deliverability letter

My subscriber says they did not receive email, but it’s marked as opened - what has happened?

It can be frustrating when a subscriber reports not receiving an email that is marked as opened. Unfortunately, there are a number of reasons why this can happen, and most of them are on the receiver’s end, so there may not be much you can do to fix the issue. However, there are some steps you can take to minimize the chances of this happening in the future.

One common reason why an email can be marked as opened but not actually received is due to certain email clients and providers having privacy and spam protection settings in place.

For example, Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection feature can sometimes trigger open tracking even if the email was not actually opened by the recipient.

This can happen if the email is previewed quickly (such as a notification on the phone) or if the recipient has clicked on a link or image within the email. Similarly, some strict security settings and domains, such as those users ending in .gov or .edu, can automatically mark an email as opened even if it was not actually opened by the recipient.

To help minimize the chances of this happening, there are a few steps you can take:

  • Encourage your subscribers to use a personal email address that does not include .gov or .edu when subscribing to your emails. This can help avoid triggering the stricter security settings and domains.
  • Keep your email reputation as clean as possible by avoiding spam reports and complaints. The more complaints you receive, the more likely your emails will be marked as spam or blocked by strict security settings.
  • Avoid using URLs that are not HTTPS. You can also put links in text, buttons, or images, which will pass the stricter security checks.
  • Ensure that your emails do not contain any other elements that could be classified as spam, such as excessive capitalization or exclamation points, or using certain trigger words in your subject lines.

Finally, you can ask your subscribers to allowlist your emails, which means that they manually set up their email clients to send emails from your domain to their primary inbox.

Different email providers have different steps for allowlisting or safelisting emails, so you can provide them with the relevant instructions. This can help ensure that your emails are not accidentally marked as spam and that your subscribers are receiving them as intended.