Why Nobody Is Reading Your Emails

Why Nobody Is Reading Your Emails

Whilst we may not have the literal attention span of a goldfish, it does take people seconds, 2 apparently, to form a first impression.

And this 2-second rule applies to the recipients of emails as well. So much so that if your email doesn’t quite entice the reader to open it within that minuscule space of time, 51% of those recipients will delete it.

What does this mean for your email marketing efforts? A lot actually, if you consider that e-mail remains a significantly more effective way to acquire customers than social media—nearly 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter combined.

So unless you’re happy for your emails to be destined for the trash folder, unopened and unread, here are 5 things you should be doing to get people to read your emails.

1. Pay attention to your subject line

The open rate of emails is hugely influenced by what you put in your subject line, especially if 33% of email recipients open emails based on the subject line alone. So here’s what you do.

  • Make sure the subject line is brief, under 50 characters or less. Concise and to the point is what you’re after.
  • Use a different subject line for each email campaign. Don’t regurgitate the same copy, eventually, your email recipients won’t be bothered to dig deeper to understand what you’re offering with each campaign.
  • Personalise the subject line. Personalised subject lines see open rates about 20% higher.
  • Don’t be aggressive or spammy. Refrain from using CAPS or an unreasonable amount of exclamation marks. It’s all in the tone. Be conscious of it.

2. Ensure that your emails are mobile responsive

55% of email is now opened on a mobile device reportedly.  Some brands even see 66% of their emails being opened on mobile. So it’s clear that to up your chances of having your emails opened, a responsive email design is critical.

3. You need to segment

You need to make sure that relevant content is sent to the right people.  Content that they will want to read.  The content they care enough about to want to open your email.  This is the art of segmentation and groups.  Further, as MailChimp says, ‘segmented campaigns performed markedly better than their non-segmented counterparts’, and they achieve a 14.45% higher open rate than non-segmented campaigns.

4. Up your email newsletter game

This is your chance to connect with your audience, your email recipients. So it needs to be perfect.

  • It’s not just about using the person’s name, everyone does that.  It’s going that one step further.  Has that person recently purchased something from your company? Consider including that information.
  • Further, don’t forget that a large majority of people are opening their emails on their mobile devices.  This means your newsletter is being viewed on a mobile device too.  So keep the content short but keep any call to action or social media buttons large enough so that they can be easily clicked on.
  • Make sure your visuals are in the form.  Incorporate infographics or photography that are unique to your brand, which differentiates you from anyone else.
  • Offer something different from the rest.  Include special offers, exclusive deals or information.  These are the reasons people generally sign up to receive newsletters.  Make use of the tactic.

5. Keep testing and retesting

If something doesn’t work, try something else.  As the folks at Neil Patel state, ‘it’s vital to run A/B tests when trying out new techniques or formats for your email campaigns. Improving conversion rates here can make a bigger difference in your bottom line than many other marketing efforts, especially those of similar cost’.  Whether this is the subject line, the layout of the message, how to personalise, call to action, headline, images, and so forth, there is always something to be tested, being that each of those things is likely to have an effect on different parts of the conversion process.


People are receiving unprecedented volumes of emails today.  So cutting through the noise and having your email not only seen but opened too can feel like a goliath task.  These 4 tips should help you steer your email marketing campaign onto the correct path. Implement them and let us know your results!


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