This article was published on August 27, 2017

9 reasons why you’re not getting good email open rates

9 reasons why you’re not getting good email open rates
George Beall
Story by

George Beall

If you’re trying to generate new business, an email campaign is a cost-effective strategy that can provide you with countless potential clients. Email can be automated and quick, and it has nearly an unlimited reach in today’s Internet-centric business world.

However, a successful email campaign is not just a matter of sending out a bunch of emails. Instead, your material needs to be carefully crafted to capture your target audience’s attention as they peruse their inbox. If your material does not grab their attention, they will skip over your message without a second thought.

Here are 9 reasons why you’re not getting good email open rates.

1. Failed delivery

It might seem like common sense, but if your emails are not making it to the recipient’s, your open rates will suffer. Over 20 percent of emails go undelivered.

Furthermore, make sure your emails are ending up in a potential client’s inbox. It’s not enough to just make sure emails are being received. You need to make sure your material isn’t ending up in someone’s spam folder. No one checks their spam folder unless prompted. If your messages are missing the inbox, your open rates will plummet.

2. Poor subject line

Many people skip over emails without opening them due to uninteresting subject lines. If your material is not being sent with a compelling subject header, your content will be overlooked and your open rates will decline.

Make sure to use eye-catching phrases and buzzwords that will catch the interest of the recipient. Moreover, keep your subjects brief, as subject lines under 21 words generate the highest open rates.

3. Unfamiliar sender

If your recipients don’t know who you are, they’ll be hesitant to open your material. In a world of spam and malware, many recipients won’t bother opening a message if they don’t recognize the sender. With a 250 percent surge in phishing attempts through email in 2016, people are increasingly cautious about the emails they open.

4. Sending emails to disinterested recipients

Email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter – but only if your recipients are opening them.

Pay attention to who is opening your emails and who is not. If you keep sending your material to disinterested parties, your open rates will tank. If someone is not interested in what you have to say, most of the time there’s not much you can do to change their mind. Accordingly, your emails will just keep getting skipped over or deleted.

5. Improperly formatted emails

51 percent of emails are being opened and read on mobile devices. Accordingly, it’s imperative that your content functions on various mobile platforms. Open rates are tracked by images loading in a preview or by a respondent clicking on a link within an email, so if recipients cannot see these images or find these links due to poor mobile formatting, your open rates are going to decline.

6. Uninteresting introductory paragraph

As mentioned, the recipient merely opening an email doesn’t necessarily contribute to the sender’s open rate. People are busy and time is precious, so if your material does not capture the reader’s attention within the first few sentences, they’re likely to stop reading and miss out on clicking the links or loading the images that will boost your open rates. 38 percent of people who read online content don’t make it past the first paragraph.

7. Lack of an offer or incentive

If you’re not incentivizing your material, your open rates will suffer. People need a reason to open your content and usually, an offer or incentive is the way to achieve this. However, there is a fine line here as sometimes offers or incentives appear to be spam.

The trick is to offer loyalty incentives. Emails with incentives related to loyalty have a 9 percent higher open rate than those with no offers at all.

8. Maze of text

If your emails are too wordy or are so poorly organized that it’s difficult for readers to quickly find links, your open rates will go down. Most online readers only make it through about 60 percent of the material they’re reading. This fact mixed with links that are hard to find in a “maze” of text will lead to missed opportunities.

9. Poor timing

Believe it or not, timing is important towards improving poor email open rates. While email is beneficial because it can be sent from almost anywhere at almost any time, ignoring the times when your client-base historically opens emails will hurt your numbers.

In general, at 19.9 percent, Tuesdays have the best open rate. Of course, this will vary by market and industry, so make sure to keep track of the days and times when your potential clients are opening your material and then concentrate your efforts accordingly.

An email campaign is a great way to reach new clients. Typically it’s cost-effective and time-effective, but it’s only successful if you’re putting in the necessary effort to ensure your recipients will actually open your content. If still, you’re uncertain about your email marketing, offers excellent tips on launching a successful email campaign.

Get the TNW newsletter

Get the most important tech news in your inbox each week.

Also tagged with