ActiveCampaign Forum

Engagement Drops Significantly Over Time


I’ve been with ActiveCampaign since 3/15 and love the automation features. I was with Aweber previously and had noticed a deep drop in opens and clicks over time.

When I switched to AC those number went back up: my first email to my existing list with AC had a 30% open rate and a 9% CTR. I was pleased with those numbers.

However, over time those important stats continue to fall, even though I remove Inactive Subscribers every month, run a re-engagement campaign, and segment my list. I understand the importance of list health and am careful about sending only quality emails.

My current open & CTR are 8% and .7% respectively. That’s simply not acceptable, especially with all the careful list health maintenance I do.

I didn’t open a support ticket on this because it’s not a one-time technical issue; it’s a trend, and a deal-breaker for me. I’ve tried sending more relevant emails to small sections of my list, but that doesn’t help either.

I watched your webinar on Engagement, and heard the stat that you normally see a 25% drop in engagement over the period of a year. I listened to every recommendation on the webinar, and I’m doing them all (except for having different sending frequencies).

I’d appreciate hearing from someone at AC regarding this lack of engagement, as I’m sure I’m not the only one experiencing it. I just increased the amount I pay for AC because my list is now over 5K. Which is awesome, but my last email, sent to 4K people got just 32 clicks. And the email was sending a segmented list to pure content.

Looking forward to a reply,
Maria Peagler


Hi Maria,

My name is Alex and I work on the deliverability team at ActiveCampaign.

I’m very sorry you’ve seen a decline in your open and click rates. I do agree that an 8% open rate is not what you should be getting if you have good hygiene and data collection practices. Our good senders typically see open rates around 15-20%, sometimes as high as 50%.

This, of course, depends on a lot of factors.

The first place I recommend starting is to run an advanced search in your account for all contacts who have never opened a single message. If your hygiene programs are effective, this number should be very low, and should approximately equal the number of subscribers who have recently joined. If this search comes up with a lot of subscribers, you’ll know there might be a loophole with your hygiene programs that are allowing inactive subscribers who have never opened to remain on your list.

This is easy to fix using our engagement management tool, which helps you remove all the contacts who haven’t recently opened. If you go to the lists Tab and click the dropdown menu next to a list you can then choose "Engagement Management”:

If there aren’t a lot of inactive contacts in your account, it’s very possible there is a technical issue. This could be an issue with your DKIM, SPF, or DMARC records, a blacklisted domain in your message, a block of some type, or a reputation issue. These are all things we’d be happy to troubleshoot in particular for you.

The last thing I would recommend is to review your data collection practices and make sure that the branding and messaging on your form matches the brand of the email campaigns you are sending. If subscribers sign up and then receive messages on a different topic, from a different brand, it’s sure to cause deliverability issues. It’s important to make sure this fundamental process is not creating problems. Make sure subscribers are very informed about what they are signing up to receive via email. Maybe send them a welcome message informing them about what they should expect to receive. If they are just purchasing, make sure they are aware their purchase also adds them to your email list.

If you want to send an email to we’d be happy to do a deep dive on the deliverability in your account and see what might be responsible for the low open rates. I’m positive we could help you make some progress!


Hi Alex - thank you so much for your prompt reply and your suggestions.

I did do a search of subscribers who have never opened my campaigns, and found it to be less than 10%, but still a number too large for comfort. Many of these are recent subscribers from a highly-targeted and successful FB ad campaign.

That leads me to believe I do have a deliverability problem.

Since I’ve paid for these leads I don’t want to remove them yet, but I would like to delve further into this issue.

I will submit an email to the address you suggested and go from there.

Would love to be able to talk to someone - a real person - at AC. I don’t have the Pro plan because I’m not in sales, but do online training. So the sales pipeline doesn’t make sense for me. I’d be happy to upgrade if I could get a dedicated rep who would work with me on this.

Thanks in advance,


Hi Maria,

Yes, 10% would be natural provided that those are recent signups.

I will look out for your ticket so we can take a look at the specifics on your account. I’m sure we can make some progress once we look at the details of what’s happening.

If you upgrade plans you can certainly get a dedicated Customer Success Manager who can advise on deliverability This one on one support is the main value of upgrading to a Small Business or Enterprise plan. For more information about how our different service levels compare, please see here:


I would also suggest signing up for Gmail Postmaster Tools – it will give some insight as to whether your emails are getting to the inboxes. I bet a good portion of your subscribers are on gmail.

Some other email address providers have similar (or even better) postmaster dashboards allowing you to monitor deliverability of your emails to your subscribers.


Hi @nick. This is an old thread, but I wanted to ask you if running your own authentication through your own domain improved your deliverability compared to using ActiveCampaign’s default domain?

It’s not that I don’t trust ActiveCampaign when they say that doing your own authentication won’t likely help with deliverability. But they have thousands of sender accounts averaging out the numbers. Perhaps some individuals, like you, will in fact see improved deliverability.

Thanks for sharing.


@nick I just wanted to point out we have an article on how to setup Google Postmaster and why you should do it:

Google Postmaster is super helpful for anyone with a Gmail-heavy list, which depends on your country of course, but for anyone in the US Gmail will typically be >50% of your list, often closer to 60-70%.

And yes you are right @greenstreammarketing that some senders will benefit from setting up their own authentication. Generally we recommend you do this. It’s a best practice. We just like to make clear that setting u DKIM won’t magically solve all deliverability problems - it all comes back to the fundamentals of keeping a clean, engaged list, properly opting in contacts and sending them content they genuinely want to receive and will engage positively with. If you focus on something it’s better to focus on those fundamentals not the technicalities of DKIM, which usually has a somewhat minor impact on deliverability for most ActiveCampaign users.