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Inbound Marketing Blog

    6 Reasons Your Email Open Rates Are Abysmal

    Posted by Brittney Ervin

    Terrible Open Rates on Your Company Emails? 

    Email marketing is easily one of the most effective ways to find and engage with potential customers. An effective email presence can obtain loyal customers who appreciate and frequent your business and look forward to your company’s emails in their inbox. However, creating and deploying terrible company emails will diminish your company’s email reputation and put a gash in your open rates, effectively putting a gash in the amount of customers you acquire. Creating effective marketing emails for your company is an art, but the first step of the masterpiece is to get your potential customers to click on the email in the first place. Here are a few cardinal sins of email marketing that will cause your open rates to plummet. Avoid making these mistakes, and reap the benefits of successful email marketing.

    1. Making Promises You Can’t Keep

    This should go without saying, but alas, we must. The easiest way to get an unfavorable email reputation among your potential customers is to, say, promise a discount in your email’s subject line and not provide one once the viewer opens the email. Did you promise an “insider look” in your subject line? Provide an insider look in the email. Don’t even think about using the word “free” unless you’re prepared to offer something that is truly free. Never be the company that resorts to flash instead of substance to attract its customers. Be prepared to provide what you promise, and you’ll be far more successful.

    2. A Subject Line that Goes On and On…and On

    When it comes to getting clicks on your email, never create a subject line that requires two breaths to read. The people on your email list are busy, and when they’re checking their emails, they’re doing far more casual skimming than reading every word. If your subject line is long and has complicated language, your customers are less likely to think about the content the subject line holds. They won’t comprehend that you’re offering them a discount or an exclusive look at new merchandise or services, especially if the optimal words in your subject line are cut off. Keep it short and sweet, and your potential customers will find more impetus to click on your emails.

    3. A Subject Line That is Boring

    Another sin of ineffective email marketing is a subject line that doesn’t evoke a response. You have to remember that you’re dealing with human beings whose interests are piqued by the use of certain words and lulled by the use of other words. “Exclusive,” “New” and “Sale” all perform fairly well when it comes to open rates, while words like “learn” or “save,” have a negative effect on open rates. Remember tip #1 when crafting emails with these words in the title, though; it’s easy to toss around “sale” in your subject line to up an email’s open rate without actually offering a sale.  Knowing your audience will help when crafting email subject lines, but avoiding boring or generic language is generally the first step when reaching for impressive open rates.

    4. Too Much Company Promotion

    The people who are receiving your emails want to be offered something that is interesting and, above all, useful to them. Sending emails that reek of company promotion and self-congratulatory language will turn off far more people than you’re aware. You want to acquire new customers, not annoy them. Keep the promotion of your company and its many amazing qualities to a minimum and focus on providing the openers of your email with interesting, engaging content and offers. Your open rates will gradually increase as your followers realize you’re offering more than an aggressive hard sell and a pat on your own back.

    5. Sending Emails at the Wrong Times

    Knowing your email audience is the first step to being able to deploy your marketing emails at the most effective times. Consider time zones, the professional work hours of the people you are targeting and the overall patterns of email open rates. Statistics report that the majority of emails are opened within the first hour after being sent, and that email activity is stronger on the weekdays than on the weekends. Consider the typical workday schedule and send emails that correspond with those schedules.

    6. Spammy Language and Punctuation

    Basically any person who has regular access to the internet has memorized the patterns of language and punctuation that characterize internet spam. Exclamation points, capital letters, and characters like dollars signs or asterisks will alert your seasoned email users to possible spam. They won’t even consider opening your email, regardless of the stellar content that lurks inside. Avoiding spammy language is absolutely vital to upping your open rates, so read up on what constitutes spam and avoid its tenets at all costs.


    Crafting successful company emails is a big part of acquiring new business on a regular basis. Email is effective when done correctly, but there are a few inevitable guidelines to follow to ensure that your emails aren’t lost to cyberspace or disregarded by the very people they were created to impress. 

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    Image Credit: freedigitalphotos.net/nokhood_buchachon

    Topics: Inbound Marketing