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Email Marketing: The #1 Reason Your Emails Aren’t Getting Opened

DATE PUBLISHED: April 17, 2015
Category: Marketing Strategy

What's the #1 reason why your emails aren't getting opened? For an answer we turn to the "dating" app Tinder. That's right. Tinder.

Now, we here at Palmer, we promise, haven't dabbled with the app, but if you're unfamiliar with it, its premise is simple. Users simply see another person's face. That's it. No description, no work information, no career goals, etc.


This approach is predicated on the powerful idea of first impressions. And the same logic goes to the heart of your email marketing efforts and why your emails aren't getting opened: you're not making people want to click on your email. And how, exactly, do you create this compelling first impression?

That's right, by creating a compelling subject line.

It's All About the Subject Line

We've all been there, of course. We get what looks like a spam message in our folder, briefly view the subject, and the promptly delete it. But don't just take our word for it. Check out these interesting stats pertaining to email subject lines:

  • 33% of email recipients open email based on subject line alone.
  • Click through rate (CTR) is higher when using the recipient's first name in the subject line over no use of the first name.
  • Most clicked lead nurturing subject line words include "secrets," "e-sales," and "awesome."

We can all agree that it is important to create a compelling email subject line. But how, exactly, do we do it?

Creating Killer Email Subject Lines

We can certainly extract some lessons from the aforementioned stats. First and foremost, customization is key. The idea of "throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks" is a waste of time. Segment your email lists, know your recipient based on their location in the purchasing funnel, and give them what they want — and pitch it in the subject line. Also make the subject line actionable by using verbs to create a sense of urgency. For example, instead of a subject line that reads, "Free Residential Solar Consultation," try "Contact Our Experts for a Free Residential Solar Consultation." Which reminds us: make sure the subject line spells out what, specifically, the viewer will get should they click the link.

Lastly, make sure to A/B your subject lines to find the one that works best.

Of course, there are other factors that will also dictate the success of your email marketing efforts (for more help along those lines, click here). But at the end of the day, first impressions do matter, so take that extra effort to really nail the subject line.

What do you think? What are other reasons why viewers don't open eBlasts? 

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