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Why Didn’t My Email Newsletter Get More Opens?

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Email Marketing Increase Open Rates

10 Reasons Why Your Open and Engagement Rates Are Low

Have you noticed that your email open and engagement rates have plummeted? Or perhaps they were never up to your standards. Bad news: there may be a variety of reasons why your open and engagement rates aren’t where you want them to be. Good news: those reasons are easily correctable.

1) Lacking Excitement in the Subject and Preheader

Be honest, do you get excited when you see “Newsletter #15 for Company Name” in your inbox? Probably not. Email subject lines and preheaders need the same excitement that those annoying click-bait ads offer. After all, they are the main influencer to whether or not your email gets opened.

When composing your subject line, be cautious of length and verbiage. Most mobile email users only see 3 – 7 words maximum, while desktop users see 70 characters at most. Choose your 3 – 7 words carefully, but keep it simple. For preheaders, be personal and brief – your subscribers do not need your life story. Test out your email platform’s merge tags and get creative!

Some ideas & favorites:

Ecommerce

  • Free Stuff | [firstname], collect your April freebies before it’s too late.
  • So good, it makes moms cry. | We didn’t think that it would have this big of an impact.
  • Our $1.3 Million Dollar Campaign | Read our secrets on launching record-breaking campaigns.
  • One Day Left | [firstname], claim your 50% discount before today ends.
  • This is Unreal | When you find out what we’re giving away for FREE, you’ll be shocked.
  • #Breaking | Prices drop to an all time low.
  • 11 New Trends You Can’t Miss | [firstname], have you seen our latest “trending” collection?
  • It’s a Surprise | Shhhh. We’re throwing a surprise party for our royal customers…
  • Spin and Win | [firstname], spin and win an exclusive 7-day vacation (paid in full!)

Medical, Informative

  • Researchers say it’s fatal. | Researchers have recently unveiled new information about this popular over-the-counter medicine.
  • 5 Weight Loss Secrets | Secrets for weight loss from 54-year-old fitness diva.
  • What’s Really In Your Fruit? | After reading facts, you’ll never want to eat these fruits again.
  • 7 / 10 Dentists Recommend | Do what’s best for your teeth. See the product dentists are raving about.

News, Recent Stories

  • What’s lurking behind there? | What the police found behind San Plaza was chilling. Get the latest from AL34 News.
  • “It’s traumatizing our children.” | Parents open up about latest video game release.
  • Flying Cars are Here! | Almost. Tech companies announce latest products and more.
  • It’s Actually Genius | What a valley Mom chose to do with her free time is brilliant.
  • Terrifying. | 13 local businesses were recently shut down due to one safety violation.

Restaurant, Food Industry

  • Handpicked and Squeezed | [firstname], we spent our entire weekend handpicking and squeezing fruits just for you.
  • Look Inside | No, it’s not your ordinary lemon chicken parmesan dish.
  • We’re not crying, you’re crying. | Our new onion, garlic, and rosemary dish leaves everyone crying.
  • 14 Must Have Desserts | If you haven’t tried the new clafoutis, we can’t be friends.
  • This. | The ultimate guide to eating out. What to try, what to avoid, and more.

Not sure if your email subject line or preheader is short enough? Try out FireDrum’s inbox preview assistant. We offer 54 different browser and application previews to test your subject/preheader lines and email content.

2) Did You Spell Check?

This may sound silly, but many take this step for granted. Did you double check your email before sending it out? Did you have a friend read through it, or maybe a coworker? According to various studies, roughly 60% of people lose interest in businesses who have spelling errors and grammatical errors in their content. These seemingly minor errors can shape a customer’s opinion and challenge the trust they have in a company.

Don’t rely on Microsoft Word or your email service provider’s spell check. Take advantage of free software like Grammarly and Hemingway Editor to double check your grammar. Before launching your email campaign, have a fresh set of eyes read through it and give their feedback.

3) You Haven’t Cleaned Up Your Email List

Have you cleaned up your list recently? Segment inactive subscribers and send them a reactivation campaign? Add new email subscribers? Although your subject lines and content may be enticing, that won’t change the fact that you have old emails on your list. You need to do a major spring cleaning. Simple steps to clean up your email list:

  1. Launch a reactivation campaign. Ask your inactive subscribers if they want to remain on your list, of if it’s okay to unsubscribe them.
  2. Contact your dedicated account manager at FireDrum to learn about our email verification services. We will run your lists through our verification software to remove any spam traps, blacklisted emails, and more.
  3. Sit down and take the time to enter new emails from your website and in-store lists. Start brainstorming new ways to collect emails and put those ideas into action!

4) You Didn’t Pass Spam Check

Are you in the safe range during spam check? If not, you’re at risk of landing in your subscriber’s spam box. Once your email lands in spam, your credibility is lost and you lose about 50% of possible opens and sales. Yikes! Thankfully, there are ways to avoid landing in the spam folder. Evaluate your campaign and see what you might need to change.

  1. Sending one large image to your subscribers? Try breaking the image into separate images and converting some of the image content into text. ISP’s cannot read images and will assume it’s a spammy message.
  2. Did you purchase an email list? Make sure to run it through our email verification software before sending your first campaign. The emails that you purchase can be spam traps, ruining your sending reputation and relationship with major ISP’s. We do not encourage or support businesses to purchase lists whatsoever.
  3. Manually entering new emails? Double check the spelling of each email subscriber. One misspelling can cause you a lost sale (or worse!) When entering new emails, FireDrum will automatically check the authenticity of each email and scan for possible misspellings.
  4. Are you sending emails through @gmail or @yahoo? Don’t! Use your domain email (name@nulldomain.com) to send email campaigns from now on. ISP’s scan from addresses and report untrustworthy emails to spam. Untrustworthy emails include noreply@nulldomain.com, 123456@nulldomain.com, name@nullgmail.com, and so forth.
  5. Did you add “Fwd:” or “Re:” in your subject line? Deception isn’t how you win customers. Remove all deceptive phrases or characters in your subject and preheader.

eCommerce and Email Marketing Emails

5) !!! and ??? Aren’t Always Your Friends

Not everything is this exciting!!! Do all of your questions really need multiple question marks???? Adding extra punctuation or emoticons to exaggerate your message on every email can be exhausting and annoying. Be professional and fun by adding a limited amount of punctuation and emoticons.

6) Irrelevant Emails = Disaster

Are you sending irrelevant emails to your customers? Aka emails that don’t hold any value, or feature any products? Emails that don’t relate to your customers? If so, you seriously need to rethink your email marketing strategy.

Irrelevant emails are annoying and inefficient. The more irrelevant emails you send equal more unsubscribes and lost sales. Make sure each email is relevant and personal for the receiver. For example, let’s evaluate a dentistry. Dentistries work with all types of people and offer a variety of dental services (including braces, teeth cleaning, etc). If they were to send an email offering discounted denture implants to their entire database, who do you think would unsubscribe? It would be wise of this dentistry to segment their list by age. Sending a denture email to people over the age of 60+ would generate a more positive response than sending it to teenagers and young adults.

7) Are Your Templates Mobile Responsive?

Mobile responsiveness is everything, including in your email marketing campaigns. According to Litmus Software, 56% of all email newsletters are opened on a mobile device. Are your emails optimized for a smaller device? Easy to read on a phone? Do your subscribers have to zoom in or double-tap just read your message? If your emails aren’t mobile-friendly, you could be losing potential sales.

What is “Mobile Responsive Design?”
Mobile responsive design, responsive design for short, is an approach to design that adapts and responds to various screen sizes. By changing the layout for smaller screens, you’re giving users the best experience possible. For users, emails that are mobile responsive are more convenient and easier to read on-the-go.

Mobile Responsive Email Marketing Software
If you’re currently researching email marketing softwares, consider FireDrum. Our templates are automatically mobile responsive and tested on every device to ensure perfection. Building a newsletter from scratch? No problem. Our drag and drop building blocks are also mobile responsive. Use our inbox preview assistant tool to test your newsletter on over 50 different devices and browsers.

8) Your Campaigns Aren’t Data Driven

Every company is unique. Meaning, you should not base your email marketing decisions on industry standards or trends. Today’s leaders are using their data and analytics to make big decisions. Start improving your business’s email marketing strategy through data accumulation, analyzation, and action.

Data Driven Email Marketing
Have you studied your email marketing reports lately? With FireDrum, we provide detailed reports for each campaign and each member.

  • Campaign reporting: Compare your latest campaigns. What campaign had the most opens? Click throughs? What did that campaign contain that was different from the others?
  • Member Reporting: Pick a few members who opened and clicked-through from the top ranking campaign. What previous emails have they opened? What actions did they take? Were there any campaigns that they opened more than once?

Collect this data and review with your team. By tracking customer behavior and customer interests, you will be able to create more effective and revenue-generating campaigns. Expand on campaigns that seem to be more popular with your clients (similar content, similar layout and similar CTA’s). If a certain demographic express more interest in one product or service, segment them into a separate list and send relevant content.

More Data-Driven Tips
It’s never too late to start collecting data and applying them to your marketing strategy. If you’re not currently tracking your email click-throughs and website visitors, invite your subscribers to a customer survey. What first attracted them to your business? What has kept them interested and active? After accumulating this data, start analyzing their answers and watch their behavior moving forward. Be sure to set up Google Analytics for your website as well. This data will help you take action and make big decisions in the future.

9) Keep it Simple, Smart

You know your business and industry jargon, but your subscribers may not. Keep it simple, smart when talking to your customers – no need to overload them! From our experience, simple and generic is better. For example, we know that our subscribers like reading our “email marketing ideas and tips” rather than reading our “best practices for email acquisition and retainment” literature. Keep it simple, smart. Write in a professional but inviting tone, and keep it at a 6th-grade reading level.

[TL;DR] Don’t overcomplicate things. Write your content as if you’d be presenting it to a 6th grade class.

10) You’re Using a Throwaway Email

Over the last few years, ISP’s have made major changes in their processes. If you send your subscribers an email through a “no-reply” or junky @yahoo address, you have a higher chance of landing in the spam box. By sending a campaign from a throwaway address, you’re not only lowering your open rates but you’re also depersonalizing your email. Use your real email address (or at least something with the company domain), so subscribers feel like they’re actually in communication with you.


Looking for more email marketing tips? Subscribe to our blog or contact the experts at FireDrum Email Marketing directly at experts@nullfiredum.com.