I am an independent finance/strategy consultant helping small business owners, and have been sending out a CC newsletter to clients, potential clients and colleagues for over a year, about once every six weeks. My open rate was higher initially, but has settled in at around 48-50% as I have expanded my list by asking permission from people I have met at various food trade shows and networking events.
Echoing what Richard Finnegan said earlier in this thread, I just checked and CC is not double counting people who open the newsletter more than once. My most recent newsletter went to 178 individuals, and so far there are 172 total opens, including multiple openings by the same person, but my calculated open rate is only 49%.
One other factor that may be dragging down open rates is whether the recipient is on dialup service or not. My customer base includes a large rural segment, where dialup is the only option (oh the horror...) My understanding is that customers in this situation don't trigger a "count" by downloading the message, and then reading it offline. As a result, they aren't counted as opens in my stats.
I try to keep in mind that when I structure my newsletters, I provide nearly all the information necessary in the actual newsletter, and then entice them to click for a flyer or "more details". Ideally, I'd have the crucial details available only through a click, so I can see which customers were interested in a certain promotion, but if my dialup customers are reading offline, they won't be able to use the links and therefore will miss out on whatever information is "behind" the links, so I'm forced to put more information in the newsletter.
-- Meg Loven Stampin' Up! Demonstrator http://www.LovenStamps.com
I was concerned about the number of people who have opened the e-mail multiple times, and wondered if that inflated the number of "opens" reported.
It does not. CC says "Our summary report shows you the number of unique subscribers that have opened your email, and the detail report ( ) shows every date/time that each subscriber opened the campaign. For this reason, the detail report number is often higher than the summary number."
I've been using CC for almost four years and have seen my open rate decline in that time from 55-60% to 25%. List is 10,000+. Apparently typical of an aging list, although I clean it regularly. The Subject line of course makes a difference. It would be great to be able to delete addresses of people who have not opened it for more than a year.
Ken Profitable Hospitality http://www.profitablehospitality.com
We create newsletters for a couple of organizations and see:
44%-54% opens for Computer Tips from our consultants, 57% for realestate House for Sale, 44% for monthly church news, 50% for Marriage Conference information, 17-33% for daily Bible readings depending upon the time of the year 100% for church news sent to local newspaper writers for their sections.
It is nice to read what others are seeing for a comparison.