A Sudden Decrease in Open Rates

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Hi! Our team is investigating a recent trend in our email marketing. We’ve observed a decrease in our open rates over the past few months. Previously, our open rates consistently ranged between 45% to 50+%. Currently, they sit around 30% to 35% (a decrease of about 13%).

Note that:

  • We haven’t made any major changes to our email design or layout.
  • Our subject lines are similar to what’s always worked for us.
  • Click-through rates remain comparable to previous campaigns.

We’ve also observed a shift in engagement because clicks on our social media buttons within the emails have increased. Clicks on these buttons were usually minimal to none, but now we’re seeing an average increase of 10-15 clicks per social media platform.

We’re wondering if this decline could be related to the recent changes we made to comply with Google and Yahoo’s requirements. We’re curious if these changes potentially affected our deliverability.

Any insights or similar experiences from the community would be valuable. Thank you!

7 replies

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Hey @EzraaaaNPC hope you are doing well.

Have you tried A/B testing your subject lines over multiple campaigns to see if the copywriting makes an improvement?

Your open rates could also be affected by any of the following reasons:

  • The type of email (promotional, sales, informative etc.)
  • How often you send to your list / segments (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly etc.)
  • Smart sending is turned off (Depends on how often you send and if you have customers going through your flows etc.)

Does that make sense? 


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Hi, @eCom2Win_Marketing


Thank you for taking the time to answer my query. We usually send one email per week on weekends. We tried sending giveaway emails and free printables to up our open rates because they usually get an open rate around of 55%+, but lately we struggle to even get to 40%.

This sudden drop is concerning because our open rates have been consistent without changing our templates/our subject lines, specifically for giveaways and free printables. 

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@EzraaaaNPC Open rates aren’t a singular indicator of deliverability. In order for your open rates to go down from a deliverability issue, your overall deliverability would also need to go down. Fewer emails being delivered mean there are fewer people to open them. If your deliverability/spam complaints haven’t changed since updating to your branded sending domain, then your change in open rate wouldn’t be connected to that. 


It’s important to note email marketing isn’t a perfect science where the same thing always works in perpetuity. If it were, then it would be super easy! Especially if you’ve been using the same strategy/content for a while, it’s possible your list is simply saturated from it. I’d suggest doing some list cleaning to remove your unengaged contacts and try to re-engage your subscribers. 


Here are some resources to help you with this!

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Thank you @kaila.lawrence for the insight on this one! 💪🏻

@EzraaaaNPC  I know list cleaning would be a great start for sure.

My team had seen similar situations recently and we have been tracking Gmail deliverability using Google's Postmaster Tool and if you're not using it, it would be a good idea so you have more insight into your deliverability issues as well.

Link to Google’s Post Master:

​​​​​​​Hope this helps!


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Hi @kaila.lawrence and @eCom2Win_Marketing. Thank you for sending your resources. I’ll check them out! It’s my first time hearing about the Postmaster Tool. 

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Hi @kaila.lawrence! I would also like to add that we clean up our list regularly and we follow email best practices, that’s why we’re a bit confused as to why our open rates dropped basically overnight. But I’ll look into the re-engagement campaign strategies! 


If we were to change our email layout/template, would it affect our deliverability? 


Thank you!

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You're thinking maybe those tweaks you made to follow Google and Yahoo's rules might be messing with your email delivery. It's definitely worth investigating.

Here's the plan: First, take a closer look at those recent compliance changes. Sometimes, even tiny adjustments can cause ripples. Keep a close eye on your email delivery stats. If bounce rates or spam complaints suddenly spike, that could be a red flag. Maybe try slicing up your email list into different groups. Tailoring your content based on who's engaging more could help boost those open rates. Experiment with different email tactics. Play around with subject lines, content, and calls-to-action to see what catches your audience's eye. Stay in the loop with what's happening in the email marketing world. Trends change, so it's good to keep evolving your strategy. Lastly, chat with your subscribers directly. They might have some insights into what's working and what's not.

Keep at it, and with some tweaking and experimentation, you'll hopefully see those open rates climb back up soon!