Has something changed in the way emails are being delivered. Our open rates were almost always in excess of 50%. Now all of a sudden they have dropped to 20% - 25%. That is completely unacceptable when we are trying to get important information to our members. It seems to be happening on the emails that are being sent to larger lists.
Might it have something to do with copying emails in the previous format rather than recreating them in the new formats? That's when the issues seemed to start.
There are quite a few things that can affect open rates, especially over a period of time. Many people's email address will change over time. They change jobs, get a new Internet service provider, or change their email address for some other reason, and their old address simply becomes inactive. Most people don't think to update their email address on every site that might email them, so over time every account is going to build up some of these bad addresses, which will definitely decrease your open rates as time goes on unless you clean them out. Checking your bounce report is a good place to go to see if some of those addresses are bouncing for any reason.
Open rates of 20-25% are closer to the average we see in most industries, you can see the overall average open rates here. If you want to bring up that open rate even more though, after cleaning up your bounced emails, in general the best thing to work on is your subject line. That's the only thing that contacts can see before they open your email, so optimizing your subject line can make all the difference.
Thanks for the information, however it just seems odd that all of a sudden the open rates fell dramatically. We are very aware of bounce rates and clean them out and mark them as inactive in our database. So I'm not sure what is going on. I'll be sending out another mass email hopefully by the end of today and I'll see what the results are.
That sounds like a plan!
Please let us know if you have additional questions and have a great rest of your day!