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Incorrect open rates - what they depend on

Question asked by Anastasia Alpeeva on Mar 28, 2019
Latest reply on Apr 3, 2019 by Anastasia Alpeeva


We send content newsletter on a regular basis. Previously we always used several templates for different audiences, and because of that flow of our campaigns was quite difficult and with a lot of wait steps, and Marketo proccessed it slowly.

Since all the templates differ from each by one block only, we decided to update it and create one template with a velocity script for that block. Of course it allowed us to simplify the flow of our campaigns as well.

And then something strange happened. When we used 5 templates our open rates were very low. And then they increased several times (in average from 5% to 15%) when we switched to one template with velocity. Nothing else chnaged: it's the same audience, similar content, similar subject lines, more or less the same time of sending. Different template and flow, and now Marketo processes the flow much faster. The other interesting thing is that it didn't influence click rates. Open rate didn't change for any other campaigns either.

All that makes me wonder if this change of open rates is because people really started to open the newsletter more for some reason or simply because Marketo didn't count all the opens correctly before. I know that open rate is not 100%-accurate for all the sendings, but this time I cannot think of any logical explanatition to what I see.

Have anyone had any similar situations? Do you know why that might happen? Is it possible that Marketo doesn't count open rates correcly if the campaign flow is long and has many choices and wait steps?

I'd appreciate any ideas