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Sudden (overnight) decline (by half) in open

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Occasional Contributor

Sudden (overnight) decline (by half) in open

We have been averaging 20-25% open rates for several years. Then July 3 they dropped literally overnight to 10-12%. We have made no changes. We did check the raw numbers our total number of subscribers is the same, but the number of actual opens has dropped by half. 

 

I'm sure this is a reporting issue. It is unlikely that half of our subscribers decided to stop reading over a 24hour period. 

 

8 REPLIES 8
CTCT Employee

Re: Sudden (overnight) decline (by half) in open

Hello @JohnF39

 

Thanks for joining us in the Community! We certainly understand your concern when your open rates seem to have decreased recently. There are many factors that can go into open rate success. Since we are in the summer months, this can result in lower open rates due to many people who take vacation during this time of year. For more information on open rates, please click here

Brian_H
Community & Social Media Support

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Occasional Contributor

Re: Sudden (overnight) decline (by half) in open

DID YOU EVEN READ THE EMAIL??????????????

 

We are talking literally over night. Up until July 3 we were getting 21-25% July 5 we get 10% and it has stayed there. 

 

Additionally, we are getting emails from our subscribers asking about what happened to their emails (this is an information newsletter not a sales pitch). We checked and their emails have suddenly started going into their Spam folders esp. with Gmail accounts. 

 

THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE!!!!!!!!!!!  We have used CC for several years. We have a sizable list. To see almost half of our readers disappearing because the emails went to spam is not right. 

CTCT Employee

Re: Sudden (overnight) decline (by half) in open

Hi @JohnF39


Thanks for providing us this additional information. We do apologize for the trouble you have experienced trying to get your open rates to where they were. We've been reviewing our inbox deliverability rate for mac.com from addresses. After review we've implemented some changes including a potential fix on July 12, that should help with the issue. After looking into your specific case with our compliance team, another way to resolve this would be to ask anyone who has contacted you about not receiving your email to choose to un-mark it as spam. If you are able to do this for several people, it should ultimately resolve for everyone. In addition, for your reference here is more information on safe sending contacts, which can also help you in this scenario. Please let us know if you need further assistance! 

Brian_H
Community & Social Media Support

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Valued Contributor

Re: Sudden (overnight) decline (by half) in open

We have seen a similar drop in opens at the same time (July 2018), the open rate dropped by about half. We also have recently discovered a problem of emails being delivered to gmail's spam box--and one subscriber who raised this to us didn't even know she had a spam box, it is so well hidden. I guess gmail thinks no one would ever want to evaluate their spam folder to be sure no legitimate mail was being "caught" there. The people I've talked with at Constant Contact's support line are saying the problem is caused because our "from" address is a yahoo account, but we know that not all gmail subscribers have our mail going to spam. But there does seem to be something tied with this July date. I thought at first it was related to the 3rd gen editor, since we switched over to using it more around that time, but now that I see this post which seems to describe essentially the same occurrence I do think there is a pattern that needs to be looked into.

 

Meanwhile, does anyone have a solution to how to reach these gmail subscribers and alert them to check their spam? I would direct a mailing especially to them, but not sure they would ever see that email either.

Tags (3)
Moderator

Re: Sudden (overnight) decline (by half) in open

Hi @JulieL34. Other than switching to our third-generation editor, do you know of any other changes that you took starting back in July when creating your newsletters? I did take a look at a few of your newsletters and saw that they have very long subject lines. One of the best practices that we suggest when creating emails is to keep the subject line short, usually between four and seven words. The subject line is the first thing that many of your contacts see so you want to make sure that it is optimized and engaging for your contacts. We have a few tips to increase your open rate and I suggest taking a look at those, especially removing inactive contacts who have not opened over a period of time. 


Caitlin M.
Community & Social Media Support

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Valued Contributor

Re: Sudden (overnight) decline (by half) in open

Caitlin,

 

The change to the 3G editor is the only change I know of at that time, which is why I mentioned it. What I thought was somewhat odd and worth investigation was the fact that it happened to at lease one other person at exactly the same time. I would have thought Constant Contact would want to look into that.

 

As for the long-ish subject lines, we are aware that shorter ones are recommended but we have some things we are trying to communicate , as well as differentiate new topics being addressed. What we have observed for the most part is that the length of the subject line seems to be less important than its content, in terms of opens--especially when the content is directly related to hot topics in the news.

 

With that said, it remains the case that the length of the subject line is not something we changed at that date--you probably saw that when you looked into our account--so in my mind the length of the subject line does not really explain the sudden drop.

CTCT Employee

Re: Sudden (overnight) decline (by half) in open

Hello @JulieL34,

 

Email clients tend to upgrade and change settings around the same time as one another, so it's not too unsurprising to see multiple people report similar problems at similar times as well.  Looking at your most recent email, there are a few things that could be leading to the email ending up in spam.  Your most recent email is long enough that many email clients may need to clip it short.  Most people do not spend particularly long reading individual emails, so many email clients do not load the entirety of emails which they deem are too long.  As Caitlin mentioned, the subject-line is longer than most email clients will load, which could be leading to some of the problems for a few people at least.

 

Looking through your records, I'm afraid I'm not seeing as sudden or drastic of a drop as mentioned by the original poster.  It seems to on average be slowly decreasing by about half a percent a month.  Some of that could be spam reports caused by some of the reasons I mentioned above, and some by the normal decline caused by contacts who change their email addresses and do not update their profile with you.

 

If you're seeing information that we're missing, or have a specific example of a domain or group of contacts that suddenly changed, then we'll happily take another look.


Aaron H
Community & Social Media Support

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Advisor

Re: Sudden (overnight) decline (by half) in open

FWIW, we had our open rates double, if not triple, all of a sudden in March of 2018 - BEFORE we switched to the new editor.  The rates stayed the same after we switched, which says it's not related to the editor, but to some other mechanism.  Also of interest is that we don't see anywhere near the click-through rates on our tracking services that CC is showing.

 

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