Email marketers know the struggle of low open rates. They spend hours on research, writing, working to craft that perfect subject line… and then… crickets. Email doesn’t reach many people’s inboxes, and those who it reaches rarely open it, so you’re stuck with wasted resources and nothing to show for it.

Email open rates that are below the benchmark and are quickly going down can be very stressful for any marketer, so let’s see what are some of the main reasons your emails have low open rates, and what can you do about it.

Your Subject Line Isn’t Engaging Enough

The subject line is the only thing recipients see when they get your email. It doesn’t matter how perfect your email, CTAs, and news you have to share are – none of them will be seen if you don’t craft a subject line that will stand out from the crowd.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you should make promises you can’t keep in the subject line, it just means you should spend a little more time on A/B testing and finding the words that will work best for your audience as well as your brand.

Unsegmented Email Lists

Not all of your subscribers are the same, so you shouldn’t just be blasting one email at a certain time and leave it at that. You should segment your list (based on what’s important in your industry) by country, time zones, previous interests, etc.

In its most basic form, the segmentation will help you deliver emails at the right time to your audience. But if you want to use it like a pro – you can target these segmented groups through specific subject lines that are relevant to them.

Outdated Email Lists

If you’ve been in the business for a long time, you probably have a lot of people on your list. When was the last time you cleaned the list up? Your emails might not even be reaching people. Emails you have on the list could be incorrect, people could no longer be interested in what you’re offering, maybe their inbox flagged your emails as spam, etc.

Luckily, there’s a quick and simple solution for this problem – cleaning up your list with an email checker. These tools will discover wrongly written email addresses, bounces, drops, and you’ll be able to start over with a clean list of people who are actually interested in what you have to say.

Purchased Email Lists

Purchased email lists have a very low open rate, they can cause you spam issues, and there’s a higher chance you won’t sell anything through them. These are the people who didn’t give you permission to email them, so you could be breaking the law by contacting them.

And even if you’re located in a country with no strict privacy and promotional laws – you should still beware of the purchased lists since the recipients will report you to their email provider, which can only cause trouble for you in the future.

Final Thoughts

This is far from an extensive list of reasons people aren’t opening your emails. However, these four can be a great starting point when you’re investigating poor email open rates. So, start by making sure your subject line is engaging enough, that your list is properly segmented and targeted. But, above all else, make sure you’re not using purchased lists and that you’re using an email checker tool to discover outdated and undeliverable addresses.


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