High Deliverability, But Low Open Rate

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High Deliverability, But Low Open Rate

Hello Everyone,

Typically our campaigns going to one specific segment have high deliverability (upwards of 95-99%). We also typically get open rates in the mid-20% to low-30% range. We rarely switch up our subject lines drastically other than throwing in synonyms from time to time to refresh the words that the end receiver is seeing.

With all that being said, we recently did a campaign that had a high deliverability percentage (~97%) but had around a ~14% open rate. Is there anything technical we could have done wrong here? Could it be something with the end receivers ISP? Also I'm assuming that if an email was blocked by the ISP, it wouldn't be counted as "delivered", correct?

Any insight on this would be great, because I'm a little lost as to what could have caused this on our last email. We do typically have to take other things into consideration (we sell to higher education, and now is back to school time for instance and our users have their heads focused on other things at the moment).

Thanks for any and all feedback/advice!


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Re: High Deliverability, But Low Open Rate

It will be difficult to know for sure:

  • if you have Return Path or 250ok, you can run your campaign to their test lists and see what your inbox percentage is. Perhaps it is now lower.
  • Open rates are pointless anyway because images can be blocked in preview, so it's possible more people did that due to software changes on their end. Nothing you can do other than try to use ALT text to entice people to do image download.
  • You want to focus on CTR - what was it here? This is a much better indictor because it is an active engagement metric - the lead has to do this to take an action.
  • Is this list mostly gmail or hotmail or yahoo? Perhaps you were dinged finally for oversending in a time period.
  • You should always innovate - don't assume the same thing will work after a few months. Maybe people got tired of your subject lines?
  • What was your hard bounce rate? Was it higher here?