In terms of return on investment, there are very few marketing channels that even come close to the power of email. With that said, not every email marketing campaign is guaranteed to be a rousing success. As with anything else, you have to invest time and strategy into your email marketing efforts if you want them to get results.
If your email marketing efforts aren’t getting those results, that probably just means that there’s something off with your strategy. It’s worth taking the time to troubleshoot and to get things right. In this post, we’ll mention some of the most common reasons why email marketing falls flat, and also provide some tips for fixing these problems.
Common Errors with Email Marketing
Your Subject Lines Are Lacking
You only have a split second to make a positive first impression—and if your subject line doesn’t grab attention, it’s unlikely that your message is even going to be opened, much less read and engaged.
So what makes a good subject line? We recommend something that’s short, personal, and focused on value. Some specific pointers:
- Keep it to seven words or less.
- Focus on the what’s-in-it-for-me for your readers.
- Try to make it sound friendly/personal without adding the recipient’s name.
- If possible, avoid “spammy” sounding words—sale, free, percent off, etc.
You Don’t Segment Your Contact List
It’s usually not a good idea to send a generalized email blast to everyone on your email list. The better approach is to tailor the content of your email message to fit the preferences/needs of your readers—and that means segmenting your list.
To put this differently, it’s not possible to send a meaningful, personalized message without breaking your email list down into sub-groups. Use buyer personas to target your audience with precision—and usually, narrower is better.
There’s No Value in Your Emails
The success of your marketing emails has less to do with your email design and more to do with the actual content. If you’re giving away something valuable—something your readers actually want—then you’re on the right track.
In some cases, this might be a new product announcement, a discount, a coupon, or a special promotion—but it doesn’t have to be. You could be emailing a valuable blog post or e-book—or simply a set of tips. So long as it’s actionable—something your readers will benefit from—that’s really what counts.
Your Marketing Goals are Poorly Defined
Setting the proper goals and establishing clear metrics helps you determine when any marketing endeavor is successful—and email marketing is no different.
Your goals should be centered on your call to action. At the end of each marketing email, you should have a strong and crisp CTA—something that makes it clear what you want the reader to do (e.g., click a link) and why they should do it (e.g., what’s in it for them).
If you don’t have clear goals, though—if you don’t know exactly how you plan to measure the success of your marketing emails—then your CTA will likely be confusing. This will prevent your readers from taking the desired action.
Keep your goals simple and your CTA focused. Don’t invite your reader to do several different things. Invite the reader to do just one thing—the thing you’re using as your metric of success.
Your Emails Are Too Long
You probably know from personal experience that nobody really wants to sit and read a 1,000-word missive in their inbox. Lengthy and cumbersome marketing emails get deleted, not read, so it’s smart to keep yours short, sweet, and to the point.
We’d also recommend formatting your emails in a way that makes them easy to read—and that means short sentences, brief paragraphs, and plenty of white space.
You’re Emailing at the Wrong Time
Believe it or not, some times of day are better than others for sending emails. What complicates matters is that the ideal sending time can vary from one person to the next; a recipient named Bob may be more likely to open emails sent at 8:00 AM, while Sue is more likely to open emails sent at noon.
At enCOMPASS, we have the tools and technology that enable us to determine when emails get opened, and to adjust sending time accordingly; for instance, we can use data to determine that Bob needs his emails delivered at 8:00 and Sue wants hers later, and we can send them at the appropriate times.
You Sell Too Much
A final note: Email marketing can sometimes be a good venue for hard sells, but if all you’re doing is pushing product, you’re probably not going to keep recipients engaged—and that means they’ll stop reading your emails altogether.
Make sure your emails are written to keep people interested and informed. This means that not all of your emails should be salesy in nature. Pique curiosity. Educate. Get personal. Keep your readers interested.
Hone Your Marketing Emails
Even a small, short email requires some thoughtfulness and strategy. We also recommend doing some A/B testing with your emails—especially with different subject lines—to see what works and what doesn’t.
It’s a process, in other words, but when approached correctly it can yield great results. We’d love to talk with you more about how well email marketing can work. Connect with the enCOMPASS team today to start that conversation.
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