Why So Many Emails End Up In The Trash

by | May 3, 2022

If you’ve invested in email marketing for your business, it can be frustrating to see how many of your emails aren’t delivered. In fact, it’s estimated that about 20% of global commercial emails do not reach a client’s inbox. This number is even higher for email marketers in the U.S., who have the lowest deliverability rate of any country at 77%. 

While that news may be discouraging, email marketing is still the most relied upon method for business-to-business advertising. With 87% of B2B content marketers using email to connect with their audience, it’s no wonder so many businesses are asking why their emails aren’t delivered successfully. 

Beyond deliverability rates, there’s another issue. Your customers are not reading your emails. In fact, 39% of consumers have 100 or more unread emails in their inbox — and 20% report having over 1,000 unread emails. In fact, a 2021 study in March found that only about 17% of emails were ever opened with a click-through rate of around 10%. 

While this rate isn’t as dire as it may sound, considering that email marketing provides some of the highest ROI of any marketing channel due to its low cost, it’s still important to realize that tons of your emails are ending up in the trash. 

So, why do so many emails end up in the trash? 

This is a complicated question, and the answer depends on why an email delivery is unsuccessful. If it’s because your emails are setting off spam filters or being routed to junk mail, you’re likely using words, code, fonts, or images that trigger spam filters. In other words, you are making your emails seem illegitimate. Luckily, we have an entire blog post on this topic (and how to clean up your copy accordingly). You can click here to learn more. 

But what about emails your clients delete or just don’t read? 

Luckily, this answer might be simpler than you think. While the copy of your overall email is essential for improving your click-through rate, it is actually secondary to something else — your subject and taglines. This is because your customers make a split-second decision when they see your subject line to open the email or not. That’s why it’s so essential to get it right. After all, if nobody opens your email, then nobody is going to click through it. 

But how can you make sure you’re getting it right? 

When it comes to picking a great subject line, few things are more effective than A/B Testing. This is when your email list is segmented into an “A” group and a “B” group — each receiving the same email with different subject lines. You can then track the response to these separate subject lines to see which group responded more favorably. This will help you to determine which subject lines are more compelling and what your audience is interested in. 

Aside from testing your subject line copy, stay away from phrases that might sound gimmicky or off-putting to your readers. This includes excessive punctuation, words like “free,” pushes for customers to “buy now,” excessive emojis, and more. Generally, the rule of thumb is to avoid sending out emails you wouldn’t open yourself. This awareness will help prevent those red flags in your emails. 

So, when it comes to sending out successful emails, it all comes down to carefully crafting your copy. Don’t include trigger words for spam filters, and be responsive to your customers’ interests and needs. You will improve your deliverability rates and get higher ROI for your email campaigns.

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