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Addressing Low and Inflated Email Open Rates

Learn more about interpreting email open rates and effectively measuring alumni engagement.

Krithipa R avatar
Written by Krithipa R
Updated over a week ago

Addressing Low Email Open Rates

Open rates indicate if emails are reaching and being opened by recipients, but don't fully measure engagement.

Low email open rates can be addressed by:

  • Email Content: Create compelling and personalized emails to boost opening chances.

  • Subject Lines: Design subject lines that grab attention and spark curiosity.

  • Sender Reputation: Follow best practices to maintain trust and avoid spam filters.

  • Recipient Interaction: Use calls-to-action to foster active engagement with your emails.

  • Spam Placement: Prevent emails from being marked as spam to improve open rates.

  • Sender Reputation Impact: Avoid spam flags from users to protect your sender status. Also, ensure all emails comply with anti-spam regulations.

As email clients evolve, open rates may not accurately reflect engagement due to tracking limitations and automatic email openings.

Understanding Inflated Email Open Rates

Causes of Inflation:

  • Server Scans: Outgoing server filters might register as opens, notably with emails containing links or attachments.

  • Provider Scans: Email Service Providers may scan outbound emails as part of spam prevention, affecting open rates.

  • Spam Filter Scans: Emails undergoing security scans by recipient spam filters can be counted as opened.

  • Email Client Behavior: Actions such as opening an email from the 'Sent' folder may cause unintended open counts.

  • Tracking Pixel Replication: Inadvertent use of tracking pixels in copied content can result in inaccurate opens.

  • Secondary Opens: When emails are CC/BCC'd or forwarded, any opens by these additional recipients are tallied for the original sender.

  • Bounced Email Opens: Opening a bounced email notification that includes the original message can trigger open counts.

  • Preview and Scanning Tools: Emails loaded in preview panes or checked by scanning tools might falsely contribute to open rates.

  • Automated Scanning: Browser extensions or integrations designed to scan content can inadvertently inflate open rates.

  • Privacy Features: Features like Apple's Mail Privacy Protection can cause emails to register as opened when downloaded to Apple servers for privacy preservation.

To track accurately, consider:

  • Recognizing the constraints of open rate tracking for individual engagement.

  • Using open rates for overall trend analysis, not for definitive behavior metrics.

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