6 Reasons Your Emails Have Low Open Rates

4 mins, 11 secs Read
Updated On November 16, 2023

Email marketing is one of the most popular ways to promote the business online, but this strategy hides many problems. Your emails can have low open rates, and all your effort in creating promotions and sending them to the target audience will be wasted. 

It is vital people actually open your email, read it, and take action. Many fail to increase their email open rates as marketers simply do not know the reason. In this article, we’ll list your main reasons why your emails have low open rates and help to deal with them. 

Why Email Open Rates Matter for Your Business

There are many ways to promote your business with email marketing. Statistics say that it is an efficient tool that will be popular in the future, with 4,6 billion users worldwide in 2025. 

People send billions of emails every day, using a bulk email sender, and a significant part of them concern business and its promotion. Besides, marketers widely use emails for content distribution that is 9 out of 10 emails sent. 

Businesses worldwide report email marketing to help them grow and achieve success, but what to do if letters are ignored? Consider that welcome emails have fourfold higher open rates if compared to average emails. You can use email open rates tracking to monitor the marketing campaign success and work on mistakes. 

Low Email Open Rates Reasons 

We single out six main reasons why your email ends up unopened, marked as spam, or simply neglected by the receiver. Let’s explore them in detail that help you overcome these mistakes in your email marketing campaign. 

#1 Ineffective Subject Lines 

It’s paramount to focus most of your effort on the email subject line since it’s the first thing a recipient sees before opening the email itself. You should create a compelling subject line that will increase your open rates. A successful line tells the receiver what an email consists of and why it’s worth opening. 

Many tools allow you to make the subject line stand out and attract the audience. You can try A/B testing to define the existing line performance or use a subject line generator to benefit from a powerful result. Thus, your subject line must be meaningful, attractive, short, and clear, not looking like spam and generating high open rates. 

#2 Depersonalized Emails

Another reason for low open rates is an ordinary email lacking any personalization signs. There are many efficient methods to customize your email and attract the receiver to open it. Firstly, you should add the addressee’s name and display their past buying preferences. It will give a personal touch to the marketing email and make it look generated manually, not automatically. 

It’d be great to use personalized email marketing templates provided by online marketing services like Mailchimp or SendGrid. There you will find unique mobile-responsive designs and layouts for a successful campaign. Thus, explore email personalization methods to engage the audience and have high email open rates. 

#3 Numerous Buzzwords

There are many email marketing buzzwords you should know to generate high open rates, but some are better to avoid. You should not use sensationalizing and promising words that may mislead the receiver and ignore unrealistic claims. Addressees are often annoyed when they see such words as optimize, free, branding, unprecedented, percentage off, action/next step, and many more.

On the other hand, email marketers must know and use in their campaigns certain powerful words increasing open rates. You should consider adding words like alert, exclusive, limited, new, appealing to receivers’ emotions. The email must excite and at the same time be simple and show security. 

#4 Email Has No Image or Video 

You should note that a marketing email without images or videos is doomed to failure. It is reported that 80% of businesses use videos in their marketing campaigns. There is a wide range of tools for creating powerful visual content for your email marketing. When choosing email marketing tools, pay attention to their design, interface, functionalities, and price. 

Email video marketing is gaining popularity nowadays, and you should try it in your campaign. Consider the most popular video marketing types and choose the one that works best for your business. Thus, you can create branded videos, events, stories, and tips and tricks videos when introducing your products and services to the receiver for the first time. Another great solution is to announce sales or product launches with a video. Generally, it’s a powerful way to personalize your emails and increase open rates. 

#5 Spam Filters

One of the popular reasons for low open rates is automatic filtering that marks your email as spam. There are plenty of factors influencing email that can be marked as spam, so learn them to avoid in your marketing campaign. The first is spam words (buy, download, lottery, click, etc.), unreliable domain, “no-reply” emails, etc.

There are some email marketing tools allowing you to test your email if it looks like spam. Increase your open rates with a proper subject line that helps your letter go through spam filters. So you should avoid one-word, capitals, exclamations, RE, and spelling mistakes. Do not use free email addresses and include your business address. 

#6 Email Has Not Been Well Tested

The issue of low email open rates lies in a lack of or poor email testing. It is a procedure that gives you an understanding of what your audience needs and expects. Marketers should try different options, analyze metrics and learn from mistakes.

The email testing consists of trying numerous subject lines, analyzing email content for spam, and validating HTML/CSS. Besides, your testing allows marketers to capture SMTP traffic from staging and device environments and test email sending services.


There are many more reasons for email open rates failing, and you should pay attention to a lot of factors. It is crucial to follow the frequency of email sending, adjust the email design to the receiver device, etc. Marketers need to follow the audience’s demands, use modern email marketing tools, and be creative. Keep pace with cutting-edge marketing trends and stand out with your email that will definitely attract the receiver. 

Author: Manpreet Kaur Sandhu