3 Reasons Subscribers Are Ignoring Your Emails
A successful email program begins and ends with subscriber engagement — and making sure your subscribers are receiving and reading your emails is a key step in fostering engagement. Two of the most important measures of email success, inbox placement and email engagement, go hand in hand. As mailbox providers become increasingly sophisticated with how they filter your messages, they are relying heavily on subscriber behavior to help make this decision. Mailing to your most engaged subscribers — those who read and interact with your messages — can help boost overall inbox placement, so it’s important to keep subscribers interested and responsive, and understand why subscribers disengage.
Here are three common reasons your subscribers may be ignoring your emails and key ways to avoid this:
1. Email Frequency Is Too High
According to Adobe’s recent 2018 Consumer Email Survey, 45 percent of all participants said that getting emailed too often by a brand is the “most annoying thing when receiving an email offer from a marketer.” This response comes as no surprise, as email frequency is often the biggest reason for subscriber disengagement and dissatisfaction. In today’s crowded inbox, the average subscriber receives hundreds of promotional messages in a given week or month. Getting flooded with too many emails from one brand, especially one they seldom engage with or find value in, can cause subscriber tune out.
To avoid this, create frequency rules based on subscriber engagement, sending more emails to those who frequently open and click your messages and reducing frequency for those who are not. Also ensure that each email message provides unique value, and that the content you send is not too repetitive. Many brands also allow subscribers to dictate their own frequency by using a preference center, where subscribers have the option to select how often they’d like to receive mail.
2. Email Content Provides Little Value
Most subscribers expect emails to provide promotional incentives to help influence the purchase process. However, they also want brands to make emails “less about promotion and more about providing me information.” To keep subscribers happy, emails should provide relevant and engaging information and content, such as helpful editorial articles,videos, or customer reviews. This will not only help generate increased response and conversions but it can also help with the long term subscriber relationship and set your brand apart from competitors. This is especially important to keeping subscribers engaged and your brand top of mind — even when they may not be ready to make a purchase.
To ensure your emails are highly relevant and engaging, target subscribers based on their specific lifecycle stage and send emails that provide relevant information at each phase. In addition to providing a mix of content, use a variety of templates to keep subscribers interested and avoid tune out.
3. Messages Contain No Personalization or Incorrect Data
Today’s subscribers have become accustomed to receiving personalized and relevant communications. That’s why winning email programs rely on subscriber data to drive email content and promotions. Sending generic “one size fits all” messages to your entire email list can quickly lead to subscriber tune out. Personalized messages and offers go hand-in-hand with ensuring your subscribers find value in your emails. These type of customized emails can help boost engagement; however, brands must also ensure they have the correct subscriber information since personalizing emails with incorrect data can lead to subscriber frustration and disengagement.
So whether it’s sending customized triggered messages based on subscriber behavior, or including targeted dynamic content within larger promotional emails, personalized content will help drive increased and continued subscriber response and boost ROI. Even if you lack access to deep subscriber insights, you can still give emails a personalized feel by focusing on current events or relevant holidays.
As marketers, it’s important to keep a pulse on engagement metrics and identify factors which may be contributing to negative engagement. By understanding your audience and optimizing your email program to meet their needs, you can capture subscribers’ attention, keep them interested in your brand message, and make sure that more of your messages are reaching their intended target.
Alexandra Braunstein has been helping world class brands grow and optimize their email marketing strategies and initiatives for over a decade. As an email strategist for Return Path, Alexandra uses her passion for analytical and creative thinking to help marketers refine their email programs, resulting in more emails getting delivered to the inbox, improved subscriber engagement, and increased ROI.