First up – a definition. In this post, as with the report suites on our SmartMail Pro platform, and our Metrics Report, we’ve adopted the name approved by The Email Measurement Accuracy Roundtable of the US DMA/Email Experience Council –that is, ‘render rate’. It’s the same statistic as Open Rate but more accurately describes what happens when the email is ‘counted’*. (More on this below).
Open, or Render rates, have come under scrutiny over the past few years. Just how useful are they?
We think they are pretty handy – as a measure of brand recognition, subject line relevance and delivery, and as a way of benchmarking a series of emails for improvement or otherwise. For example: If your ‘From’ name is recognised as a brand that your recipient has a relationship with, your email is more likely to be opened. If the subject line speaks to their day and their daily needs, sparks their curiosity, or sounds like fun, bingo! If the email didn’t arrive, it’s not going to be opened. So if you see rates going up or down, you’ll know something is changing.
TIP 2: Including your brand name in the From address, and/or the Subject line will aid your recipient’s recognition and increase the likelihood that your email is opened. Ensure that your Subject Line is enticing, accurate and closely related to the key benefit of the email.
The old sales adage is that it’s ‘a numbers game’. In terms of sheer numbers, clearly if you send your email to a large database, you’d expect to get more response. However, we don’t all have huge databases, and a small list can be just as informative and powerful.
*How are they measured? Render rates are tracked by the sending servers when an invisible 1×1 pixel image is displayed. This relies on images being displayed in the recipient’s email program. Many email programs block images by default, and many recipients read their emails without downloading images, or they read them on mobile devices – all of which means that the email will not be recorded as opened or ‘Rendered’. Combining render rates with click through rates gives a fuller picture. Often called ‘Opens’ the render rate shows renders from unique subscribers, with the measure taken when an email is displayed (whether fully opened or within the preview pane) by any user. If a user opens the email multiple times, or multiple tracking pixel requests are recorded due to forwarding, only one ‘Open’ is counted per unique email address.