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What to do if your 'Open Rate' is low📉
What to do if your 'Open Rate' is low📉

Check this article if you're seeing low open rates, why it happens, and how to fix it. 👨‍🔧

Updated over a week ago

Tracking open rates is not always the ideal form to gauge performance. The true KPI would be the positive replies rate. 🤝

There are different opinions on whether you should keep open tracking enabled or whether it will increase the reply rate and perceived deliverability with open tracking disabled. The open tracking pixel could technically hurt deliverability, but it is difficult to gauge the extent of it.

There could be plenty of reasons why you could be seeing low open rates for your campaigns, and while most of them are quite simple - you need to ensure your accounts and campaigns are configured in the best possible way to maximize your open rates.

Check this Deliverability Cheat Sheet that includes recommendations on your Account's and Campaign's settings. Make sure you have reviewed all the features and from there, you can apply the fixes where necessary.


Here are some common reasons why you could have low open rates:

❌ Email accounts not set up properly

If you do not have SPF, DKIM, DMARC set up properly for your accounts, that could negatively impact deliverability.

❌ Bad subject lines

If your subject line is generic, salesy, and not targeted, there’s less chance people will open it.

❌ Email account not warmed up enough or not using warm-up

If you haven’t warmed up your emails for at least 2-3 weeks before sending cold emails you might see lower open rates. Your own domain’s reputation and how old it is, along with the reputation of your sending accounts affect your deliverability.

❌ Email account sending too many emails

If you’re sending too many emails you might get flagged and most of your emails will end up in spam and won’t be opened

We recommend 30-50 cold emails per day per account (campaign emails) + 25 warmup emails per day per account (i.e. email address)

❌ Using Spam words

Don’t use words from this list and make sure you didn't use them in your email copy using this tool.

❌ Non-personalized Emails

If it’s obvious from the email snippet that the email is generic and not targeted, there’s a lower chance of being opened.

You can use variables and personalized lines to make your email more authentic.

❌ Unverified Lead List

If you don’t verify your email lists there are going to be a lot of email accounts that don’t exist and bounce, which means your open rate is lower.

❌ Using images and links in your copy

Using images and links might cause more of your emails to go into spam and lower deliverability.

If you decide to use images and links in your campaign, our advice is to use them in your follow ups and avoid having them in your initial emails.

❌ Your open rate tracking is off

If your open rate tracking is off, obviously, it is one of the reasons for low open rates.

❌ Not using custom tracking domain

Not using a custom tracking domain means you’re using the same tracking domain as other people and that won’t get you as good of a deliverability as using your own custom tracking domain.

When you add a custom tracking domain, it essentially works as a proxy/mask for

the tracking end-point and it isolates your sender reputation from the rest of the

user base... and so in a nutshell, always use a custom tracking domain.

❌ Blacklists

If the domain associated with your email addresses, custom tracking domain, or any links associated included in your email body are on a blacklist, that will negatively impact deliverability.

You can check blacklist status on third-party services like MXToolbox or Blacklister.

❌ Using generic email

It is much better to use name@company rather than info@company.

❌ Sending at wrong times

If you send emails after work hours, over the weekend, or on holidays, people will open them less. Also, make sure that you schedule your campaign according to your lead's time zone.

If you have leads in multiple time zones, our recommendation is to group your leads based on the time zone and make separate campaigns for each group.

❌ Reputation of email service provider's IP

While most major providers (like Google, Outlook, etc.) automatically take care of the sending server’s IP reputation, this could yet be another reason for low deliverability. Please make sure your email service provider’s IP address is not on a blacklist.

❌ Pixel Disabled by certain email clients

Certain email clients, like the iPhone's stock Mail app, for example, have privacy settings that remove the loading of images by default (to prevent tracking). In case that happens, a tracking event will not get fired. This is an industry-wide problem regardless of which email open tracking tool you use.

❌ Your email’s domain not pointing to an actual website

To fix this, we recommend you to point to your main business website by adding a CNAME record (make sure to use SSL in this case) or by redirecting this domain to your main website.

❌ Your email’s domain not having SSL

Using Cloudflare will give you a free SSL certificate for your domain.

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