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Question:What does a newsletter's open rate mean?

Answer:Open rate refers to what percent of the people who were sent an email newsletter actually opened the
email message. It is a fuzzy concept for several reasons. First, because the technology used to identify
the opening of an email message is the pulling of a transparant gif from a server, what requires that gif
to be pulled doesn't necessarily require someone to really open the newsletter. Second, just because
someone opens the newsletter (this can be effected by seeing the newsletter briefly in a preview pane),
doesn't mean they've read it.

In any event, people still like to determine their open rate, notwithstanding the problems involved. There are two types of open rates to think about.

Unique Open Rate: This is the open rate associated with unique users. For example: a user who opens the newsletter several times will be recorded as one unique open.

Simple Open Rate: This is the open rate where someone who opens the newsletter several times will be recorded as several opens. This open rate will be higher than the Unique Open Rate.

Which one is better? It depends. If you're looking for advertising reach, the Unique Open Rate is a better measure. If you're looking for advertising frequency, then the Simple Open Rate is fine. Just be sure when you compare open rates, to use the same one.


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