What is an average / target open rate for an HTML-based monthly newsletter? I am measuring open rate based on the number of hits a particular image within the newsletter gets. However, more and more email clients nowadays are disabling emails until the user clicks a link - and how many users actually click the link? Is read rate based on a user reading a piece of mail or actually clicking the link to read it correctly (and therefore, be tracked). Unless I'm mistaken, there's no way to track read rate unless images are enabled.

I doubt it is anymore than 5% if you are lucky. I guess you could some kind of dynamic to some css in the html which goes through a script that counts the hits? I don't know whether that is possible, just an idea. I am not sure it is worth the effort because most people will probably click a link if they are interested. You have so many member and most of them haven't made more than 10 posts so it is unlikely that many will open the message let alone read it. It is sad but true... :( ;)