Significant decrease in Open Rate in 2020 versus 2019

Marije_Koek
Level 1

Significant decrease in Open Rate in 2020 versus 2019

I hope someone can help me out!

We are currently sending out a newsletter on a bi-monthly basis - one of our largest email blasts. In 2019, the average open rate was around 30%/35% per newsletter. Since the beginning of 2020, this rate dropped and the 3 newsletters we sent out this year all ended up around the 25%. We do not know what has caused this sudden drop so consistently, as the newsletter remained similar in quality as did the target audiences. We have done some A/B testing for any changes in 2020 versus 2019, but nothing big came out of this. I know open rates are not always accurate but a -10% drop is extremely big.

I am enticed to think it could be due to a different way open rates are measured by Marketo/ISPs, because it happened year-over-year, but that is just an assumption. Does anyone have any ideas what could have cause this large drop or how we can tackle this?

 

5 REPLIES 5
Ronen-Was-SRpro
Level 7

Re: Significant decrease in Open Rate in 2020 versus 2019

Hi @Marije_Koek ,

Did you make any general changes such as the day and time that you are sending the Newsletter?

How many subscribers for the newsletter do you have in 2020 vs 2019? Usually, if the rate of the subscribers goes up not all of them will open the email and this can be the main reason.

 

 

Thank you.

Ronen Wasserman
Marije_Koek
Level 1

Re: Significant decrease in Open Rate in 2020 versus 2019

Hi @Ronen-Was-SRpro, we did not change the day - always on Thursdays - but did make changes in time to see if that would increase the open rate in 2020. Unfortunately, that was not the case and sending out an email at 14:00 or 16:30 resulted in a similar open rate in 2020 (25%) even though this same time resulted in 35% open rate in 2019.

 

I check the amount of subscribers and this actually did not change and was the same in 2019 as 2020 at 21k.

SanfordWhiteman
Level 10 - Community Moderator

Re: Significant decrease in Open Rate in 2020 versus 2019

Rather than 2019 vs. 2020, you should run a 2019 vs. active pandemic 2020. Layoffs, furloughs, and just plain other-stuff-to-do should be expected to cause a dip in engagement.

ChristinaZuniga
Level 10 - Champion

Re: Significant decrease in Open Rate in 2020 versus 2019

Could it be COVID? For a while everyone in the world was sending out emails and everyone has to rely on digital right now, maybe it's not specific to your newsletter maybe your subscribers are overloaded on email in general?

Since A/B testing isn't helping, maybe a survey asking people for feedback (could do a raffle incentive or other way to get responses) on the newsletter that might shine some light onto what is happening. Or have your Customer Success team ask as part of their check ins with customers (if your list is customer heavy).

Marije_Koek
Level 1

Re: Significant decrease in Open Rate in 2020 versus 2019

@ChristinaZuniga @SanfordWhiteman COVID could definitely play a role it that via the two ways you both mention. However, this trend already set in in January when we sent our first email. Therefore, we think there must be another reason for this large drop since it is so consistently from the beginning of 2020.

Nevertheless, it is a good point to start with collecting feedback about content/overall newsletter to gain more insight if there