ActiveCampaign Forum

Extremely low open rates on an email campaign

I just migrated from MailChimp, where my campaigns would average a 15-20% open rate. I’ve sent my first 3 AC campaigns this week and the first two had 15% open rate (normal).

However, I sent a campaign today and the open rate is less than 5%!! I even resent the same campaign to non-openers and the open rate so far (a few hours after sending) is only 1.1%!!

Any clues as to why this might be happening? I’m using the same subject lines I normally wrote for my MC campaigns, so I’m wondering if maybe the deliverability in MC is simply better than AC.

I’m very concerned because 5% is not my normal open rate, so any feedback would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance for your reply,



Is it to the same exact list as the people who opened the first two?

Could it be fatigue if it’s the same offer or related email that the other two emails were about?

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Sounds like a fluke if the first three tracked as normal. You can go here to check the sending side if you are using your server. If you are using AC you know it is crystal clear. Additionally you may want to open a G Suite account and configure DKIM to optimize sending.

With me, happens the same thing. My open rates are really low and all my contacts subscribed and confirmed subscription. When I send via sendgrid, the open rate is much HIGHER. Why?

Yes, I’m sending to the exact same lists. I don’t think it’s fatigue because 1) the rates are extremely low, and 2) with Mailchimp my open rates used to be much higher even with the same kind of offer.

Yes, I’m using AC to send. So far it seems to be kind of hit and miss because after sending 2 campaigns with extremely low open rates, the next one had decent (not very high though) open rates. Today I sent another campaign and it seems to be somewhat low as well. Any tips or ideas?

Moving to a new email provider is sort of like changing your domain name and losing your Google rankings for SEO. It doesn’t always happen, but you may see a drop in deliverability. There are steps you can take to ease this transition with link redirects, but the reputation you had previously established with your old domain name will need to be rebuilt.


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It’s weird because after sending a few more campaigns, some of them have high open rates while others have extremely low ones. The campaigns are fairly similar, subject lines are also consistent. It seems like there is a variable I’m not aware of that is driving the variance in open rate.

Anyone else has had a similar experience with AC?

Any input would be welcome.


Here’s a screenshot to show what I’m talking about

imm499 - I’m going through the same thing, but my open rate has reduced down to 1/3 of the opens since moving from Aweber to AC.

Did you get your open rates back up, and if so what did you do?

Pretty frustrating for me, because it’s really affected my leadflow.

How long has this been going on for you, when did you migrate?

I migrated in the 1st week of June, and it’s been about 7 weeks and still is low for me.

Trying to solve this one the best I can, no luck so far really.

I did a test with GlockApps between my old Aweber account and ActiveCampaign, and found definite issues with Activecampaigns gateway sending to Yahoo specifically (all yahoo going to spa folder). I’m 60 days in and it not really improving that much, it’s really impacting my lead flow for my business because over 1/4 of my list is yahoo addresses. Basically through Aweber all the mail got through to the Yahoo inboxes, and ActiveCampaign ALL of it went to spam

Basic GlockApps results on gateway ratings…

Aweber gateway: 97 / 100
AC gateway: 87 / 100

For my biz this is a BIG problem, and the deliverability team quite frankly hasn’t been all that helpful, other than sending generic articles over. Pretty disappointed right now.

Hi there,

I’ve been able to improve my open rates a bit more through several calls with the AC support team. Here’s some of the strategies I’ve used:

  • Removing inactive contacts (this seems to improve deliverability, and there’s an automation in AC for that)

  • Using different senders and sticking to the one that has more opens (this worked somewhat to avoid gmail from sending to promotions tab

  • I was using a double colon on the sender field, which sent my emails to Yahoo spam (apparently other providers don’t allow double colons too)

  • A/B testing subject lines also seemed to help

Hope this is useful to you

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Curious to see if ya’ll open rates improved.

I had some issues in the past as well and sometimes AC has to tweak the mail server I think that you’re using if there’s an issue. But since I’ve really only ever used AC it’s hard to tell if I’m at a disadvantage compared to other services.


Have you fixed this issue yet?
I see the same on my email open rate. Also migrated from Mailchimp to ActiveCampaign and seeing a drop overall on my email open rate (12-15% on average from 20-30%) .
Recently it has gone far worse — 2 of my campaigns had <5% open rate. Resent one to recipients who didn’t open it and the open rate was 1.26%.
I wonder what’s causing this problem. Doesn’t look like random hit and miss because the open rate is extremely low. Could it be anything to do with the system?
Anyways, I hope you’ve solved the problem, and can’t wait to hear about the solution!

We’re going through the same thing. Our first few campaigns were similar to our Mailchimp open rates, but now we are at 1-5% to our retail list. I read some general articles from AC on sending to your most active/engaged customers for a few weeks, so I’m going to try that route to see if I have any luck. I’ll report back if it’s positive.

Did anyone find a good solution for this problem?? Experiencing the same thing.

I have had open rates of over 80% on students that wanted more information on a certain program we offer using a different email automation program.

Now openrates have dropped to below 29% which is a huge fall and impacting the leadflow.

I have done al sorts of checks and being sent generic tips but It´s the exact same setup as with the other automation program. Still clueless what changed and also on how to check it ourselves. We have heard back that some email got into spam folders. Looking at the numbers that doesn´t surprise me. Any experience with this ???

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Hi imm499 - we are currently experiencing the EXACT same issue. Our list size is even similar to yours (a little over 14k)

We’ve ALWAYS had 15-20% open rates in Mailchimp. Switched to AC, worked great for about 3-4 weeks, then BOOM - open rates at just 1%-3%, definitely not fatigue. We have a great, engaged list…

But this has definitely affected things for us… it feels like our email address got “black flagged” or something…

We went back to mailchimp and did a campaign and then it only got like 4-5% open rates!

…have you found any solutions yets? (I know this is an older post) - let me know what you found!

Thanks in advance

Just adding this list…

I’ve seen a drop from around 19% to 5% for pretty much the same communication.

It’s an industry that doesn’t open much - typically 20%. But dropping to 5% makes no sense at all.