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7 reasons why nobody opens your emails

7 reasons why nobody opens your emails

By on Dec 25, 2017

Reading time: 6 minutes

Have you ever worked on a new email campaign, sent it out, and then been disappointed by a depressing numbers of opens? What’s the whole point of your campaign, if nobody opens your email?

If your open rates are not as good as you want them to be, there are a few potential causes. Let me show you some of the top reasons why nobody opens your emails.

  1. Your “From” Address Isn’t Personal

Have you ever see an email from “XYZ Company”, or Customer Care, or my absolute favorite examples: NoReply or DoNotReply? Do you usually open these emails? It’s possible your emails aren’t getting opened because they come across as generic or corporate mass mailings. Having a personalized “From” address creates a more personal connection to your subscribers. Would you rather receive an email from “Udemy”, or “Claire at Udemy?” If you include your own or your employee’s name, subscribers feel like it was written by an actual person rather than an automated email provider.

2. Your subject line isn’t exciting

This is the first thing besides the “from field” that a subscriber sees. It plays a very important role in getting opens.

This is how magazines like People and Cosmopolitan work. They create catchy headlines that they can use to sell the magazine.

“Often weekly business newsletters have the same subject line format. As email providers try to clear the inbox, emails with repetitive titles often start to go under Promotion tabs or in the spam folder. So you have to spice up your subject lines. One trick that helps is reaching out to inactive subscribers and asking them to update their preferences and contact details.”

– Syed BalkhiOptinMonster

Personalize the subject lines by including the recipient’s first, last, or full name in the subject line itself. It will increase email open rate.

“It’s not surprising rates are dropping and there’s only one reason in my opinion – people want customized content. Period. They don’t want to sift though a bunch of junk that isn’t intended for them. Know your buyer and give them what they want. Email newsletters are part of the reason email as a whole is diminishing.”

– Justin GrayLeadMD

3. You forgot about the preview text

In most email inboxes (including Gmail and mobile formats), you get a small preview of the email’s body content along with the subject line and “from” field. This means the first few words of your email’s text are crucial in getting your email read. Be sure it’s written in a very catchy and engaging way, and provide a little information about what they will read if they open the email.

4. Your timing is not good

If nobody opens your emails, you might be sending them at the wrong time.

When should you send? It depends on your audience.  Are your subscribers more likely to read that email in the morning when they got in the office? Or during lunch break? Maybe at the end of the day? Which days? Weekdays or weekends?

Open rates are different based on the time and day of the week you are sending your emails. Think about the timezone and the lifestyle of your audience, so testing different times is a good idea.

My researches show that business owners tend to open their emails in the morning on Tuesday or Thursday, while most entrepreneurs later at night. For a paid offer, send your emails on weekdays, for a freebie, send it on weekends.

5. You’ve Fatigued Your List

Sending too many emails to your list is not a good idea. Your emails won’t stand out, or your list may get tired of being overwhelmed with your emails, either way the result is the same: nobody opens these emails. The more you send, the less your subscribers are going to engage.

You don’t want people to delete your emails as soon as they pop up in their inbox right? That doesn’t sound like a very rewarding relationship to me.

Kissmetrics’ The Science of Timing Infographic recommends sending 1-4 emails per month. That’s a good place to start, but it will be different depending on your industry and your audience. You need to test to see how often your subscribers want to receive content from you, and how much time they have to consume your emails.

“If your newsletter is always about you and what’s going on in your world, you’re missing the point. Any time you send out an email to your customers and potential customers, it should give them something of value. This could be a tip, a strategy, a tool you’ve used that they could benefit from, or other free resources. If your customer gets value from what you send, they will keep opening.”

– Natalie MacNeilShe Takes on the World

6. You Haven’t Segmented Your Email Lists

List segmentation is one of the most important aspects if you want people to open your emails.

If you send emails only to people who are interested in the content, you will achieve a much higher open rate.

Segment your email leads based off of:

  • gender
  • age
  • location
  • interests
  • stage of the sales funnel
  • past purchase history

By analyzing the open rates of over 200 million emails, Mailchimp found segmented campaigns to have an average of a 14.4% better open rate than non-segmented campaigns. This means segmenting your list can play a huge role in making sure your emails get opened.

Automated Email Marketing Campaign Course

7. If It Looks Like Spam…

In today’s world of email spam, subject lines like “FREE gift today only!” or “HUGE sale!!” look suspicious and instead of creating urgency, they create bad open rates. The problem is that spam senders use titles like these and will create a false sense of confidence with your customers.

Turn these subject lines to something more personal. For example, instead of saying “FREE gift today only!”, try using something like “A free gift from [your business name]”.

“Spam is a moving target, as are the efforts of service providers to cut down on spam. If you have a sudden drop off in open rates, you may want to check to see if your mail servers or providers are on a black list.”

– Mark


If nobody opens your emails, it means you have to change something. Optimize your subject line and “from” address to make sure your emails are personal, and build a relationship with your segmented lists. Remember that you need to give your subscribers the right information at the right time, without sending them a ton of extra “stuff” that they may not interested in.

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