Why People Don’t Like Your Emails – And the Easy Fixes


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Low email engagement rates leave many marketers discouraged. As every email takes time and effort to create, we all want to see them perform. Are your emails getting a lukewarm reaction? It could be that you’re making at least one of the mistakes below. Don’t fret – we have easy fixes for each of them, and you’ll be upping your chances in no time.

With email newsletters more prevalent than ever, marketers are always plotting new ways to grow their list. While that’s important, they sometimes fail to keep a close eye on their metrics.

If your click rates have dropped recently, you’re probably asking yourself why the sudden plunge in enthusiasm.

It’s a valuable question because being appreciated will lead to greater engagement in any channel. Engagement can and should lead to a higher ROI. After all, 59% of all marketers say email is their greatest revenue generator.

So, why wouldn’t someone like your emails? More importantly, what are the easy fixes? Let’s see.

They don’t like your emails because you don’t get permission

You don’t show up uninvited at someone’s home, and most folks don’t appreciate door-to-door salesmen. People view their inboxes as personal. This means you shouldn’t send promotional emails without getting permission. It will annoy most people and make you look like you don’t know what you’re doing.

Just adding someone to your email list can get you spam complaints which greatly tarnishes your sending score. A bad sending score means a big decrease in the number of your emails that will reach the inbox. Because Internet service providers (ISPs) detect you behaving like a spammer, they’ll start putting your newsletters in the junk folder.

The easy fix?

“Get permission from every single one of your subscribers,” advises ZeroBounce COO Brian Minick. “From customers to friends and family – everyone should express consent to receive emails from you,” the email expert adds.

This means buying or renting a list is out of the question. Instead, focus on building your own and go one step further: to ensure genuine subscriptions, use double opt-in. When someone enters their email address to subscribe, an automated email is sent to the address they signed up with. The automated email has a link they must click to confirm their interest in being on the list. If your new subscribers care enough, they’ll click the link to show intention.

They don’t like your emails because you don’t offer value

Too often email marketers become wrapped up in using their newsletters to share information that’s interesting only to them. Nobody wants to read 500 words of self-absorption or useless information. Have you ever opened a newsletter that caused you to skim quickly and then ask, “What’s the point?” Nobody likes emails like that.

The easy fix?

As you create every email, ask the question: will my readers care about this? If not, ask how you can offer value. Once you have permission, you must continue to create value for your readers. If you don’t, they’ll leave your list – there are plenty of emails coming in every hour. Just remember, most inboxes have a lot of competition.

So, how do you increase the value of your emails? It could be as simple as making them entertaining. Nobody wants to read a boring email. It could also mean including promotional offers, exclusive to subscribers.

Is there very useful information related to your company’s specialty? “The best emails offer more than one kind of value,” according to Uwe Dreissigacker, Founder and CEO of InvoiceBerry. “The more boxes you can check, the better,” he adds.

They don’t like your emails because you aren’t punctual

Whether it’s showing up an hour late for dinner or being a no-show altogether, nobody likes a flake. People don’t like emails that are inconsistent either. If your emails go out twice a week and then dwindle to once every few months, you’ll seem unreliable. Being unpredictable with the time-frames you send emails will cause people to forget about signing up. When you pop back up, they may mark you as spam. Furthermore, remember those ISPs? By haphazardly sending emails, you come across as a spammer does.

The easy fix?

You can be punctual by determining at what regular intervals you should send emails. Stick to that calendar. “It goes back to finding out what your readers want,” said Ronen Hamatian, CEO of Madrivo. “For instance, if you are a cigar retailer, you probably wouldn’t send a newsletter about cigars every single day. However, there are daily emails that make sense because of the nature of their content,” adds Hamatian.

When you determine how often you should send your newsletter, make a schedule that you can stick to. If you plan to send a newsletter every other Sunday at noon, give yourself deadlines to have each issue all ready to go out.

It’s always good to give yourself a few days to look over your email and get a fresh set of eyes on it. Then you can send it out with confidence. If you rush to get out a newsletter, you’ll be more likely to make mistakes and will cause unnecessary stress. Readers can tell if an email was thrown together at the last minute.

They don’t like your emails because you stop showing up

Have you ever been enjoying someone’s newsletter and suddenly the emails just stop hitting your inbox? There are several reasons why this will happen.

The first reason is obvious. You’re not getting any emails because they stopped sending them, which sends a bad message about that brand. However, there are other reasons why emails stop showing up. They never hit the subscribers’ inboxes because the ISPs categorize them as spam.

You may be asking, “So, why would a legitimate email end up in the spam folder?” It happens more frequently than many think and the culprit can be more than just the previously mentioned bad practices (not getting permission, sending inconsistently).

The easy fix?

You can help your emails go to people’s inboxes by removing bad data from your email list. Some email addresses go bad after a while because they’re abandoned. Other emails were never good to begin with (honeypots, known complainers, disposable contacts). There is a great risk in keeping those email addresses on your list. You can fix this problem by using an email validation service to identify those addresses and remove them.

Another great fix? Keep those bad emails off the list in the first place. You can connect an email validation API everywhere you have a sign-up form. This will keep someone from adding their undesirable and potentially harmful email address to your list.

You want people to like your emails, but authenticity matters

Inauthenticity is one thing every customer can spot. Certainly, you want your subscribers to enjoy your newsletter. However, you always want to keep the goals and values of your company in mind. Something everyone appreciates is authenticity. Remember that your emails aren’t primarily to serve you. The priority is to serve your customers. Keep that in mind. What’s not to like about that?

Liviu Tanase
Liviu Tanase is the founder and CEO of email validation, deliverability, and email finding company ZeroBounce. As a serial entrepreneur, he founded five companies and has participated in three exits creating quadruple-digit returns. Liviu writes about digital marketing and technology, focusing on email communication. His goal is to help make email marketing work for your business.


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