Why open rates are stupid

Everyone’s got a stupid (and wrong) opinion about something, and this is one of them…  


First off I get it…Email marketing is probably the most drying boring subject for most people.  


But if you’re in business, then you’re in the marketing business, and this is something you should tune into (at least today and at least from me)… 


Email open rates are always brought up to the point where people get almost hard-on-like excitement as if they know what the hell they’re talking about…  


It’s the first question/comment that comes out of people’s mouths: “What are your open rates?”, “I think I’m doing pretty good, I’ve got a 30% open rate”.  


And I’m the first to say:  


“Open rates mean little to me… actually it means jack”.  


This is coming from someone (me) who’s sent over 2,000 email blasts (not individual emails) to lists ranging from 500 people to 60,000 warm opted-in people.  


My peers who are actual email operators as well… say the same thing.  


“But Paul… you’re wrong because more opens mean more clicks and more revenue” 


 – Anonymous Joe with a worthless opinion 


Anonymous Joe with a worthless opinion, let me say this:  




(at least not consistently… just some “farts” that happen randomly)  


In fact, I’ve seen the opposite happen more frequently… where less opens equal more revenue.  


Not saying you should strive for lower opens — but saying this to prove a point: Monitoring and getting excited about opens are as worthless you as an investor getting excited about a random person interested in renting your house (without any income check, background, or appointment to see the property).  


That’s why I’ve never used opens as gauge of success.  


If it’s cold email marketing, there is some credence to monitoring opens (more so for deliverability and list interest)… but the king metric to look at is the reply rate, THEN (most importantly) revenue from the total campaign (and you need a lot of emails for cold emailing to gauge whether it’s working or not). 


If it’s warm email marketing (to a list that knows you) revenue is the number one metric — specifically:  


Email revenue per contact.  


Nobody talks about that^.  


Not even email providers like Mail Chimp, or Send Grid, etc. 




Cause they don’t know what the hell they’re doing either.  


Yeah I know, here I am bashing email providers when they have lots more data than I do… well, let me fill you in something: Lots of data does not mean it’s the right data (plus have you ever gotten one of their emails (mail chimps, Aweber, etc)? The “top” platforms in email marketing hardly send any email themselves. And when they do, it’s the driest info you can find)  


There’s a reason why I (and my peers) SMOKE “industry revenue benchmarks”…  


It’s because most people suck at email marketing.  


  1. They send only when they have something to sell (treating their list like a booty call). 

  2. They only send “Look at my offer” emails. 

  3. They never tell stories (stories sell). 

  4. They’re dry and never leverage problems/pain (this is what sells — not the offer alone).   


So if you’re interested in adding top-of-the-line emails (targeting motivated sellers), that build you as a trusted resource, and get the utmost response if/when they’re ready…  


Then book a call with me here. 


Paul do Campo  


P.S. There’s a whole lot more to it I didn’t get into. Reasons why, what opens are really used for, how relationships, personality, and emotions drive decisions, and how email is the perfect platform for leveraging pain/problem, etc… but I’ll reserve that for another day or perhaps in a course/book (if anyone is actually interested in how to email like a pro, reply back and let me know and with enough interest I may create something.