12 Replies Latest reply on Sep 21, 2018 8:13 AM by Dan Askin

    Open Rate Malfunction

    Dan Askin

      Context:

       

      Before Saints games, we send a preview email to the full DB. OR fluctuates depending on team performance (and clever copywriting), but has been fairly consistent over the last few seasons.

       

      Before our first 2018 preseason game, OR dropped by 75% YoY. CLTR, on the other hand, was up 50%, with clicks up 150%. CTO was 70% -- a metaphysical impossibility in this universe, but maybe not in the multi-verse.

       

      I submitted a support ticket since the OR was an absurdity. Other templates were humming along as usual. The game preview code didn't change much from last year, but I speculated that something in my clunky html/css may have screwed with the 1x1 tracking pixel, which I assume is appended by Marketo. We do use a bgr image -- a pattern -- and the emails are fairly image-heavy (example below), but nothing insane. I'm scratching my head. The OR, when combined with the CTO and CLTR, isn't possible.  

       

      I got a whole host of suggestions for improving deliverability (we're still on a shared send IP), including getting the NFL's domain authenticated with DKIM or SPF. "From the recipient side of things, if your team has been sending emails from Marketo at high volume for a period of time from a domain that does not have an authenticated DKIM or SPF record, it appears as though Marketo is not authorized to send emails on your behalf. This also increases the chance of your emails landing in the spam folder over time since the email was addressed from your domain, but sent from an IP address with a Marketo domain. Your team may have experienced strong Open rates in the past, but since receiving email clients can't validate that Marketo can send on your behalf, the receiving server will begin to place your emails in the spam folder as opposed to the inbox or promotion folder."

       

       

      email.png

       

        • Re: Open Rate Malfunction
          Josh Hill

          While you should always have a dedicated IP for high volume and setup all those technical details (which are well documented here and on docs.marketo.com), you are likely being hit by two things:

           

          • Spam Filters deciding you have a low reputation and aren't making it to inbox.
          • Spam filters testing links (click link) -- this is also discussed in several places here.

           

          I summarized things here The Great Spam Click Bot War - Marketing Rockstar Guides

            • Re: Open Rate Malfunction
              Dan Askin

              Thanks, Josh. We've sent subsequent emails with no issue in OR. This seems like an outlier -- especially given the CLTR is entirely within an expected range (there's no saying that expected range hasn't always include bot clicks, of course). We haven't seen the erratic click activity you reference in the piece. This is literally, out of the blue, a 4% OR, impacting only one type of email (of dozens). Just sent an email yesterday afternoon with the more expected OR.

               

              I'm taking a deeper dive and will try that stealth link approach in our next send, but I haven't been able to find any ancillary evidence for what just occurred.

                • Re: Open Rate Malfunction
                  Josh Hill

                  In that case, you may have hit a spam trap/blacklist that day. You can monitor those at mxtoolbox.com or similar.

                    • Re: Open Rate Malfunction
                      Dan Askin

                      It's was consecutive Fridays (2 sends total) -- again with just one email template. And would a blacklist cover 75% of clients, which coincidentally were also the poorest engagers, ie OR was gutted, but CLTR and click metrics were in line with expectations for each send. My gut tells me it has something to do with the 1x1 tracking pixel and not spam.

                       

                      We've had issues w/ Marketo's send IPs ("warming up IPs" for a month, eg) and aol/cox/bellsouth email addresses, but nothing like this.