What is a good open rate for a email newsletter? #SubStack Newletter #StartingPoint

The 2nd most frequent question we get from potential clients after “How many paying subscribers can I get“? is What are good email newsletter “open rates”?

Email Newsletter Open Rate
SubStack email newsletter open rates

Most newsletter creators are early in their journey. We get this question from creators who have fewer than 1000 users and have been curating and editing their newsletter for fewer than 6 months.

We track and manage over 67 newsletters across multiple categories. Most are technology newsletters (22%), followed by general news, politics, self help, sports and business.

70% of our newsletters are paid, and 30% are free newsletters. 7 started before 2018, 49 in 2018 and 2019 and 9 in 2020.

Free newsletters have open rates between 35% and 62% with subscriber counts ranging from 300 to over 7200.

Paid newsletters have open rates between 47% and 64% with paid subscriber counts ranging from 150 to over 2800.

Some interesting insights from our free newsletters alone.

  1. Open rates for users of newsletters in 2020 are higher on a cohort basis than those that opened in 2019 by 7%. That means, email newsletters X weeks after starting their newsletter in 2019 had 7% lower open rates the same number of weeks in than those the started in 2020.
  2. Open rates for Politics and General News are the highest, followed by Technology. Open rates for Self Help category are the lowest.
  3. Open rates for weekend newsletter episodes than during the week newsletters in 73% of the newsletters
  4. Open rates for morning (before 11 am) newsletters are higher than evening (after 6 pm) in 63% of the newsletter episodes
  5. Newsletters that are sending 3 updates or more a week have higher open rates than those sending only 1 update weekly.