Why Don’t People Open Your E-Mails?

Why Don’t People Open Your E-Mails?

Have you looked at your e-mail open rates recently? Your open rate is the percentage of people who actually opened your e-mail.

If you have looked you, are probably seeing open rates between one and 10% of the people you send your campaigns to are actually opening your e-mails.

It gets worse. Of those who open your e-mails only 1% to 10% will click on a link.

So for every hundred people in your e-mail list between zero and one person will actually click on a link.

Why is this?

Let’s look at some basics.

To get somebody to open your e-mail, two things are required.

Firstly, the recipient has to know of you and have a reasonable opinion of the e-mails you send out to them. They need to feel they are relevant and useful. Without this your chances of them opening your e-mail are greatly reduced.

Secondly, the subject line of the e-mail has to grab their attention.

Hopefully you know about AIDA. The advertisers’ mnemonic for Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. You should have this in mind when you write any marketing material and it should be influencing the way you write.

For example, the subject line of your email is all about the A – Attention.

The best way to grab attention is to make sure the subject line is talking to the recipient about their issues, problems and is not too general.


ABC Ltd proud to announce new e-mail opening solution


Find out the real reason they don’t open your e-mails.

The first is very focused on what your company delivers, isn’t very exciting and probably won’t get much interest.

The second focuses on an issue. Addresses the recipient using you or your. And has an element of curiosity.

A good subject line on its own is not enough.

Most businesses tend to think of their e-mail list as one big list. Like most of you I get e-mails everyday, frequently from the same people month after month. Lots of these I simply delete without reading. I look for those people who are sending me important information, those whose opinion I value.

I value their opinion because they seem to talk to me.

How do you improve your ability to talk to your clients?

The secret is to split your mailing list into segments. Segments are just groups of individuals with something in common inside your bigger database.

A simple example might be ‘customers’ versus ‘prospects’. Another easy way to identify segment is those who have opened your e-mails and shown some interest.

Hopefully you can see how you could send different messages to these groups. For example if someone opens an email on Blue Widgets they will probably respond to another email on Blue Widgets or something closely related.

A good first step to segment or split your list is to send e-mails with links to articles or help on different problems that your clients face.

You will then be able to send further targeted e-mails based on which articles they click on and therefore which problem(s) they face.

By doing this, your open rates and click through rates should increase dramatically. You should expect 30 to 60% open rates.

It does take time for people to realise that you now speaking to them on topics of interest. For them to elevate you to the position of someone they want to listen to.

Always be testing

The final point I want to give you is that you should always be testing. With most e-mail marketing software you can provide different versions of e-mails or subject lines and send to different people in the same segment. This should be simple enough to do.

It should be easy enough to think of two different subject lines and test one against the other. In this way you will learn more about what works with your clients and what doesn’t and continue to improve.

What Next?
As part of the way we teach, setup and support our clients we help them create email lists in this way to make best use of the contacts they have. For more information on our products and services see our services page.

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