Improve low email open rates

Last updated: August 16, 2018

Applies to:

Marketing Hub
Professional, Enterprise
Legacy Marketing Hub Basic

When sending email via HubSpot, you may at some points notice that your email engagement isn't what you want it to be. Your open rate may be lower than it was previously or your emails may be going directly to spam. This usually happens gradually over time due to previously unmonitored negative email activity. 

When sending email in HubSpot, it's important to actively monitor negative email activity like unsubscribes, low opens, and spam complaints. When these are not identified early on, they can cause your email activity to decline over time and impact your ability to reach the inboxes of contacts who want to hear from you.

Take a look below at some cause/effect pathways that often lead to undesirable email results:

You can see from the above examples that there were repeated negative email engagements that were not addressed.  This, over time, caused a large amount of bounces, junk filtering, and low opens.

Here are a few things you can do to try to improve email interactions:

1. Activate the graymail suppression feature for your marketing emails. 

Graymail is email that your contacts have received, but have not engaged with. By enabling this feature by default in your account or for a single email send, you can avoid sending to unengaged contacts. 

2. Perform an audit of your sources.

Take a look at the contacts that are not engaging well with your emails. View their properties and look at their original source data. There may be one or two sources (Offline, Paid Search, etc.) here that prove to be an unreliable source for your email marketing.

For example, you might find that most of your disengaged contacts are coming from offline sources, specifically from your CRM. This may prompt you to explore the most recent imports and become more strict about who you include in your email campaigns.

3. Launch an email re-engagement campaign.

The HubSpot Academy team has a Contact Re-engagement Email Campaign project that will walk you through identifying and building a list of your inactive contacts, then creating an email and workflow to nurture these inactive leads back into engaging.

After the re-engagement campaign, you might find a sample of contacts who still remain disengaged. You may consider taking those out of your email lists for a while. They could re-enter your lists by subscribing to email or filling out a new form.


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