> and <title>
Form Element (optional) All scripts and data-capturing mechanisms are client-supplied.
Lead Time 3 working days prior to broadcast for Pure Media Buy only
InFocus X3 Canon IXUS
HP Color LaserJet Seagate External
Additional Details:
1. Up to a max. of 3 changes is allowed upon receipt of creative material. Clients will receive a test broadcast to have a visual of the final eDM.
2. Any additional changes or test broadcast requested after the max. allowable of 3 changes will be subjected to a change cost of S$250 before GST.
3. Any form of changes after creative submission will be subjected to a delay in broadcasting date.

Sony Cyber-Shot TX7 Reaches Trendy PMEBs through HWZ.com

Sony’s latest product in their popular Cyber-Shot line is the TX7. Like previous Cyber-Shot models, the TX7 marries a sleek and elegant form-factor with the latest imaging technology. One of its USPs is its ability to capture great pictures in low-light conditions, something that would appeal to the PMEB who enjoys hanging out with friends at the bar after work.


  • Reach out to trendy PMEB population
  • Promote participation on the TX7 microsite contest.


17 days (10-Mar-2010 to 26-Mar-2010)

Ad Units

  • Leaderboard
  • Peeldown
  • Infotech Newsletter Insert


To promote this time-limited contest, Sony’s media buy spanned a brief 12 days. Despite the short duration, the campaign effectively met its objectives.


High CTR: The relatively-new peeldown unit has proven to be a stellar performer. Appearing on the HardwareZone.com Singapore homepage, it exceeded the booked impressions and delivered a commendable CTR of 0.71%.

High Engagement: Our daily Infotech Newsletter is heavily subscribed to by many members of the PMEB group. It delivers the freshest technology news directly to their inbox, thus making it a highly-engaging platform for your message. Sony’s placement in one issue of the Infotech Newsletter achieved a CTR of more than 1.8%.


While HardwareZone.com maintains a core group of tech enthusiasts, we also have a high concentration of increasingly tech-savvy PMEBs who are trendy and image-conscious. Leverage on our high-performing media for your next campaign.