Why Nobody Is Opening (Let Alone Reading) Your Emails

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Sending out promotional emails often leads one to a nagging question: ‘Why Is Nobody Opening Your Emails?’ If it feels like you’re shouting into a void, you’re not alone. We’ve identified several common reasons why nobody is opening your emails. This article will explore the common reasons why emails go unread and how to fix it.

A good first step to understand and resolve this problem is by checking something called your email open rate. This is the number of people who open an email out of the number of people who received your email. If you’re using an email provider like MailChimp or Constant Contact you can view your email open rate from your dashboard.

Healthy email marketing plans that drive revenue and retention clock in at an open rate of 20% or higher. If your open rate is below 20%, there are a few quick fixes you can address to get people opening and reading your emails.

Illustration of effective email marketing strategies and metrics on a computer screen
Optimize Healthy Email Marketing, Get Your Edge.

Why Nobody Is Opening (Let Alone Reading) Your Emails

1. Why Nobody Is Opening Your Emails: The Common Mistakes

A user effortlessly navigating a mobile-optimized email list on their smartphone
The importance of mobile optimization for your emails.

In 2013, more than 50% of all emails were opened on a mobile device. This means that it’s more important than ever to write and design emails that look good on a mobile phone – otherwise they’ll go right in the trash. Keep your subject lines short (about 30 characters or so) will make sure that your customers can easily read the whole thing on their minimized screens.

2. It Looks Like Spam

It’s tempting to try and create a sense of urgency with email subject lines like “FREE gift today only!” or “HUGE sale!!”. How could someone not open that email? In today’s world of email spam, these subject lines look suspicious and unverified even if they’re from genuine subscribers. How to Tackle the ‘Nobody Is Opening My Emails’ Problem? The problem is that spam senders use titles like these all the time and will create a false sense of confidence with your customers.

There is still some value to sending emails with subject lines like these but you should make sure to provide more context around what it is that you’re provide to demonstrate that you’re a legitimate business. “FREE gift today only!” could be “A free birthday gift from [your business name]”.

A cluttered inbox filled with various spam emails from different senders.
Avoid making your emails look like spam to get better open rates.

3. Why Is Nobody Opening Your Emails: Overcoming the Challenges

A bad email list is one that is bought or collected without the permission of the email address owner. As you can imagine, people are very reluctant to open emails or let alone read emails from people they don’t know or have ever given their information to. Not only will your email go straight to the trash, but you may face some brand tarnishing or even legal issues.

For more information on bad email lists read:

8 Reasons You Should Never Buy an Email List

Why Your Business Can’t Afford To Use Purchased Email Lists

Display of a well-structured email list, perfectly optimized for viewing on a mobile screen.
The first step to better open rates is a high-quality email list

When you’re not seeing the results you want, it’s easy to throw in the towel and believe that email marketing is simply not worth the time or effort. It turns out that email marketing is still one of the best channels out there for communicating with customers – 77% of consumers prefer to hear from a business via email. Combine that with the fact that more than 90% of consumers check their email every day and it becomes hard to say no to email marketing. Even if it’s a simple newsletter or annual discount, email marketing is an important and beneficial strategy to growing any small business.

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