5 Key Reasons for Low Open Rate of Your Marketing Emails

Your email open rates stay low even though you personalize your email communication? Well, maybe you’re not doing it right.

In this article we’re highlighting five key factors that lower the chances of people opening your emails. Make sure you read it to improve the average open rate of your marketing emails!

1. You’re Sending Very General Emails

Most of your customers want to receive personalized email communication, that is messages that match their particular likes, preferences and habits. Most of your subscribers understand and accept that when they’re shopping in your online store, you track their actions and collect data on their behavior. So each time you send them a general email that makes no use of this information, you annoy them. Soon they are less and less likely to open your emails.

Remember that your subscribers’ inbox is a competitive space! There are many other companies, including ecommerce businesses, that want to grab people’s attention and encourage them to click the message. If you keep wasting subscribers’ attention and interest in your brand or online store, no wonder that your email open rate drops – and your click through rate drops with it.

2. Your Email Marketing Personalization Sucks

It may well be that you’re actually using some personalization tools for your email marketing campaigns and you do send your subscribers personalized product recommendations. And yet your open rate across campaigns stays low. The problem may be that your particular personalization method is not smart enough.

Make sure that your user tracking is not intrusive and the resulting communication is not mindless. Stop sending your clients product recommendations for items they’ve already bought. Don’t offer them items that are similar to what they already have. Who needs two mops or two hoovers? If your email campaigns are not helping your customers to learn about useful product or services that would actually improve their lives, well, you deserve the small open rate you’re getting.

Here’s what happens when your email personalization is not smart: you send them badly personalized messages, they get annoyed and start believing that consenting on being tracked doesn’t make the messages you send to them more relevant. So they stop giving their consent to any tracking and as a result, your personalization sucks even more!

3. Your Email Marketing Is Lazy

Your subscribers know they can withdraw their consent for receiving email communication from you at any moment – and they certainly use that right. And those who aren’t aware of it – or don’t really care – well, they simply ignore your messages altogether. One of the reasons for that happening is that you encouraged them to subscribe to your marketing newsletters for all the wrong reasons. A classic example here is offering new subscribers a one-time discount code. A lot of people will sign up, use the discount code and stop caring about your communication.

Remember that just having their email addresses is not enough. They actually need to give it to you for a good reason. They should hope to be receiving quality content from you. They should expect every new email from you with excitement. This is the best way to ensure a good open rate and click through rates of your emails.

4. Your Email Campaigns Subject Line Is Boring

Contrary to folk wisdom, people do judge a book by its cover – and they do judge newsletters by their subject lines. A subject line is the first thing they see, it announces the email content and this is where they decide to open and click your message. If your copywriting skills for subject lines are poor, your subscribers will ignore your communication, it’s as simple as that.

So what are the best practices here? Go for personalized subject lines, use their first name and a particular habit to get their attention. Make your email subject line intriguing but not misleading. Your email content has to deliver on what you’ve promised them in the subject line. Don’t be afraid to test what works in your particular case and for your particular contact base. Do some A/B tests for different versions of your subject line and don’t forget to add a preheader to each message. Use your subscribers’ curiosity to increase open rate of your promotional emails.

Also, bear in mind that your attention-grabbing email subject line should be short enough to fit into the inboxes browsed on mobile devices. More and more subscribers read emails this way!

5. Your Marketing Emails Are Stopped by Spam Filters

Well, this one is obvious, but let’s say it anyway. Your email marketing campaigns may suffer from a low open rate because various ISPs – such as Gmail, Yahoo and so on – are automatically marking it as spam. So your newsletters don’t even make it to your subscribers inboxes. They’re put in the spam folder and your subscribers aren’t even aware of them. This is something you can actually have a lot of control over. To learn more on how to avoid your emails being marked as spam, click here.

How to Ensure Your Email Open Rates Are High?

To avoid the above-mentioned mistakes, it’s good to implement a top multichannel marketing automation platform in your company. Such tool allows for a full control over your email marketing endeavors. It should allow for smart segmentation of your email list and advanced personalization of your newsletter content. And by advanced I mean offering the dynamic content feature that allows for putting into your messages information that is directly correlated to recipients’ data and specific products in your database.

Email campaigns have always been a powerful marketing tool. The key to a great email open rate is very simple: you should send your subscribers messages that they need at a time when they need them. Good luck!

Written by
Jarek Wasielewski
Digital Content Specialist at ExpertSender
After work: local historian. Double bass enthusiast.
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