People Aren’t Reading Your Email – Here’s Why

Whether you have a marketing e-blast, an e-newsletter, or a pitch to a potential investor, emails are a big deal when it comes to marketing and creating a compelling email is a make-or-break skill. The problem is that smart marketing and publicity professionals make mistakes – and sometimes these mistakes discourage recipients from opening their emails.

You have only a couple of seconds to catch someone’s eye with your email marketing efforts. And if you have any of these five issues with your email campaign, your efforts are going straight to the trash folder. Before you hit the send button, make sure that you have done all that you possibly can to ensure that your message will be not only opened, but read.

The Subject Line Stinks

Subject Lines are the place that tells your reader (or non-reader) what the email is all about. If your subject line isn’t compelling, why would they open it? There’s a few ways to create a compelling email subject line, such as considering the different formats.

Laptops, Desktops, Tablets, Smartphones, and Smart Watches are some of the ways people check their emails, but guess what, each one has different characters that show the subject line. Your Outlook or Apple Mail on your desktop will show many more characters for your subject line than a smart phone or watch. How can you beat this? Put the most important piece of your email subject line first.

Another way that people get annoyed is because you’re deceptive in your subject line. If you have “Quick Question” or “Your Opinion Matters” but you’ve never corresponded or spoken to the potential reader, it’s very unlikely that they will open your email, let alone read it. Which leads us to my next point…

There’s No Personal Connection

Occasionally we will receive emails from total strangers, like the Nigerian Prince that needs our help retrieving a large sum of money, but for the most part our emails come from people and companies we know or have opted into. If you have spoken to this person, they have reached out to you, or you’ve been following their blog or press accounts, you have a personal connection. If you have this connection, be sure to mention it early on in your subject line such as “Met At [Event]” or “Referred by [Person].”

There’s No Curiosity

If your subject line incites curiosity, it will compel readers to click your email open and read it. If your subject line has something that everyone already knows, why would they click on your email? There are a few subject line strategies that have worked for people, including: The question, the how-to, the scarcity, the announcement, the number, the surprise, the personalized and the curiosity gap subject line. So what is the curiosity gap? It’s the gap between what we know and what we want to know. An example of this could be “9 out of 10 American’s can’t get this answer,” or “This basic question stumped the smartest politicians.” Anything that conveys some initial knowledge and a small curiosity.

You’re Using Spam Words

Spam is unsolicited, irrelevant email, sent in bulk to a list of people. Your email may be relevant, but if one person selects your email as spam, it can have a negative impact on your deliverability rates. So what should you avoid to keep your emails out of the Spam folder? Stay away from attention-grabbing words such as “Amazing Stuff,” or “Dig up Dirt on Friends.” Using too many capital letters or exclamation points can also be considered “spammy.”

Copying and Pasting content from a word document adds code to the email which could cause it to be routed to the Spam folder as well as not having a text-only version of your message. Be sure that your email list is up-to-date with no bad email addresses and include no bad links or link-shortners. And always, always, always include an unsubscribe link as it is the law.

Your Timing Is Off

No one actually sits at their desk and reads their emails at all these days. The reality is that most people start their workday grabbing their coffee or on their commute. Most people start and end their day by emailing in bed. With that being said, is there really a universally perfect time for you to send your email? No. But there is a perfect time for your specific email to your recipients. The best way to find this time is through experimentation. Think about who your receivers are, what they do for work, what their lifestyle may be. The best way to test is to send out at different times of the day and adjust your strategy accordingly for your next email campaign. Timing is everything as to whether or not your email is opened and read – so don’t just ignore it.

 

You can never guarantee that every recipient is going to open and read your email campaign, but you can do everything possible to make it more appealing for them. By paying attention to your subject line, making your email personable, creating a curiosity through your subject line, staying away from things that may get you into the spam folder, and focusing on your timing for delivery, you can ensure yourself that you have done all you could to create the best email possible for your potential readers.

Read our previous blog on Getting the most out of Twitter.