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One Big Reason Your Newsletter Open Rate is Low and What to do About it

Subject lines that perform the best are descriptive and clearly state the benefit the reader will have if they read it. You can have the most incredible article written that will literally change people’s lives. But they have to first open their email. This article provides five key reasons why your subscribers are ignoring your newsletter, resulting in low open rates, and what to do about it.

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How many newsletters do you receive in a given day, week, or month? If you’re anything like me, it could be in the hundreds! But more importantly, how many do you actually click on to read? I bet that number is substantially less.

Do you know why that is? Why are you skipping past those unopened emails or deleting them before you know what they contain? One of the big reasons is the subject line.

So imagine the same thing happening to your newsletters. Do you want them to be ignored and deleted?

If not, this article will help you better understand what gets your subscribers to open your newsletter.

How Subject Lines Are Critically Important to Newsletter Open Rates

Over the years, we have worked with hundreds of clients to send out their weekly/monthly/periodic digital Newsletters.

For many clients, we do the research and writing of the featured article within the newsletter before sending it out to their list. For other clients, they send us what they want to be sent out, already written.

But rarely do these clients give any thought to the all-important subject line.

It’s hard to imagine a subject line having that much power but indeed, it is a very critical component of a newsletter when 35% of email recipients will open an email based on the subject line alone.

You can have the most incredible article written that will literally change people’s lives. But if they never open the email, they will never read or experience your life-altering writing.

5 Reasons Your Subscribers Are Ignoring Your Newsletter

There are many different ways a subject line can be written that will get you the open rates you seek (I’ve got several books that are just on this subject alone!)

But to get you started, here are the top five reasons your emails are being ignored and what should be fixed in the subject line right away:

1) Not relevant to the reader. Put yourself in your reader’s shoes – what would get them to want to read more? Are you leading them to an answer that they will find in your article? Are you triggering their curiosity enough to make them feel they are missing out if they don’t read further?

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At the end of the day, if what you are sending out is not what your readers want to receive from you, then you’ve lost them in the inbox. So be sure you clearly understand who your target audience is and why they became a subscriber in the first place.

2) Too many characters long. When a subject line is too long, there’s a good chance it will get cut off in the preview window and won’t be read. This will reduce your chances greatly at compelling your reader to open the email.

Best practices are to keep your subject line under 60 characters and that includes the use of emojis.

3) Too clever or vague. Subject lines that perform the best are descriptive and clearly state the benefit the reader will have if they read it. Trying to be clever often leads to being too broad or vague where only you truly understand what it’s about but is lost on everyone else.

A valuable rule of thumb is to never make assumptions that the reader will be able to get what you mean. Always be clear and straight to the point.

4) Not personalized. According to Convince & Convert, emails that include the recipient’s first name see a higher click rate than those that don’t. Just doing this one thing, could boost your open rate by 50%.

I don’t recommend you do this with every newsletter you send out, but make it a habit for many of them.

5) Using spam triggering words and characters. 16% of all emails land in the junk folder often due to a poorly written subject line that contains spam-triggering words.

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So before sending out your next newsletter, check to make sure it’s not over-sensationalized, over-promising, and over-used words that typical spammers use.

The next time you write your Newsletter, give twice as much thought to the subject line as you did writing the article itself and see if you get better open rates as a result.

Another good habit to get into is to check your stats after each newsletter – what is the open rate percentage? Are those stats improving or declining with each send out?

Also, if your Newsletter provider allows it, try doing split-testing to see which subject line style is more effective with your list.

If writing proper subject lines, let alone newsletters and blog articles, is overwhelming to you, then consider hiring marketing specialists who can do all of that tedious work for you!

Leave a comment below to share which subject line styles often compel you to open the email to read further and which ones do you almost always delete. What differences do you notice between the two?

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(Featured image by Brett Jordan via Unsplash)

DISCLAIMER: This article was written by a third party contributor and does not reflect the opinion of Born2Invest, its management, staff or its associates. Please review our disclaimer for more information.

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Susan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence. As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.