2017 Email Open Rates: Why FranFunnel Clients Do So Well

Want higher email open rates? Try FranFunnel.

Why Open Rates Matter & Why Everyone Keeps Talking About Them

Your emails' open rates tell you a lot about how many people see your content. The simple equation is that the more emails are opened, the more emails are read.

However, open rates in vacuum aren't particularly useful. You really want to compare them to something meaningful. For example, what do email open rates look like across the entire spectrum?

While the numbers vary dramatically from industry to industry MailChimp estimates that normal open rates range from 17% to 28%.

The question often arises about what type of open rates new FranFunnel customers can expect when they join up. And we were so tired of giving the "It Depends!" answer that we thought we'd finally dig into all the numbers.

We've always known that, because FranFunnel allows our clients to respond instantly to interested leads, our clients tend to have higher open rates. But the real question is how high?

Our Open Rates

The below chart shows the email open rates our clients with the highest lead counts. (We took the small clients out of the dataset because they're too new to have sent a significant number of emails.)

Key Stats:

Things to Notice

The first thing that should jump out at you is just how high that average open rate is. 42%! Right now, what are your business's open rates? If you too are 2x the 17-28% industry standard from above, then you probably don't need to read the rest of this.

While we have the luxury of looking at the average open rate across our clients, that number actually shouldn't be as relevant for you. Because all you care about is exactly what your open rate would be if you joined up.

As we expected, our clients' open rates span a wide range. FranFunnel users work across several verticals and can customize all their messages and subject lines, so it makes sense that some emails perform better than others.

But if you'll look carefully, you'll see the real power of the bar chart above: the consistent distribution of open rates.

The Bell Curve

Let's look at the data again:

We don't see a group of clients with high open rates and another group of clients with low open rates. Rather, our clients' rates run the gamut from the upper bound, at around 82%, to the lower bound, around 22%.

(Let's go back to the original question at hand. What type of open rates can a new FranFunnel customer expect when they come on? The world of predictive analytics is usually pretty rough, but it turns out we caught a break with regard to this question.)

Here's a look at the relative frequencies of the open rates:

In general, we rarely see perfect bell curves in real data. There's just too much statistical noise and inconsistent variation. 

Looks pretty bell-like, right?

The clustering of open rates around the average go great lengths in helping us set expectations.

So What?

In the past, we have been hesitant to make definitive promises about our clients' open rates. We've long known that some FranFunnel clients have exceptionally high open rates, but it was always possible that our average open rate of about 42% was inflated due to a few outliers with exceptionally high rates.

Before this bell curve, we didn't realize how consistent our open rates really are.

The bell curve is important because it confirms that most of our clients' open rates are above or around our average open rate, 42%.

Now, when prospective FranFunnel clients ask what open rates they should expect, we can say with confidence that the majority of FranFunnel clients have open rates between 35% to 50%.

Depending on the industry, that's a promise of a 10 to 30 percentage-point increase in open rates.

(Want to know more about FranFunnel? Find out about it here.)

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