Email Engagement

6 Things That Stop People Opening Emails

Minute read
6 Things That Stop People Opening Emails

I know what you’re thinking. “Subject lines”. And you’d be right.

Subject lines are hailed as the ‘be all and end all’ of email open rates—understandably. But they don’t act alone. To maximize the potential of a great subject line, let’s first eliminate any other factors that might be negatively influencing your open rates.

1. An Unknown Sender

It turns out who an email comes from is one of the most influential factors that determines which messages get opened. Being an unknown sender is a quick way to get ignored—or worse—flagged as spam. Fortunately, by following these two simple rules, you can help your supporters identify you quickly and avoid this trap.

2. Delivery Time

If your audience spans the globe, then this can be a tricky factor to master. But if your supporters tend to be concentrated in or near the same time zone, then you may be able to boost your open rates by strategically timing the delivery of your broadcasts. Here’s how to identify the best time to send.

3. Preview Text

If the sender’s name and subject line leaves your supporter on the fence about opening your email, then smart preview text can often tip them over to your side. A lot of communicators leave preview text to chance—which doesn’t always work well. But with this neat little coding trick up your sleeve, you can take back control and boost your chances of being seen.

4. List Health

Yes, lists have ‘health’. The health of your email list acts like an undercurrent to your broadcast communications. It’s the measure of long-term engagement (or fatigue). In other words, how keen are your supporters to hear from you? Poor list health is a pit that’s hard to climb out of. From the depths of this pit, you’ll struggle to get supporters to open your emails, even when your subject lines are great. When it comes to list health, the best cure is prevention. Know the warning signs and how to keep your list healthy.

Keep learning.

Free  eBook

5. Deliverability

Deliverability is the measure of how many of the emails you send actually find their way into an inbox. A poor deliverability rating will prevent you from reaching valued supporters by diverting your messages to spam folders—or blocking delivery of messages entirely. Spam filters are sensitive to very specific types of message content. Avoid accidentally tripping them by following these simple guidelines.

6. Subject Lines

You knew it! Okay—once you’ve addressed all the things that can go wrong, it’s time to start making things go right. There’s a real science—and an art—to writing click-worthy subject lines. Need a refresher? Here are 11 tips that will help you write better subject lines.

Get a free weekly digital strategy tip:

Name Email
privacy policy.

We respect your data. View the privacy policy.

Unsubscribe any time. We respect your data. View the privacy policy.

Karen Nilsen

Hi there! I’m Karen. I’m on a mission to reach my former self. Had I known 10 years ago what I know today, I could have achieved more good, made fewer mistakes, and had more weekends. Every time we share what works, we win faster. Let’s create digital experiences that move people — that grow our base and fuel our movements. Are you with me? Please share this with someone you know who wants to up their digital game!

Like this tip? Share it!