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My email open rates dropped. What should I do?
My email open rates dropped. What should I do?
Petra Molnar avatar
Written by Petra Molnar
Updated over a week ago

If you see a sudden/significant drop in email open rates compared to your average figures, there are few things to check.

Do you send from a verified custom domain email address?

Starting early February 2024, major inbox providers like Gmail and Yahoo are requiring some senders to meet a new standard of email authentication. While these standards have long been considered best practices, they will now be required in order to ensure a high deliverability rate and to keep your emails out of the spam box.

Learn more about these new verification requirements here to understand if your sender domain is compliant.

We also encourage you to check your email compliance status using Google's Postmaster Tools.

If your sender domain is not fully verified yet, you can either use our built-in automatic verification flow or cover the required verification steps manually.

Have you recently switched to a custom domain email address?

After you set up your verified sending domain, you might notice a brief change in your open rates. This is a normal part of the process!

When you make significant changes to your email sending methods, like setting up a new domain or submitting new records for verification, mailbox providers take a little time to reassess your sender reputation. This re-evaluation process might temporarily affect your open rates. It’s a bit like the providers are getting to know you again.

Fluctuations in open rates are normal during this period. You can expect to see things stabilize and return to normal within 2-3 weeks of consistently sending emails through your verified domain.

In the meantime, here are a few tips to ensure your emails maintain the best chance of reaching your audience:

  1. Start with a low sending volume to engaged users, and slowly increase the volume over time.

  2. Keep your email content relevant and engaging.

  3. Encourage your subscribers to add your email address to their contact list.

Is your email content relevant and without spam flags?

Changes in email content could impact engagement and delivery rates. If you change the format of your bulk emails, gradually increase the sending volume of messages with the new format. See best practices tips in the previous section.

As inbox providers never disclose how their spam filter algorithms works, it's hard to prepare for every possible scenario. But there are some common reasons why emails may be caught by spam filters.

Has your email been clipped by Gmail?

Gmail automatically clips emails larger than 102kb and subscribers need to click the ‘View entire message’ link message to see the full content of the email.

Clipping will "clip" your reported open rates by 50% or more, because even if a subscriber opens the email, Gmail will not count it as opened unless they click the 'View entire message' link.

To understand if your email may have been clipped, test send your email via the paper plane feature to a email address and if needed, amend your email design.

If, after following the above recommendations, your open rates are still low, we encourage you to submit this report. In the details section on the second page, you can use the following:

Emails sent with my ESP, Flodesk, may be delivering to the spam inbox as open rates have dropped significantly, from X% to X%. We have added the necessary DKIM, SPF, and DMARC records for compliance.

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