4 Reasons Why Your Customers Aren’t Reading Your Emails

By BKV in Digital Marketing on October 21st, 2016

direct email marketing

Some marketing leaders pass off a lack of email marketing success as just general marketplace disdain for this communication method. In reality, many companies are achieving greater results from email communication than ever before thanks to precise targeting and high-impact messages.

The trick is to recognize common mistakes that get in the way of audience interest in your emails, and to plan sound strategies for avoiding the delete button. The following are several reasons customers may ignore emails and what to do about it.

Your message is too spammy 

In email marketing terms, spamming means mass distributing catch-all messages to an entire contact list. The belief is that by flooding thousands of inboxes, you will get a percentage of recipients to open and respond. When you send out general interest emails to your entire list, most of the recipients take no interest whatsoever.

Imagine someone sticking a $5 bill in the middle of a large haystack. Your job is to dig through and find it. However, you realize the return on your time and effort is minimal. In the same way, email readers don't want to dig through a bunch of impersonal clutter to find one potentially valuable nugget in your message.

The solution is to develop and deliver personalized messages. Create profiles for various contact segments within your database. Deliver messages that speak to the specific interests of a customer group, which makes your emails more attractive. Over time, use analytics to track the results of certain messages and audience members, and fine-tune your precision.  

Poor design is turning readers off

Successful email marketers rely on talented graphic designers for newsletters and emails just like they do for print ads and materials. If a recipient opens your message and immediately feels overwhelmed or finds the design confusing and unprofessional, his desire to read is going to remain low.

Instead, put time and resources into the development of high-quality templates for regular newsletters and routine emails. An attractive design scheme that fits your company's profile improves branding and credibility.

Unorganized content is causing confusion

Even a personalized message that is pretty won't invite readers if the content is chaotic. Organize your email in a clear narrative, or with distinct sections of content.

If you are including news items or product references, for instance, group these particular content types together. Simplify the reader's ability to detect and click on content of interest. A consistent and well organized design scheme and layout contribute to the ease with which readers can get into your email messages. Periodic redesigns are good, but don't randomly produce new design schemes with every message. You lose the credibility and trust from prior messages.

email template design

Your messages are buried ... and never found

Other technical factors could impede readership as well. First, utilize a high-quality and trusted email service to avoid having your content wind up in junk boxes. Additionally, study the times at which you generate the highest open/read rates and deliver your messages at those times. If you send a message at 8:00 PM, and your target market doesn't check emails until late morning or afternoon the next day, your message is likely to remain unopened at the end of a long string of emails.


As with other types of digital communication, email marketing success is largely based on your ability to develop and deliver personalized messages that readers care about. Track performance over time and consistently work to fine-tune message and distribution strategies. Invest in the resources to create professional, attractive design schemes and organized layouts that invite readers and keep them interested. Finally, deliver your messages when readers pay the most attention.

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