Email marketing has great potential to transform your business.

Through emails, you can not only update information to your customers but also engage them in active participation through various contests and competitions to create extra buzz on your website and thus boost your sales.

However, it is essential that the emails you are pumping in are read and responded to appropriately.

While it is not reasonable to expect a 100% response from your email campaigns, the fact is that some (or even many) of your subscribers won’t even open your emails.

Let's explore some of the reasons why this happens…

email open rate

Purchased lists

Purchased lists have poor email open rates.

The purchased list might have been created in a legitimate way or through the opt-in method.

However, the list serves the interests for whom (or by whom) the list was created.

Even though a most reputed business source creates the list, the purchased list may not serve your purpose unless and until the members in the purchased list are specifically informed about the chance of receiving emails from a third party (like you).

For example, if a purchased email list was created on a blog catering to child development and the same list is being used for the promotion of your car racing products, the impact will be negative.

Not only so, but you will also be treated as a spammer.

Series of emails

A successful email strategy consists of a series of emails.

Instead of sending a single mail and getting it down yourself, you should have an alternative second mail if the first mail is not opened.

However, you can change the subject matter to make it more impressive and the body of the email treated appropriately.

Your emails are not customer-focused

Customer engagement is crucial to turning your email campaign into a huge success. By effectively heeding the users’ feedback and suggestions, you can shed the negative aspects of your emails.

The content, layout, and periodicity of emails should be optimized to the satisfaction of the majority of your email subscribers.

Customer-focused emails make your subscribers long for your emails instead of being turned away from you!

While sending emails to the subscribers of our weight loss blog that features Weight Watchers and Nutrisystem discount codes, we focus on customer issues or problems and send in a deal or a simple tip/solution to their problem.

Your emails are not worth the stuff

It is not only the regular pumping of your emails but also the quality of content that matters most. Your mail should make a difference in the reader’s life. It should never be a time pass or time-wasting affair unless your niche belongs to that segment of the business.

Email news can comprise industry news and views, useful tips and tricks, surveys and polls, special offers, exclusive coupons, Questions & Answers, etc. Properly stuffed articles not only get thumbs up from your subscribers but also may be circulated to their contact lists allowing you to get a new set of customers or email subscribers.

Your emails may not have crossed technology barriers

Before launching an email campaign you should double-check the penetration level of your emails in terms of reach.

Your emails should cross web browser barriers.

Your subscribers should have the option to receive either plain text or html mail.

You should balance the email content with images to achieve a higher response rate.

Mismatch of mail timing

When it is time for celebration or holidaying, your email may not be noticed by your subscribers. At the most, you can greet customers as per the occasion and promote your brand visibility.

It is definitely not the right time to push your mail of business importance.

Not keeping short and simple

Your email content should be short and simple. If you are conveying a story of long length or a long interview, you are advised to feature the same with a short headline and a short paragraph and you can include a link to the full story.

This measure will be user-friendly as they can jump into the required information part by not spending time on unnecessary long stories.

Misleading subject

Most of the time, people get carried away with the subject of your emails. The subject should be attractive and the body of the email also should be relevant.

A misleading subject will reduce the image of your brand and you can expect further reduction in email response rates.

Do you have any more reasons?

Please share them in the comments.


About The Guest Author 

Jane‘s interests range from blogging and internet marketing to health and weight loss. Much of the information she shares in this article comes from her blogging experience in diet blogs like that feature a 30% off Weight Watchers promo code. Jane currently experiments with strategies to promote her Nutrisystem coupon codes. Nutrisystem is a portion control diet that delivers food to your door leading to a steady weight loss of 2lb/week.

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    21 replies to "Email Open Rate: 8 Reasons Why Yours Is So Low"

    • madhusudhan

      hi jane.,
      Thank you for all your hard work. *hugs* Sometimes things just take longer than expected! I appreciate your persistence in what must be a very frustrating task

    • Laura Watson

      The email list plays a very important role in the success of email marketing. If you want to gain a good outcome via email marketing, you must have a high quality opt-in email list. A good email list always gives better open rates than having a low quality email list.

    • Gajendra Megajolla

      Amazing collections, You really worked hard on creating awesome list. I am already following few blogs from your list. Will have to follow some more. Thanks for sharing..

    • Azhar

      Good tips Jane. I have observed that email marketing is loosing its effects day by day. Can you tell me why?

      • Jane

        Hi Azhar!

        Thanks for your reply.

        As you know there are multiple online tools to promote your products and services. Right tool should be used for right purpose. If a tool is not properly used for its intended purpose (misuse), it will not yield results. Rather, you will get negative results. The same is true for email marketing.


    • Anonymous

      Email marketing is a form of direct marketing which uses electronic mail as a means of communicating commercial or fund-raising messages to an audience.

      There are both advantages as well as disadvantages to using email marketing. Here are a few of them:
      1. Very cost effective
      2. Better business communication
      3. Target marketing
      4. Environment friendly

      • Jane

        Thanks for your comment.

        Yes, email marketing is cost effective medium to reach targeted audience. You can build relations with your visitors.


    • Robert

      Awesome tips! It’s all about focusing on quality (even with an autorepsonder) because if you market with junk you will only attract junk. Even if you get a few sales up front, it won’t be sustainable.

    • EleonoraEOF

      Hi Jane! This is a very interesting and helpful post. I agree that if you make a subject of anything more interesting, including email marketing, it will get more attention of the people. However, I doubt that it would work with me, because i really, really dont like to open or read any email marketing posts which i receive on my mail. LOL! I cant help it! I just never know is something is spam or really a marketing email.

      • Jane

        Hi Eleonora!

        Thanks for your comment. If you have subscribed to any newsletter on any website, you can confidently open the email. You can unsubscribe at any point of time.

        You should be cautious enough when mail comes from unknown people which is nothing but a spam. You can mark it spam. You should have updated anti-virus installed in your computer so that you can open a mail without fear.


    • TracyAnn0312

      This is a very good idea Jane! I like to share this one to my friends that has blogs that are sending mails long but no content idea. Good to know all about this!

      • Jane

        Hi Tracy!

        Thanks a lot. You are doing a great job. There are many serious bloggers failing to get the best from their email marketing campaigns. Hope this article will help them to strengthen their efforts.


    • Herbert

      Another good post from Miss Jane.. .:D
      Thanks a lot for sharing maam, IMO, email marketing doesnt work well because most people tend to believe that the email they are receiving are spam.

      • Jane

        Thanks Herbert!

        The success rate will be more when you build the email subscription list yourself. It is easy to send email to a known persons than unknown. As the lists are built based on visitors’ consent for email subscription, there will be a efinite success.


    • Joana

      What a helpful, articulate and accomplished blogger you are Jane!.All your posts are extremely useful and packed with great information. I would agree on Kim just said and really it is true in all point. It really helps a lot Jane. Thanks

      • Jane

        Hi Joana!

        Thanks for your appreciation and your comment.

        Yes, I too agree with Kim. Subject is the final gatepass for your email marketing as it decides the email’s fate.


    • Tory McBroom

      I would add “Not building a relationship with your subscribers”. Simply asking them a question and starting a conversation can dramatically increase open rates and conversions!

      • Jane

        Hi Tory!

        Thank you for your comment. Open end question is a great way to start a conversation. I hope you had good success in this aspect.


    • kim

      This are great ideas Jane! Yes, email marketing will be more effective if your subject can caught attention by readers. There are tendencies that your emails might be junked or deleted right away because readers might think that it was just a spam mails. Thanks for sharing this tips.

      • awaiting moderation

        Thanks for your comment.

        Yes, subject should be realistic and not a promotional phrase. Usage of appropriate subject is key to success. Otherwise, your mail will land in spam or thrash.


      • Jane

        Hi Kim!

        Thank you for posting your comment.

        Utmost care is must in selection of words for subject. As more and more spammers are trying to intrude, it is a gigantic task to use right set of words for subject.


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