why people aren't opening your emails


Writing emails is easy, right?

So email marketing must be a doddle.

Mind you, getting people to open your emails isn’t such a doddle.

The big problem is that the success of your email may be out of your hands. – it can all come down to how the recipient feels when it lands in their inbox, the type of day they’re having or how busy they are.

The recipients’ inclination to open it can be affected by what mood they’re in when it lands in their inbox, the type of day they’re having or how busy they are.

So it’s not surprising, so many companies give up on email marketing before they’ve given it a proper go.

How to improve your email open rates

If you’re looking for a simple list of ways to boost your chances of getting your email opened, you’ve come to the right place.

Some of these might seem blatantly obvious, but it never hurts to point out things we so frequently overlook.

  1. When to send

Believe it or not, but the day on which you send your email can have a significant effect on whether it’s opened or not.

As a rule, Mondays and Fridays are not good days. People are either wading through a weekend’s worth of emails or desperately trying to get out the door ready for their Friday night out.

Therefore, the best days are Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.

  1. Subject line

Subject lines are difficult to write because they must grab the reader’s attention, make them want to open it and avoid the spam filters – that’s no mean feat.

Using phrases such as ‘discounted offer’ or ‘free product’ or ‘free trial’ will get attention, but test first as they may also trip spam filters.

If you can, add your brand name into the subject line, especially if it’s one the recipient will instantly recognise. They are more likely to open it.

  1. Frequency

Sending an email once a month is about right to keep in touch. If you bombard them with emails several times a week, they’ll get fed up and unsubscribe.

But if you don’t send them often enough – say, only once every six months or so (or at random intervals) they may well forget they’d subscribed in the first place and delete it.

So making sure you use the right frequency for you (and your reader) is vital.

  1. List

Your mailing list is critical. If you buy one in, you could be setting yourself up for a fall because you would be effectively ‘cold calling’ on them which rarely goes down well. But if you build your own you’ll know that every name is interested in what you have to say because they agreed to go on your list.

  1. Ask

How do you know you are providing the information your readers want or need? The simple answer is to ask them.

Every so often it’s good practice to ask them what they want to see so you can be sure the information you are passing to them is what they want to read.

Email marketing is great if you get it right but it takes time to perfect.


Sally is a freelance copywriter based in the UK. Through her business, Briar Copywriting, she works with a vast range of companies around the world, from home businesses and SMEs to FTSE 100 companies to create eye-catching, compelling copy which boosts their sales and market visibility.