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Troubleshooting: subscriber didn't receive a Broadcast
Troubleshooting: subscriber didn't receive a Broadcast

If one or more of your subscribers didn't receive your Broadcast email as expected, here's what to look for.

Updated over a week ago

Subscriber didn't receive a Broadcast, but you're not sure why?

You're in the right place!

In this article, we'll go over how to determine whether the Broadcast was delivered (or attempted to be delivered) to that subscriber, plus how to troubleshoot why they may not have received it.

NOTE: This article is for troubleshooting Broadcast sends. We also have similar guides for Sequences and incentive emails.

Check the subscriber's profile

The first thing to check for is whether that Broadcast shows up in the email history on the subscriber's profile.

To do this, search the subscriber's email address via the search bar on the Subscribers page.

Then, click the subscriber from the list of results to view their profile. You'll be on their email history tab by default:

On that tab, all of the emails that have been sent to this subscriber from your ConvertKit account will be listed from most to least recent.

Scenario 1: The Broadcast is in their email history

If you can locate the Broadcast in question in the subscriber's email history list, hover your cursor over the circle icon to the right of the word "Broadcast" to reveal its status.

Here's what each status means:

Bounced

There are multiple reasons why a Broadcast may bounce.

Some are just temporary issues (for example, the subscriber's inbox being full). To learn more about bounces and why they can occur, click here!

Failed

If a Broadcast failed to send, please reach out to us and let us know the Broadcast's subject line and the subscriber's email address. We'll investigate possible behind-the-scenes causes for you.

Sent

If a Broadcast has a status of "Sent," this means we sent it, but the recipient's email provider hasn't sent us confirmation that they've accepted it yet.

☝️ This does not necessarily mean that the email was not delivered to the subscriber. In many cases, the recipient's host will send this confirmation after a delay. In some cases, we never receive it, and this is usually not a problem!

Typically, the best next steps for this status are the same as those for these next three statuses (as this helps eliminate the most common issues we come across):

Delivered, Opened, Clicked

If a Broadcast has any of the above statuses, it means that the recipient's email provider accepted the email, and from there, we no longer have control over it.

It's up to the recipient's host to place the email in the subscriber's email account, such as in their inbox or spam folder.

The next step is to gather some more information from the subscriber directly:

  • Did the email end up in the subscriber's spam folder?

  • If the subscriber is a Gmail or Google Workspace user, did the email end up in their Promotions tab?

  • If the subscriber is using an organizational email address, does it have automatic opens/clicks enabled as a security setting?

  • Similar to the above, if the subscriber is using an organizational email address, was the email blocked due to a security setting? They may need to contact their company's IT team to verify this.

Scenario 2: The Broadcast isn't found in their email history

If you can't locate the Broadcast in the subscriber's email history, this indicates it was never attempted to be delivered to that subscriber. The most likely reason for this is that the subscriber was excluded from the Broadcast's recipients list at the time of sending.

To verify this, first duplicate the Broadcast that the subscriber didn't receive. (Click the three horizontal dots next to it from the Broadcasts page, and then click Duplicate.)

Once you have the duplicate in your account (it'll be created as a draft), navigate to its Publish page to view its subscriber filters. The filters of the duplicate will be identical to those of the original send.

Here's an example of how those filters might look:

Using this information, you can determine whether the subscriber in question fit the recipients' list criteria at the time that Broadcast was sent.

Let's say you'd set up your Broadcast to send to all your subscribers except those who have the "Purchased Paddle Boarding Course" Tag. If a subscriber didn't receive the Broadcast, this could be because they had been tagged with "Purchased Paddle Boarding Course" at the time the Broadcast was sent.

You can verify the date and time a particular Tag was added to a subscriber by going to the subscriber's profile and hovering your cursor over that Tag on the left sidebar.

☝️ TIP: Try creating a Segment in your account with the same filters you used for your Broadcast send.

If your subscriber matches those criteria, they should be included in that Segment as well. This can be a handy litmus test!

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