Open rates dropping over 50%

Regular Participant

Open rates dropping over 50%



We email our customer base regularly, normally once a week with information relevant to them. The open rates for this have genuinely been extremely good and sustained over the last year, so we have grown to understand what to expect. (around 15-20% for Groups and 35-45% for individuals)


Since late February both our individual and group customer open rates have dropped by around 50%.  The last group email achieved an open rate of 10% and the last individual one just 15%.There is no obvious cause for this and it is clearly very concerning for us. I suspect that these have started landing in junk boxes and we saw this ourselves as we are on the mailing list for testing purposes. Is there anything we can do, short of moving email client, if our Constant Contact emails start getting flagged as spam? 


Hello @SamB12 ,


Here are some general best practices for deliverability.


Deliverability can have a lot of variables, from elements on our side, on your side, on the recipient's side, and in their email system company's side. It's also a generally good idea to set up additional authentication for your emails - whether that's through us if you have a free domain (e.g. Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, etc.) or via self-authentication if you have your own domain (such as through a business or other organization).


If you'd like to learn more about safelisting, and what it entails:


Safelisting domains in a security system


Safelisting email addresses in an email client or security system


If you're wanting more in-depth, specialized insight on your current deliverability, it'd be worth speaking with one of our Deliverability agents.

William D
Community & Social Media Support

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Since last June (2020), I have seen our opening rate go from 60% down to 40%. I believe this is due to all gmail accounts are going to the Promotions folder. I have spoken to CC and we have tried to rectify this problem. Also, I have spoken to many of my members (we are an international dog club) and instructed them on how to move the email from the promotions folder to their regular email in-box. This has been a huge problem and not one I think we can overcome. Google is pretty big .. 

Regular Participant

Hi CCA-JBG, this is certainly a possible factor but is an odd one overnight. Also we saw similar drops in our to business emails, which won't be using Gmail in all likelihood. It is unfortunate that something I'm extremely glad of from a personal standpoint in Gmails promotions folder is causing a problem for the work version of me and others! 

Regular Participant

Open rates continue to be extremely low but we are also opening emails ourselves (as we send some internally to managers) which aren't being tracked. Is there an issue with open rate tracking perhaps rather than deliverability? 

Hello @SanB12, Thank you for reaching out. I would recommend reaching out to our Deliverability team so that they can review the open reporting. They will want examples, so it would be great if you have that information when you call in. Thank you!

Amy Y.
Community & Social Media Support

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strategy for your business and get the most out of your Constant Contact experience.

Hi Sam, 

Something to try is to start future emails with a tutorial of how a recipient can take the email they receive and move it from Trash/Spam to the inbox. Or, if the emails are landing in Gmail's promotional or social tabs - encourage recipients to move them by dragging them into the primary tab. I've seen some people do short video tutorials around this topic. 


The other thing to consider is - keep building your email list.  New sign-ups are going to be much more interested vs. people who've been on the list for a long time.  So, that's where I focus a lot of my attention. Also, how are sales? Though open rates may have fallen, is the company still getting the same bang for its buck by sending out the newsletter?  We often focus on open vs. click rates. Clicking is more important because that's when someone is actually taking action. I hope this makes sense.  Feel free to comment back or reach out to me if you need more insight.  Good luck!  It's a changing business and it's often hard to tell why something changes! 

Albert Kaufman - Here to help you make the most out of your account. Let's work together:
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Couple things that you can do to try to fix your drop in open rates:

  1. A/B test your subject lines to fine tune and tweak the copy. Keep in mind that less is more when it comes to subject lines. So, you do not want it wordy but short, sweet and to the point. Ask a question or be direct and try not to get too tricky with it.
  2. Test the time of day that the email goes out. Not sure what your target audience but if it is a work-related email mornings are typically better. Also, keep in mind what time zone the recipients are in.
  3. Scrub and check over your list. Do you have a lot of bounces and if so, are they due to simple typos in the email address?
  4. Are you repeating the content in these weekly emails or is the information new?  If the content is all new then can the weekly emails be changed to 1 time every two weeks or once a month? If you are repeating the content that is another issue and your customers may have determined that you do not send them relevant information and have started to ignore your emails.  If the later is the case you will have to rebuild the list back up and gain there interest again to become relevant.