Why Are People Ignoring Your Marketing Email?

Annoying marketing emails are like messages from people on dating sites. Most of them look the same and you usually won’t bother to respond. But there are always one or two messages that seductively hook you in, and you can’t resist the urge to click.

So how can you make sure your email is the one people choose to open and read? How do you turn a seemingly unrequited love letter into an engaging, alluring email that people will respond and react to?

Who Is Doing It Well?

There are some mass mailing list emails I always open. I love reading theSkimm, and the New York Times email is essential reading for anyone who wants to stay in the know. There is always something new and interesting in their emails that is relevant to me.

I feel like I need to read their emails or I’m missing out.

Stupid Mistakes

There are lots of mistakes that you should avoid if you want to entice people to read, and keep reading your emails.

These are the obvious ones:

  1. Don’t boast or brag about how amazing your company is
  2. Don’t be too salesy or tell your readers to BUY BUY BUY your product
  3. Don’t ramble on about all your product’s fantastic features – be concise
  4. Don’t make outlandish claims about what your product can do

And (perhaps) the not so obvious, but very important one:

  • Don’t send out generic non-personalized emails to everyone in your mailing database

So What Will Make People Read Your Email?

I don’t usually open or respond to unappealing emails that say “Hey everyone, buy and download all of our new apps today.” Odds are little, if any, of that email is relevant to me. And even if the email is relevant, I’ve already phased it out.

So what emails do you and I actually want to read?

Personalization and Segmentation

People are more likely to open and respond to:

The best way to personalize your emails, is to divide your audience into segments. That way you can target people in specific industries, with information specifically interesting to them.

What to do:

  • look at where your audience is, or what industries they’re in, or how old they are, or whether they’re good buyers
  • put audience members into segments that reflect those distinctions
  • design email content to reflect these grouped interests
  • use tools that can help with personalized messaging at scale such as ToutApp, YesWare, and Outreach

Overall, if you want your readers to engage with and respond to your email, they need to feel like the email is written for them and relevant to them.


You need to spend your time in the most intelligent manner possible to maximize impact.

One way to do this is using daily news alerts to help prioritize your outreach:

  • work out who is most likely to buy today
  • find 100 leads who just made the news
  • reach out to the above with timely, personalized messages

By hitting people who are ripe and ready with content at the right time, you’ve increased your chances for conversion and success.

Developing relationships

What would you think if you received a birthday card from an intimate friend with no personalized message, just “Happy Birthday to you”? Were they really thinking about you? Or were they checking things off a list?

It’s the same with email marketing. How can you form a relationship with your readers if it appears that you don’t know or care about them?

That’s why personalization is key for developing and maintaining relationships.

Personalized messaging provides:

  • a friendly and approachable way to start a conversation with someone new
  • an organic way to re-approach someone you haven’t spoken with in a while
  • an additional (and genuine) way to demonstrate that you care for someone
  • the chance to publicly support individuals through social media by calling attention to their successes.

Overall, email marketing is just like a real relationship. You get out of it what you put into it.

If you make the effort to carefully personalize emails for your recipients, you can create real and useful relationships (and hopefully sales).

One thought on “Why Are People Ignoring Your Marketing Email?

Let us know what you think

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s