3 Reasons Your Customers Ignore Your Emails (And How to Fix Them)

by Dustin J. Hall | 4 MIN READ
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As a business owner, you know how important your email list is.

It's an investment, and one that can continue to grow if you know exactly how to handle it. Like all investments, however, things can start to go south if you don't know what you're doing.

Send out one too many crummy emails and you'll quickly lose their attention (and potential revenue). That's the last thing you want to happen, right?

Truth is, if you want to avoid this, you have some work to do. Thankfully, there are ways you can tweak your email tactics before your inbound marketing program crumbles and all of your customers decide to head for the hills.

Here are 3 of the biggest reasons why your customers are passing over your emails and how you can fix it so it never happens again.

Your Email Titles Aren't Captivating

When it comes to email marketing, the title is everything. It's the one thing that will decide whether or not someone will open it up. If a title has no significance or any hint of importance, you can bet that email will be finding its way to the trash bin in a matter of seconds! Sending out emails with terrible titles is one of the quickest ways to get your customers to flat out ignore you (and eventually unsubscribe from your list).

How to fix boring email titles:

While you never want your titles to be sneaky or misleading, you do want them to be interesting enough that it catches attention.

You can do this in a number of ways:

  • Show them an incentive: "Open now to reveal your savings on your next order!"
  • Reveal the benefits directly: "Here's 10% off your next order!"
  • Personalize: "[FirstName], did you see our new product name is now available?"
  • Include power words: Words that trigger emotion can make a big difference in an email that is opened or sent to the trash can.
  • Create a sense of urgency: especially if you're selling a product or service at a special price.

When it comes to titles, there are no hard and fast rules for success (contrary to the claims of many "marketing gurus").

The key is to test them over time and use metrics to determine what titles work best and what do not. The harder you work at it, the more you will increase your open/read rate.

Your Email Content is Dull

Have you ever read anything that is dull, boring and nearly makes you fall asleep? You know, something that just doesn't have a strong voice or an ounce of personality?

Your customers might be feeling the exact same way if the content you deliver follows a similar path.

How to fix dull emails:

Show your customers who you really are by letting your personality shine through your email content. Keep it professional, but make it fun. Always remember that there is a person on the other end, not a company. The more you focus on writing compelling and interesting content, the easier it will be to keep your customers hooked from beginning to end.

Another important thing to remember is to keep it short and sweet.

As a simple example, if your goal is to get your customers over to your blog to read an article, don't post the entire article in your email. Instead, post a compelling teaser and give them a link. This will keep them from being paralyzed by a 700 word email and get you more web traffic at the same time.

Your Emails Don't Connect with Your Audience

No matter what type of business you run, the ability to connect with your customers is crucial. It's the only way to ensure that your business stays afloat. You want your audience to understand you, and they want to be sure that you understand them. If you're not able to get the job done, you're going to be in for a long and uneventful ride.

How to fix missed connections:

Do you know what makes your customers tick? What really keeps them going?

If you don't know the answers to these questions, then it's going to be hard to connect with them on a level that will make them want to come back for more.

Successful business owners aren't afraid to ask their customers what they want. If you want to join the pack, you need to adopt this mentality as well. Create a quick survey and send it out to your customer base.

When you do, you might be shocked at the number of people who end up replying.

All emails fail without knowledge of your buyer personas.

Download our handy guide & start locking in your messaging!

Download the Persona Creation Guide

Originally published June 1, 2015. Updated March 27, 2018.