7 Reasons Why Your Emails Aren’t Getting Opened: A Data-Driven Analysis

Created On
October 31, 2023
7 Reasons Why Your Emails Aren’t Getting Opened: A Data-Driven Analysis

In today's digital landscape, email is still one of the most effective marketing mediums for businesses, enabling direct and personalized communication with their audience. And the most horrific thing that can happen to a well-crafted email marketing campaign is low open rates.

Consider this: you're not peddling dubious products or soliciting sensitive information, but spam filters are impartially judging solely by email marketing standards. And, if your practices even remotely resemble those of a spammer, you'll find your messages in the spam folder

Shockingly, over 20% of legitimate emails still end up in spam folders. But fret not. 

In this blog post, we'll delve into a data-driven analysis to uncover the 7 pivotal reasons why your emails aren’t getting opened and how to rectify them. 

Let’s get started. 

Why Spams Are a Nightmare for Email Marketers?

45% of all messages are identified as spam, so getting your legitimate emails noticed is a tough job. Let’s take a look at why spam is a headache for email marketers, shedding light on its detrimental effects on email marketing performance.

Lower Open Rates

When your emails land in the spam folder, they're often left untouched or swiftly deleted. This leads to a sharp drop in open rates, which means your well-crafted personalized campaigns are missing the mark. 

Damaged Sender Reputation

Consistently landing in spam can damage your sender reputation. Email service providers (ESPs) and internet service providers (ISPs) might start seeing your domain skeptically, fearing it's a source of unwanted content. This mistrust can grow if not addressed properly, leading to even more deliverability issues in the future. 

Wasted Resources

Creating compelling content, designing eye-catching templates, and segmenting your audience is a lengthy process. It demands time, energy, and resources. But when your emails end up in the spam folder, it's like watching your hard work go down the drain. This time and resource inefficiency reflects on your return on investment.

Besides these factors, think about all the crucial updates, exclusive promotions, and valuable content lost in those spam-filtered emails. When recipients don't lay eyes on them, you're missing out on golden opportunities. Conversions numbers drop, customer relationships remain un-nurtured, and your marketing goals start lagging behind their target. 

7 Reasons Why Your Emails Aren’t Getting Opened

Here are the 7 most common reasons why emails may not be getting opened:

1. Subject Line Optimization

The subject line is the gateway to your email. If it doesn't immediately communicate value or relevance to the recipient, it significantly lowers the chances of email opening. It's essential to craft subject lines that resonate with your audience. Testing different subject lines against each other can provide valuable insights into what works best for your specific audience.

2. Repetitive Content

Sending emails with the same content repeatedly can lead to a decline in open rates. Even if you tweak the messaging, if the core content remains unchanged, subscribers may start to disengage. It's important to diversify your content offerings and avoid bombarding your list with the same material. Consider segmenting your list and tailoring content to specific groups to ensure it remains fresh and engaging.

3. List Quality and Segmentation

The quality of your email list plays a pivotal role in open rates. Depending on your industry and buying cycle, the frequency of list cleansing may vary. Removing contacts with consistent email bounces or those who haven't engaged in your emails for an extended period is a good starting point. 

Furthermore, effective list segmentation is crucial. Different personas and customer segments may have distinct interests and pain points. Tailoring your messages to address these specific needs significantly boosts open rates. For example, if a prospect initially engages with content, it's important to focus subsequent communications on related topics rather than unrelated offerings like inbound marketing.

4. Email Frequency and Open Rates

The frequency at which you send emails can directly impact open rates. Sending emails too frequently can lead to email fatigue, causing subscribers to overlook or even unsubscribe. Conversely, sending emails too infrequently might lead to a loss of engagement. 

Striking the right balance depends on your industry and audience preferences. For example, you shouldn’t send emails to someone at midnight; for effective outreach, you should send emails during work hours. 

By addressing these key factors, you can significantly enhance the effectiveness of your email campaigns and improve open rates. Remember, every audience is unique, so it's essential to continually monitor and adapt your email strategy to meet their evolving preferences and needs.

5. Spam Laws are Violated

Every email should have a clear way for users to opt out. Make sure your unsubscribe link is easily accessible, preferably in both the header and footer. This not only complies with regulations but also boosts your reputation.

If you don’t add your business’s physical address to your emails, you might get flagged as spam. Ensure your email's sender address is correctly formatted. This simple step can prevent your emails from ending up in the spam folder.

Broken HTML can make your emails appear unprofessional and trigger spam filters. Always double-check the integrity of your code. Large emails may struggle to pass through spam filters. Keeping your email size between 15 and 100 KB is recommended for optimal deliverability.

Besides, attachments can trigger safety warnings and be flagged as potential threats. Avoid sending unsafe or binary attachments. Avoid using free email addresses for sending marketing emails. Establishing your own domain is crucial for maintaining a good domain reputation.

6. Lack in Email Authentication

Abrupt spikes in email volume can be a red flag. Gradual and consistent volume increases are more favorable. High spam rates can severely impact your domain's reputation. Introduce new IPs gradually to establish a positive reputation. Poorly managed warm-ups can lead to deliverability issues. Ensure proper configuration of email headers, authentication, and encryption to prevent rejections from email providers. Proper email authentication involves setting up SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records. Failing to do so can lead to authentication issues.

7. Poor Email Engagement

High inactivity rates indicate a low value of your email campaigns. Regularly check your email list to maintain engagement and domain reputation. Avoid purchasing or scraping email lists. Engaging with uninterested recipients can lead to high bounce rates and spam complaints. Consider using double opt-in processes for better engagement and domain reputation. Focus on quality over quantity in your email list.

Stick to reliable and trustworthy sender addresses to maintain credibility and open rates. Tailor your emails to specific segments of your audience to increase relevance and engagement.


By addressing these key factors that are affecting your email open rates, you can significantly improve the open rates and overall effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns. Remember, a well-crafted email is only effective if it reaches the right audience.

If your emails are finding their way into the dreaded spam folder, you're essentially leaving money on the table. Vital messages about pricing updates, deals, new features, and more might be going unnoticed by a portion of your prospects and users. This means potential revenue is slipping through the cracks.

Understanding why this happens can be a perplexing task, but fear not. Smartlead complies with all the email-sending laws maintains high email deliverability with its automated email warmups and keeps domain reputation high with its high-deliverability IP servers, so you can focus on closing more deals rather than worrying about email open rates. 


1. How to know if someone opened your email?

Smartlead offers an email delivery receipt that lets you know whether your email landed on your prospects’ inboxes or not. 

2. How to know if an email has been read?

With Smartlead’s unique tracking links in your email, you can know if your email has been read. 

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

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Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Author’s Details

Sattwik Das

Sattwik is a Digital Marketing professional at Smartlead. He is a dedicated content writer who focuses on juggling words to bring out meaningful content. He is experienced in well-researched and SEO-optimized content creation, content editing, and copywriting for various businesses throughout the globe. His expertise in SEO, SMM, and SMO with a touch of creativity helps businesses grow and maximize their credibility and sales.


Edited by:

Sattwik Das


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