Eight Reasons Why Customers Don't Open Your Emails (And How You Can Fix It)
Email marketing is still a very productive method of reaching out to customers and establishing rapport. Even further, developing an e-newsletter is one of the best ways that companies currently have to maintain their outreach with existing clients.
However, as useful as email marketing is, the average user is inundated with dozens of emails every day, meaning many businesses end up getting lost in the clutter. While they may have important news or information to share, these businesses fall short of actually securing leads or persuading customers to open their emails.
Here, eight members of Young Entrepreneur Council examine some of the factors that may be preventing businesses from connecting with their clients and how they can creatively overcome these hurdles.
- Failure To Segment
Your customers are interested in different subjects, are members of different demographic groups and buy your products for different reasons. These differences have to be taken into account to motivate customers to click on an email rather than the delete or spam-reporting button. Too many businesses take the “throw spaghetti at the wall approach.” They bombard customers with emails in the hope that something sticks, when they should use data to segment email lists and tailor subject lines, teasers and content to the interests of well-defined customer groups. E-commerce sales, purchase histories, browsing histories, social media data and other information can help businesses intelligently segment email lists and send marketing messages that appeal to individual customers. - Chris Madden, Matchnode
- Lack Of Personalization
People are more likely to open emails that address them by their names and talk about their interests. Emails that have clearly been written for a faceless mass lack emotion and excitement. There are online productivity tools like opt-in forms that allow you to capture user details.
Businesses can also use email marketing service providers to help personalize their emails. You can make your emails more attractive by including the recipient’s name. Try to offer personalized content such as discounts for products that they have shown an interest in. By making your emails more personalized, you make customers feel like you’re engaging with them directly. This is very effective and productive, as it will lead to higher open rates. - Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
- Boring Subject Lines
I find that most emails I receive have a boring subject line, so I delete them immediately. More often than not, they’re self-serving or completely promotional. Yet, as someone who does a fair amount of email marketing (for my own businesses as well as clients’), I like to send out subject lines that are short and to the point. Sometimes I will ask a question or make a controversial statement. Question subject lines usually get a three to four percent higher open rate. - Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC
- Emails Not Adding Value
Customers don’t need generic marketing from you in their inbox. Customers know where to find you and will keep track on social media or your website. When reaching out proactively through email, think about the value that your communication gives to your customers. Are you sending a personal update related to their purchases or activity? Are you sharing new information that they will be interested in, even if they never make another purchase? Are your customers waiting for a specific announcement or promotion that you want to let them know about before telling the rest of the world? If you’re just informing them of news they can find elsewhere, that may be why you’re not getting the engagement you want. If it’s a special or valuable message, you’ll see more opens and click-throughs. - Omer Trajman, AskFora
- No New News
There are many reasons why people are not opening your emails. Some theories about why they are not opening are that the subject is not catchy or you are not targeting the correct segment, but the biggest offender is repeat emails without breaking or synthesized new news. If you have authentically and ethically obtained your email list, then your subscribers are interested in what your product or service offers. You do need to reach out to your base with regularity, but with information that is critical to your industry as it applied to theirs. An example in SEO and digital marketing would be the recent Google core update released in September. Many clients saw the news, and our synthesis of the information as a trusted source explaining how it pertains to them is valuable and open-worthy news. - Matthew Capala, Alphametic
- Bad Timing
Many modern businesses have customers worldwide, and your email lists can be a cacophony of people from different time zones. It’s crucial that you start to get to grips with when people are most likely to open your emails. It will be different for every business, so there’s no use relying on marketing’s “old wives’ tales” such as always sending on Tuesdays and Thursdays after 1 p.m. The reality is, you have to use an email productivity tool that can provide you with some sort of analytics functions. Email is one of the most powerful marketing channels you have at your disposal and you can’t risk lowering your engagement levels. Many email tools will offer you a visual guide for when people are opening emails and what their resulting click rates are. Decide which is most important to you and act on it. - Ismael Wrixen, FE International
- Unclear Brand Identity
You have to look deeper than the subject line, deeper than the campaign, to the tone and voice of your brand. I’ll open the most boring email subject from someone I trust (or like). So, what’s your brand like? The more brands that catch up to the digital marketing frontier, the noisier the space becomes and the more essential it is to distinguish yourself—not through gimmicks, but through a true, interesting brand voice. So, who are you? What is your voice? If you don’t know, then a clever subject line is just a distraction. Focus on developing your brand personality to guide your content and strategy. By the time you get to your subject lines, it’ll feel natural. - Jessica Gonzalez, InCharged
- Too Many Emails
When a business sends customers too many emails, it makes the customer feel overwhelmed. Soon, the emails pile up in their inbox and they’re more reluctant than ever to open them. The worst-case scenario is that they get frustrated with so many emails and decide to mark your email as spam. They are also likely to unsubscribe, and you’ve lost a potential customer. Businesses can avoid this by making sure that they don’t send emails too frequently. One email a day can be a lot for people who are working and have little time to read marketing emails. Sending multiple emails a day is a bad idea. You can build anticipation by sending high-quality emails with useful content one to two times a week. This way users aren’t bothered with too many emails. - Blair Williams, MemberPress
Keep in mind, as email marketing is one of the most productive and efficient ways to build and expand your business by engaging with customers it is crucial to craft emails that are accurate and well-written. Consider using a productivity tool such as Rephraser.ai to efficiently edit and professionalize your writing. This will ensure that the content you send out is fluent and nuanced, increasing the customer’s trust in your brand and making them more likely to read your emails.
Adapted from an article written by Forbes Expert Panel, Young Entrepreneur Council, first published on forbes.com, November 13, 2019