Email Subscribers

5 Reasons Why Your Email Subscribers Are Ignoring You


There’s nothing more frustrating than spending time and energy on an email campaign, only to see lackluster open and click through rates. And trying to determine a reason for campaign failure can be incredibly arduous; if you don’t know where to look, you may end up spending ages A/B testing every aspect of your emails.

If no one is opening your emails, you might want to consider one (or more) of the following five reasons.

You’re Triggering Their Spam Filter

Spam filters can be triggered for a variety of reasons, causing your email to skip “subscribers’’ inboxes entirely. You can dodge the spam filter by choosing the words in your subject line wisely. There are a multitude of trigger words and phrases that are best avoided as they will significantly increase the chances of your email never seeing the light of day.

Never assume you have permission to email someone — even if they’re already your customers. If you send promotional emails without getting permission first, there’s a good chance you’ll be flagged as spam, and end up on a blocklist.

Your Subject Line Sucks

Email subject lines impact open rate. Period. According to Convince & Convert, 35% of email recipients open email based on subject line alone. That means that over a third of your subscribers are judging your emails solely on the subject line. If you want open rates to go up, your subject lines have to be strong, eye-catching, and enticing.

A subject line should be short in length (under 50 characters), descriptive, and straightforward. It should grab the attention of subscribers and give them a reason to open the email. However, you don’t want it to come across as too brash or promotional. The intended goal is for recipients to open the email and read your content, and salesy subject lines will only put them off.

Consider your audience. What do they care about? What can you offer them that’s different from any other business? Use subject lines that allude to their needs, issues they’re facing, or subjects that are of personal interest. This will inspire subscribers to click through to find more information in the body of the email.

You Haven’t Optimized for Mobile

Mobile technology is an integral part of our daily lives and there’s no doubt about it, your subscribers are opening emails on their phones and tablets. If your emails aren’t responsive, you’re missing out on a huge chunk of the market. 71.2% of readers will immediately delete emails that don’t display correctly.

To ensure your emails look good in every inbox, it’s critical to thoroughly test your email before you hit “send.” Many think ad-hoc testing their email by sending a test to their iPhone or Gmail inbox will do the job, but this isn’t always the case. Why? Because every email client’s rendering engine is NOT created equal.

Stop what you’re doing, and confirm your emails can be opened, and are responsive on mobile devices. Take advantage of this 7-day free trial so you can test your email in the most popular devices and clients in seconds.

It Doesn’t Pertain to Them

Every email you send to your subscribers should give them something of value. You can offer up tips, discounts, tools, strategies, free resources, etc. The more value you present, the more likely it is they will keep opening your emails. However, if your newsletter is company-centric and only discusses your brand, subscribers are going to delete your emails in record numbers. The cold hard truth is that no one wants to read a bunch of garbage that doesn’t apply to them.

Move away from mass email blasts where your entire list receives the exact same message and use a segmented approach. List segmentation is your friend — you can use it to write subject content that is relevant to your subscribers.

You can segment your list by:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Past purchase behavior
  • And so on…

You’ll find that segmenting your list positively affects open rates. A study done by Lyris found that segmented campaigns saw 39% higher open rates and 28% lower unsubscribe rates.

You’re Overdoing It

A survey from TechnologyAdvice found that 45.8% of Americans flagged marketing emails as spam simply because the company sent them too often. When it comes to frequency, it’s incredibly easy to go from helpful to annoying. Luckily, this is an easy fix.

Let potential subscribers know how often you will be emailing them on the opt-in page for your mailing list. Offer multiple subscription options — daily, weekly, monthly, etc. — to accommodate the different content needs of your subscriber base. Above all, ask your subscribers what they want and how often they want it, and then follow through.

When open and unsubscribe rates drop, it’s a pretty big sign that something needs to change. Take some time to polish your subject lines, optimize for mobile, segment your email lists, and examine the frequency with which you send emails. Know who your audience is and what they need, and then give it to them. And, most importantly, be patient — email campaigns take lots of time and care to obtain success.

Avoid Making These Mistakes

At Email on Acid, testing is at the core of our mission. After you’ve finished setting up your email campaign design, make sure the email looks good in every inbox. Every email client renders your HTML differently, and Email on Acid helps you test your email across the most popular clients and devices.

Try us for free for seven days and get access to email, image and spam testing. Make sure your email gets delivered and look good doing it!

Start testing today!

Author: Alex Ilhan

Hailing all the way from England, Alex brings his email development expertise along with an endless stream of cups of tea and British cynicism. Follow him on Twitter: @omgitsonlyalex.

Author: Alex Ilhan

Hailing all the way from England, Alex brings his email development expertise along with an endless stream of cups of tea and British cynicism. Follow him on Twitter: @omgitsonlyalex.

1 thought on “5 Reasons Why Your Email Subscribers Are Ignoring You”

  1. Blunt, and accurate. Thanks EOA for info readers can actually use to improve their programs. I think this is a significant point, too: “When open and unsubscribe rates drop, it’s a pretty big sign that something needs to change.” If people aren’t opening your emails, they can’t subscribe. So, a low unsub rate, when paired with a low open rate, can directly indicate high disengagement.

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