Why Your Prospects or Customers May Not Want to Open or Read Your Marketing Emails: 4 Reasons

We have stressed the importance of email marketing for businesses in several of our previous posts. These days, with half the world working remotely, this promotional method has acquired an even greater significance. According to some forecasts, the number of global email users is expected to reach 4.48 billion in 2024. There’s a big problem […]


We have stressed the importance of email marketing for businesses in several of our previous posts. These days, with half the world working remotely, this promotional method has acquired an even greater significance. According to some forecasts, the number of global email users is expected to reach 4.48 billion in 2024.

There’s a big problem that companies wanting to connect with their prospective or current customers through emails have to face, though. Many recipients simply ignore their messages. In the first half of 2019, the click-to-open rate in the communications sector worldwide, for example, amounted to slightly above 22 percent. That, mind you, was the best result among all the other sectors of the economy.

Even when a prospect or customer does open an email, they may immediately close it or not read it through to the end. Why does this happen? There can be several reasons. We have listed some of these below along with common ways to set things straight and get more people to actually read what you have to say.

Reason #1: The Subject Line Is Uninteresting, Too Long, or Too Complicated

A subject line is a key, crucial element of any email, a marketing email in particular. This is a kind of magnet that draws people into your message. Go over the emails in your inbox that you’ve opened. Now, compare them with those you didn’t care to open and try to remember the reasons. There was definitely something in the subject line that determined your choice, wasn’t it?

Many marketing email senders tend to have subject lines that are too long, wordy, or present no interest whatsoever. Here is what you should consider when coining a great subject line.

  1. Let the recipient feel they are the one and only. It certainly depends on whether you have some information about the person you’re writing to. If you do, though, address them John, Mary, Mike, or whatever their name is instead of writing, “Dear customer.” This will help you connect with them on a personal level.
  2. Don’t make the subject line too long. Make sure the length of the subject line ranges between 30 and 50 characters. Otherwise, recipients are unlikely to be interested in your email. “Learn Chinese in just 10 minutes a day,” (38 characters) sounds much better than “Check out our useful tips on how you can learn Chinese by spending only 10 minutes of your time every day,” (105 characters).
  3. Avoid words few people know. These can be words related to your niche or simply academic terms not normally used in everyday speech. For example, preferring the word ‘appurtenances’ over ‘accessories,’ may scare off a considerable portion of your email list.
  4. Focus on your audience’s pain points and issues. Consider this subject line from Pizza Hut: “Feed your guests without breaking the bank.” It clearly addresses the problem that recipients might have.
  5. Don’t be pushy. By throwing hackneyed marketing words like ‘buy’ at your audience from the get-go, you’re likely to provoke a negative response among them rather than entice them to read your email.
  6. Be original. Writing the same-styled subject lines only because the first one was a success, is not a good idea. Your prospects or customers’ focus may get blurred, and they may fail to distinguish a new email from an old one.

Read this post to help you come up with a stellar subject line for your next marketing email.

Reason #2: The Text Is Too Long or Focuses on Several Offers

The text of an email should be short and to the point

Now, suppose you’ve convinced a recipient to open an email thanks to a perfectly tailored subject line. The next step is to hold their attention as much time as is necessary to get your message across.

To do this, follow three main principles:

  1. The text shouldn’t be too long. Of course, it depends on what you’re promoting, but a rule of thumb is to make the content no longer than 15–20 lines in length. What you want to achieve by sending marketing emails to your prospects and customers is to entice them to visit your site and, hopefully, convert. Therefore, select the most attractive details of your offer. Protracted emails often end up in the junk box. Plus, a short text is more digestible when read on smartphones or tablets.
  2. The text should be focused on one specific offer. Before you sit down to write the text for a marketing email, clearly identify what you want to achieve by sending it. Do you want prospects or customers to purchase that bus tour, for instance? Perhaps, you’d like them to download your latest ebook or check out your new blog post. Make sure your email deals with one of these only, not all mixed together.
  3. Important information must come first. Just as the subject line, the message itself should hold the reader’s attention from the first characters. Place what matters most from the business perspective at the top and less significant details closer to the end.

Reason #3: The Text Is Too Formal or Impersonal

See your customers as your friends

Does a robotic telephone message invoke any emotions in you? Probably not. We can say the same thing about impersonal, “faceless” emails written according to a pre-defined, standard pattern without considering the recipient’s personality.

See your target audience as your friends who you simply want to exchange valuable information with. If you have some details about a lead or customer, spend some time trying to adjust the email to fit that particular person. You can address them by name (just a couple of times in the text, no more).

Instead of saying, “Our customers can take advantage of our loyalty program,” say “You can take advantage of our loyalty program.” This form of address is more friendly and human.

Another technique is to ask the reader relevant questions in the same way you would in a natural conversation. For example, you might ask, “Don’t you wish you were relaxing on the beach right about now?” when offering a vacation package.

Reason #4: The Email Has No Attractive “Wrapping”

The content is paramount. There’s no doubt about that. However, the visual presentation of an email is no less important. It’s like a candy wrapper — the first thing that may prompt us to buy this or that sort of candy if we have no information about its taste or quality.

Similarly, a marketing email should be well-designed and visually appealing. Images and videos can often say much more than even the best-structured and crystal-clear text can. Make one visually appealing email and your audience will eagerly anticipate something similar from you. That’s a great booster to your brand reputation and recognition.

Your click-to-open rates may grow even higher if you make your emails interactive, letting recipients browse through your catalog and select items they’ve liked without leaving the email. These days, major email clients like Gmail have made this possible by using the AMP 4 Email technology.

Previously, we’ve highlighted the benefits of AMP 4 Email for email marketers. There have been a number of success stories after various companies recognized the merits of the new framework.

Your company can become another success story with our assistance. The GetDevDone Email & Banner development team has a wide experience crafting interactive AMP-powered emails for our clients. We can help you get an edge over your competition.

How to make an email more engaging: the main techniques

Final Words

We can safely predict that email marketing will remain one of the most popular promotional methods in years to come, with social media marketing desperately trying to catch up. The success of email marketing campaigns, though, depends and will continue to depend largely on how emails are written and presented.

Try to avoid the typical mistakes we’ve outlined in this post. Don’t make the text too long, be meticulous with the subject line, write as if you were talking to a friend, include one specific offer in one email instead of several at once, put visuals into your emails and make them interactive, and follow other essential guidelines.

Meanwhile, the GetDevDone Email & Banner development team is always happy to provide corresponding services for you. Within just 1 business day, we deliver top-quality email templates compliant with 70+ email clients and tested on more than 12 real devices.

Not only that. We also make sure that your emails seamlessly integrate with all major email service providers, including Campaign Monitor, MailChimp, HubSpot, and more. Among our clients are giants such as Maersk and Qantas.

So why wait? Contact us today and get back an immaculate email template that meets all your business requirements tomorrow.