I received an email a few weeks back from a colleague who has a client that’s struggling with their MailChimp open rates. Like any newsletter program there’s always a strong chance that your newsletter can show up in their spam folders. It happened to a client of mine earlier today.
I had so many issues with a clients deliverability a few months back that I reached out to MailChimp to see what was going on. Here’s what Caleb (a fantastic customer service rep) said:
As you may know, open rates are not an exact science. There’s quite literally dozens and dozens of variables that can effect the open rate of campaigns and the average open rate, although it varies, usually doesn’t ever exceed 30%. That said, A low open rate generally indicates one of these things:
- Your subject line is not relevant or interesting enough
- Your list is composed of a wide variety of subscribers
- You may be sending too many or too few campaigns
There’s also the consideration of updated security policies affecting delivery. These days more and more companies, public and private, are raising their DMARC security settings which can cause emails to be quarantined.
The first thing I have had clients do is to set up custom domain authentication which will help with their DMARC security settings. Here’s instructions on how to do this. I attempted to set this up for my website but HostGator wasn’t having it. I’ve since migrated my hosting (for a variety of reasons but this was the tipping point). I suggest having your web developer handle this unless you’re really tech savvy. (Don’t ask me for help on this specific thing, it is not one of my many talents.)
Review Your Open Rates
If you often have low open rates then it’s time to try out different times of day and different days of the week for delivery. MailChimp will let you try some A/B testing where you can try half the campaign with one time and the other half with another time/day. This way you can see what works better for your audience. I did this with a client and we’ve had better open rates since we analyzed those results!
Resend Your Newsletter
And a third option to help with your open rates is to resend the newsletter a few days later. Don’t change the subject line, just resend to everyone on your list who didn’t open the newsletter the first time. When I started to do this I realized I have a few colleagues who receive the newsletter at a couple of different email addresses, so we got that cleaned up after they commented on receiving my newsletter twice.
When your newsletter open rates are low it’s easy to get discouraged. Don’t get discouraged, get to work. It’s not them, it’s you. Try a new delivery time, try sending it again, make sure your technology is working WITH you not against you.
If you have questions or want to talk more about increasing your open rate, let’s chat.