Sent and delivered—did you reach them?

You will know the effect of your campaigns by looking at, and comparing delivery rates, open rates, click rates, and bounce rates.

A high delivery rate, together with a high open rate, is something that you're aiming towards for all your send-outs. At the same time, low bounce rates mean that your list management and complaint rate are at a good place.

Sometimes you may see a high delivery rate but a low open rate. Either for a significant drop for one specific send-out or decreasing open rate over time. For those cases, we would like to offer some tips and tricks. Let’s have a walkthrough.

   Delivery Rate  Open Rate  Bounce Status
1  Good  Normal  Good
2  Good  Sudden drop  Good
3  Good  Drop over time  Good
4  Lower than good  High

Some comments regarding the rates
Good delivery rate: 99 % and above. Subsequently a good bounce rate: lower than 1 %. We encourage you to investigate your delivery rates regularly to improve your reach and list quality.

What a normal open rate is will defer from business to business. Therefore, it's hard to state an exact percentage for sudden drop and drop over time.

Case 1
Business as usual—looking good.

Case 2
Sudden drop can indicate that the emails are being delivered to the domain, but not reaching the intended recipient. This can be suspected because the delivery rate is normal, but the open rate has had a sudden drop. A drop in the open rate may indicate that your recipients are losing interest, but the drop in open rate is more gradual in those cases.

If you see a sudden drop in open rate for one send-out and the next send-out looks “normal”, then the drop was most likely a temporary thing—you don't have to act. If you see this for consecutive send-outs, taking action is in place.

Please follow the steps below:

  • Using Engage's segmentation tool, check the open rates for each of your top five domains for the last affected send-outs and compare their opens against a “normal” send-out. Since there is a sudden drop in open rate, most likely it has to be on one of your top domains to give this kind of impact.

  • After you have identified the domain, contact the ISP, make your case, and ask for mitigation. If you are unsure of what to write, please see the guidelines at the end of this article.

Case 3

To make sure that this is not a Case 2, we recommend that you do the same check as above first.

Otherwise, a drop in open rate over time generally means that your recipients are not as active as they used to be. This doesn't have to be a deliverability matter and we suggest that you check your general CRM strategies, such as segmentation and send-out frequency.

Case 4

If you have a low delivery rate (< 95 %), this is something you may want to inspect. We recommend that you go through the bounces to understand the reasons and act towards a solution.

Many Soft Bounces due to Full Mailbox?
Maybe it's time to adjust the segments or reach out to these contact through another channel, maybe SMS?

Many Hard Bounces due to poor spelling?
Look over your sign-up process—confirmed option may be a solution.

Please see the domain overview statistics for a more in-depth bounce analysis.

Guidelines for contacting the ISP:s

For most ISPs you can send an email to (ex The email should contain the following information:

  • A short brief about your business and information about that you use Engage's CRM platform for your email communication.
  • Let the Postmaster know that you are concerned about the sudden drop in open rates and that your sendouts are looking good in general but not for this particular domain.
  • Inform that your recipients have properly opted in, expect to receive communication from you, and have the possibility to opt-out from every email.
  • If you have any users that have contacted support because they're not receiving emails from you, it's good to include this information.
  • If you are sending from your own IP—note the IP in the email. Otherwise, say that you are sending from Engage’s IP Pool. (If you are unsure about this, please contact our support for assistance.)

For Hotmail, we recommend that you use this form Microsoft Support Request and state your issue in the field “Copy and paste any error messages”.

Was this article helpful?
0 out of 0 found this helpful



Article is closed for comments.