The Innovative Marketer's Blog

3 Reasons Why Your Marketing Emails are Being Ignored

David Holmes
Posted by David Holmes


When was the last time you opened an email from someone you didn’t know? For me, it was in the late 90s, when email was new and amusing to me. Here in the 21st century, for the most part, people don't interact with email addresses they don't recognize. According to Kentico, 77% of respondents say they’re unlikely to welcome an unsolicited email even if it’s relevant to them.

When trying to develop a relationship with someone through marketing, it is important to realize that this cannot be achieved solely through email marketing automation. Being a human myself, it is pretty easy to detect an automated email. As the world continues to accelerate technologically, we have to remember that we can't always depend on email technology to develop relationships for us. It should be supplementary to our relationship building efforts with other prospects, not the primary driver.

In my experience, there are three common reasons why businesses fail to get their message through to prospective customers in email marketing campaigns:

1. Many unsolicited emails are filtered as spam and will never be seen

Spam filters are getting increasingly better at recognizing factors that typically make an email spammy. According to MailChimp, these are some basic traits that spammy emails usually have in common:

  • Having too many links or images
  • Using large file sizes in email attachments

In short, the best way to ensure that your email makes it to somebody’s inbox is to structure your email as you would if you knew them. In other words, make it natural.

2. Your emails are boring

Rather than trying to tell someone in an email that you have a solution right off the bat, Try writing emails that are humorous and inquisitive. Here is an example:

I was getting unsolicited emails from a sales representative who sold video production services. I had ignored these emails for a couple of weeks because I was busy, but also because they were about solutions that I didn’t ask for.

I didn’t plan on replying to him until I received this email:


In his previous emails, he didn’t ask if I needed help with video production services, which is why I never really felt the urge to respond to his previous emails, but when he used a narrative that was humorous and inquisitive, I actually felt myself wanting to message him back. Perhaps this wouldn’t work with you, but as someone who has to wade through humorless emails all day, this one actually made me want to reply.

3. You have not established a relationship with your contacts

This is perhaps the biggest factor that impacts whether or not an unsolicited email will be opened. The chances are that if your email is unsolicited, there probably isn’t a relationship there. If you’re going to send an unsolicited email, I’d advise reaching out with a helpful inquiry or anything that can be used as a conversation starter that isn’t bluntly about your product or services. 

It is possible to send unsolicited emails successfully, but you have a higher chance of having people open your emails if they chose to be emailed. At the end of the day, the best contacts to email are the ones who have given you permission to email them.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can effectively acquire prospects who want to be emailed with inbound marketing, click the link below to learn more.

5 Steps for Building a Content-Based Sales Funnel

Topics: Lead Nurturing, HubSpot