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Open Rate decline with new template. Why?

  • 25 August 2021
  • 5 replies
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We recently changed our eDm template to a fresh, new design with a more structure layout & navigation bar. Since using this template, we have noticed a great decline in open rates. All parameters & settings have remained the same as the old template, yet I’m trying to troubleshoot why the open rate has dropped off so much. 

Click through rates have increase despite the open rate declining, so this would only suggest that the new template is doing it’s job. 

The only thing i have noticed so far as part of my troubleshooting exercise, is some images used a JFIF (compressed JPEG) format. I’ll make sure that these are now JPEG.

One of our team members received the email in their junk folder with this message. 

NOTE: The send is the same as what we used on the old template. 

 

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated. 

 

 

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Best answer by David To 25 August 2021, 19:45

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Userlevel 6
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Hello @p.simo90,

Thanks for sharing your question with the Klaviyo Community!

A decrease in open rate can be caused by a number of factors. The most prominently factor that impacts your open rate is the engagement levels of your recipients. Other factors that play a role in this is the subject and preview lines of your email, the content of your emails, and your email authentication. All of these factors play a role in impacting your brand reputation and deliverability. 

Since it sounds like your email may be landing in the Junk/Spam folder, which would be out of your recipient’s direct line of sight in their inbox, this leads me to believe there are opportunities you can improve upon by following deliverability best practices. I would suggest taking a look at the following Help Center articles Klaviyo offers on improving your open rates and deliverability:

I would further suggest taking a look at some helpful Community post made by our Deliverability Specialist, @wei.he on this subject which i’ve linked below:

I hope this helps!

David

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Hello @p.simo90,

Thanks for sharing your question with the Klaviyo Community!

A decrease in open rate can be caused by a number of factors. The most prominently factor that impacts your open rate is the engagement levels of your recipients. Other factors that play a role in this is the subject and preview lines of your email, the content of your emails, and your email authentication. All of these factors play a role in impacting your brand reputation and deliverability. 

Since it sounds like your email may be landing in the Junk/Spam folder, which would be out of your recipient’s direct line of sight in their inbox, this leads me to believe there are opportunities you can improve upon by following deliverability best practices. I would suggest taking a look at the following Help Center articles Klaviyo offers on improving your open rates and deliverability:

I would further suggest taking a look at some helpful Community post made by our Deliverability Specialist, @wei.he on this subject which i’ve linked below:

I hope this helps!

David

 

Thanks for the feedback David.

Subject line, recipients & segmentation has not changed since using this new template. We have done everything the exact same way as last time with our old template which is why i am paying attention to something within the new template that is directly affecting open rates. Sender email address has also remained the same.

I suspect it might be to do with images or content within the eDm, but unsure where to start. Is there any recommendations when building content, the do’s and don’t, and what Gmail might deem as suspicious? We have the highest open rate with Gmail users. 

 

Userlevel 6
Badge +43

Hey @p.simo90,

Gmail and other inbox providers do not share their benchmarks on how they grade your emails or determine your sending reputation. If you suspect your open rate is being effected by the content used in this new template, Klaviyo does offer some content best practices in the Create Engaging Content subsection of the Understanding Deliverability Best Practices Help Center article I provided previously. 

One thing to keep in mind is that the engagement levels of your contacts are going to naturally wane over time. For this reason identifying and resolving your decreasing KPIs is important as these downward trends can build upon one another. Because of this, we strongly recommend incorporating a routine list cleaning practice to root out any unengaged contacts regularly. List cleaning routinely is best practice as email clients (like Gmail and Yahoo) track how recipients interact with emails from your domain over time. For example, continued outreaches to the same list or segment where you are seeing a decrease in performance as your contact’s interest wanes would reflect negatively on your sending reputation as this would indicate to these email clients that you are not adhering to best sending practices of contacting an engaged audience. When suspicions such as these are raised it brings into question if your contact lists were collected legitimately and/or if opt-out is being adhered to to cause this lack of interest in your contacts. You can learn more on how to improve one’s sending reputation and list cleaning from the How to Strengthen Your Sender Reputation and Guide to List Cleaning  Help Center article.

Have a great day!

David

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Hey @p.simo90,

Gmail and other inbox providers do not share their benchmarks on how they grade your emails or determine your sending reputation. If you suspect your open rate is being effected by the content used in this new template, Klaviyo does offer some content best practices in the Create Engaging Content subsection of the Understanding Deliverability Best Practices Help Center article I provided previously. 

One thing to keep in mind is that the engagement levels of your contacts are going to naturally wane over time. For this reason identifying and resolving your decreasing KPIs is important as these downward trends can build upon one another. Because of this, we strongly recommend incorporating a routine list cleaning practice to root out any unengaged contacts regularly. List cleaning routinely is best practice as email clients (like Gmail and Yahoo) track how recipients interact with emails from your domain over time. For example, continued outreaches to the same list or segment where you are seeing a decrease in performance as your contact’s interest wanes would reflect negatively on your sending reputation as this would indicate to these email clients that you are not adhering to best sending practices of contacting an engaged audience. When suspicions such as these are raised it brings into question if your contact lists were collected legitimately and/or if opt-out is being adhered to to cause this lack of interest in your contacts. You can learn more on how to improve one’s sending reputation and list cleaning from the How to Strengthen Your Sender Reputation and Guide to List Cleaning  Help Center article.

Have a great day!

David

I appreciate your response David, however let me clarify our ongoing issue as I don’t believe it relates to those things you have mentioned.

On the 18th of Aug is when we redesigned our template. Overnight we found that our average open rate declined sharply. Out of approx. 7.5K contacts we would have around 23%-28% open rate after 1 week - we now sit at around 12%-15% after the same period of time. 

I’ve also done A/B testing to see if it was in fact the template that may have caused this issue. What we found was that the old template had about a 5% higher open rate than the new template. However, this is where it gets interesting… I did another test not long after with the old template again and the open rate is still extremely low in comparison to those that were sent 2+ weeks ago.

It’s difficult to narrow it down and i no longer suspect it’s the new template. Our city is currently in lockdown which is one reason to attribute to the cause, although the same time last year we were also in lockdown and the open rates were not as dramatic. 

Very hard to pin point what the cause of this may be.

Send address, segmentation, contact list etc have remain the same...

 

Userlevel 6
Badge +43

Hey @p.simo90,

Happy to hear you were able to run an A/B test to conclude that this lower than anticipated performance was not caused by the content. Since the cause of this is not related to the switch in templates; and the subject lines, preview text, and sender address are the same, this indicates the dip in performance is stemming from a deliverability issue due to your sender reputation. 

As mentioned in my previous comments, I would strongly recommend List Cleaning and using the strategies and best practices mentioned in the How to Strengthen Your Sender Reputation Help Center article to get back on track. Improving one’s open rates and sender reputation is a process that takes time and is not an overnight fix that also requires routine maintenance such as proper list cleaning. 

I would further suggest reaching out to our Klaviyo support to have a closer look at your account to investigate if there were anything glaring that our team can point in to provide next steps. In addition, many of our Klaviyo Partner Agencies offer an account auditing service which can provide more in-depth assistance in reviewing and investigating areas of improvement. 

David

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