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Employers and Organizations


Half of US Employers Find It Challenging to Educate Workers on Benefits

Employers and Organizations

Email Open Rates Play a Role in Employee Benefits Engagement – This Is Why

employee looking up benefits on computer

Last Update: April 3, 2023

A recent survey by Bend Financial1 found that 98% of employers want to be part of their employees’ financial wellness journey by offering the right benefits. However, when using benefits vendors, employers find it difficult to:

  • Educate workers (47%)
  • Educate HR/Internal staff (35%)
  • Enroll employees (35%)
  • Integration of benefits (29%)

With education being a major issue, and with email communications being a large component of employee benefits education, HR and benefits managers should focus on email open rates.

Why Do Open Rates Matter?

An email open rate is the percentage of recipients who open a specific email. It is calculated by dividing the number of opened emails by the number of email delivered. For example, if a benefits manager sends out 1,000 emails and only 100 emails are opened, the open rate would be 100 divided by 1,000 or 10%. Your email service provider (ESP) will provide the open rate of each email sent.

So, why does this number matter? Knowing the email open rate helps you measure how effective your email is. If employees are not viewing the email, then they are not getting the information provided by the email. Improving your email open rates can help educate your employees on the benefits available to them.

Keep Reading: Half of US Employers Find It Challenging to Educate Workers on Benefits

What is a Good Open Rate for Email?

The average email open rate is 20.94%.2 In other words, one out of every five emails you send should be opened by an employee. However, the results of your email campaign could vary widely. Here’s why:

  • Your list may not be up-to-date. If you are sending emails to people who are no longer employees or should not be on your list, then your open rate will be affected.
  • Your subject line may not garner attention. A poor subject line is the number one cause of a low email open rate.
  • The average open rate for your industry may be higher or lower than the average. 

chart of email open rates by industry

Source: HubSpot Email Open Rates By Industry3

Knowing your industry benchmark can help you determine the health of your benefits email campaigns. If your numbers fall below the average for your industry, there are things you can do to improve the results.

How to Improve Your Email Open Rates

Learning how to produce email campaigns with high open rates will help increase engagement with employee benefits. Here are seven things you can do to make it more likely for employees to open the communications you send.

1. Make sure your subject line follows best practices: Almost half of your employees will decide whether to open an email based on the subject line. Here are some best practices to consider: 

  • Be short and sweet – subject lines should be between 6 and 10 words
  • Provide information that lets the reader know the information in the email is relevant to them
  • The subject line should let the employee know what to expect in the email
  • Avoid using all caps or exclamation points
  • Use an emoji

2. Use segmentation: This is a feature that allows you to send specific emails to specific employees. For instance, employees without student loans will not be likely to open an email about student loan benefits. MailChimp4 found that the open rates of segmented campaigns are 14.31% higher than non-segmented ones.

3. Make sure emails display correctly on mobile devices: Campaign Monitor states that emails that do not display correctly on a mobile device are typically deleted within three seconds. This is important because at least half of all email opens happen via mobile device5. When crafting emails, be sure to compress images, keep subject lines short, and check how the email looks on various device screens. 

4. Personalize the emails: Be sure to use the recipient’s name – and make sure the name is spelled correctly.

5. Make the preview count: Email services often allow users to preview the first sentence of an email without opening it. That first sentence should capture their attention and make them want to open the email to learn more. 

6. Avoid landing in the spam folder: Certain words in the subject line and body of the email can cause your email to hit the spam folder. A few of these words include:

  • Best price
  • Consolidate debt
  • Earn money
  • Eliminate bad credit
  • Extra income
  • Financial freedom
  • Free preview
  • Free trial
  • Get out of debt
  • Giveaway
  • Guaranteed
  • Promise
  • Risk-free
  • Special promotion
  • Act now
  • Apply now
  • Call now
  • Click below
  • Click here
  • Get it now
  • Get started now
  • Important information regarding
  • Information you requested
  • Please read
  • Take action
  • Confidentiality
  • Beneficiary
  • Compare rates
  • Investment
  • Opt in

7. Send emails on the right days at the right times: Generally, the best days for emails are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. The best times are 6 AM, 10 AM, and 2 PM. However, this may not be true for your employees. Use your email marketing service tools to determine the best times for your email campaigns.

The Enrich Financial Wellness Benefit integrates seamlessly into your current employee communications. To learn more about Enrich, request a demo today.



1 - https://insurancenewsnet.com/innarticle/half-of-us-employers-challenged-by-educating-workers-on-benefits

2 - https://optinmonster.com/101-email-subject-lines-your-subscribers-cant-resist/ 

3 - https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/average-email-open-rate-benchmark

4 - https://mailchimp.com/resources/effects-of-list-segmentation-on-email-marketing-stats/

5 - https://www.campaignmonitor.com/resources/infographics/24-email-marketing-stats-need-know/

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