Why Your Subscribers Don’t Open Emails

Sometimes you spend hours making your newsletters as engaging as possible – polishing the content, adding funny cat GIFs… but what’s the point, if your email open rate is low? There may be many reasons for this happening. Read on to learn how to increase the OR.   

Delivery Problems 

One of the reasons why your emails are not being opened by your subscribers may be the low deliverability – they simply don’t land in their inboxes. If this is the case and your emails are automatically marked as spam by the ISP providers, you need to fix it immediately.  

How can you do it? Check if your DNS settings are correct and make sure that you don’t send your emails to those who haven’t agreed on it. Also, make sure that the ‘unsubscribe’ link is visible and accompanied by a footer explaining why a recipient got the message.   

Also, avoid sending large volumes of newsletters after a long break, and don’t use link shorteners. Cut down the number of images if their ratio to text is too big and remember to not send image-based emails. All those will prevent your newsletter from landing in the spam.   


The number of recipients that use mobile devices increases every year. That’s why adapting your content to mobile devices is so important. Make sure to use a drag-and-drop feature to create responsive messages, and avoid big sizes of your images or GIFs. Whatever device your subscriber uses, your content should be user-friendly for every one of them.  

Pick the Time and Stick to It 

Your subscribers get used to times when your newsletters arrive. If you send an email on a weekly or monthly basis, pick a day when your audience may expect it. To choose wisely, analyze your database time preferences for opening messages. Stick to one day and the chances of your audience looking forward to receiving your messages will increase.  

You can also use the sending time optimization feature that will calculate best sending time for each user. Send the emails within 24 hours and regardless of your recipients’ time zone, everyone will get your email in the moment of their activity.  

Recognizable Sender 

Make sure that the ‘From’ field displays an address that includes your corporate domain – the one that your recipients have usually received messages from.  

If you start changing the senders’ addresses, there will be a higher risk of your email ending up in the SPAM folder. The security awareness is much greater nowadays, so both mailboxes and subscribers are more cautious about receiving and opening emails.  

Subject Line 

Wonder which subject line will boost your email open rate? Well, it’s tricky to create a perfect one, however make sure it’s easy to read. Depending on your target audience, you can add emojis and colloquial expressions to it.  

Yet, your intuition isn’t enough. It’s best to test your ideas and use split testing with 3-5 subject lines to find out which ones work best. Also, pay attention to the number of characters – best practice is 35-40 as that’s how much a subscriber sees in their inbox when on a mobile device. 


Maybe subscribers skip your emails because of the content? If they know that your emails revolve too much around advertising, they may stop opening them. Try adding educational content, such as case studies or propose an added value, like promo codes and free delivery.  


Your open rate drops because of inactive subscribers that you have in your database. Remember that quality wins over quantity. Why should you send messages to people who aren’t interested anymore? Engage only those who still read your emails and based on their behavioral data work on a greater personalization of your messages.  

There is another way to make sure that your subscribers are truly interested in your newsletters. Click here to read more about the double opt-in.  

The Bottom Line 

Creating a newsletter that has a high open rate and converts can be challenging. But if you apply all of the above suggestions,  your open rate should increase straight away!  

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