Reasons Why Your Open Rates Might Be Suffering

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Let’s start by focusing on the good.

You’ve got a growing flow of website traffic and a steady stream of email subscribers joining your list each month.

Sounds like a solid foundation, so what’s the problem?

Your open rates.

Even though you are growing your list, the percentage of people who are opening your emails is declining.

While that may not seem like a huge deal at first, declining email open rates can have a lot of knock-on effects, and impact your bottom line.

Chances are, you’re probably making one (or more) of a few common mistakes that a lot of brands see. Or, you’re not getting creative and embracing the potential of email.

Focus on fixing these, and you’ll likely start seeing your open rates improve over time.

Ready to figure out why your open rates might be suffering?

Read on!

1. Bad subject lines

Let’s get into the basics. If your email subject line isn’t enticing, you’re not going to get a lot of people in a rush to open it. Remember, inboxes are jam-packed today, estimates are over 280 billion–yes with a b–emails get sent every single day. You need to stand out.

2. Inactive subscribers

You’ve worked hard to build your email list, but over time the number of inactive subscribers is only going to go up. Unfortunately, inactive subscribers don’t open emails. So it’s a good idea to set aside some time to cull your list. You can even send a goodbye campaign to lock in exactly who gets removed by asking them to self-select.

3. Poor timing

With so many emails going out daily, being able to calculate the best time to send out emails to get higher open rates has become a bit of a science. Anything to get that edge, right?

email open rates

There have been plenty of studies over the last few years that have all pretty much come to the same conclusion; aim to send your email newsletters and announcements out for 11 am EST Monday through Thursday.

4. Your emails are boring

It’s natural for some subscribers to drop off over time. But if you see a significant drop off after your first welcome series or newsletter, then it could be that your emails have a boring design or stale content. And once that dreaded thought gets into the head of your readers, they are more likely than not just to ignore your emails–unless you can grab their attention again. Interactive email marketing is a great way to do that.

5. You’re sending the same email to everyone

This could be a failure of segmentation. In an ideal world, you don’t want to send the same email to everyone on your list all the time. Instead, you want to break down your main list into smaller segments. From there, you can craft different emails that will appeal directly to that group.

6. Failed delivery

A study by ReturnPath found that in 2015, 24% of commercial emails in the US were ending up in spam.


That’s a huge number! Check to make sure you’re not falling victim to spam. Make sure you’re sending quality emails without those common spam-y trigger words in your subject line. And send an email alerting your subscribers to whitelist your emails.

7. Not mobile friendly

Almost half of all people check out emails on their mobile devices first. Both iPhones and iPads are two of the three most popular email clients. Today, if something doesn’t load properly (or takes too long to load) on a phone or tablet, the chances of your reader opening another email from you are significantly reduced.

8. Unrecognizable from name

When it comes to setting up your emails to be sent out, make sure you keep the ‘from’ name recognizable. While its fun to experiment and play with the content of your email and your subject lines, doing too many tweaks to that from name can confuse your subscribers and lead them to ignore your emails.

9. Not offering value

Email is a two-way street. When your readers first signed up, they gave away something important (their email address) in exchange for you filling their inbox with great offers, surprises, fun stuff, and ideas or products they’d love. If you’re not holding up to your end of the bargain over time, it’s not an easy choice for your subscribers to move on to the brands that are giving them lots of value.

Ready to improve those open rates?

We know you can. By just paying attention to even a handful of these issues you can start to get your subscribers opening your emails again, and hopefully, clicking once they’re inside.

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