While email marketing may seem old-hat in the age of social media, almost 4 in 5 marketers still consider it to be one of their top 3 most effective marketing channels.
Despite the targeted, algorithm-powered accuracy of paid ads on platforms like Facebook or Instagram, email marketing remains one of the primary channels for advertising. But with so many emails vying for our attention, it can be challenging for businesses to cut through the noise and engage with their target audiences effectively.
If you’re reading this, we’re going to assume that you too are struggling to make your voice heard amidst the cacophony of advertising noise cluttering up the world’s inboxes. Well, fear not, because we’re here to set things right. By following some of the tips below, you should start to see more engagement and revenue from your email campaigns.
So, if you’re aiming to increase the likelihood that your emails are going to be opened, read, and most importantly, acted upon, then read on, as we explore the most common reasons for marketing emails failing to generate sales.
You don’t understand your audience
It’s business 101 — you need to understand your audience before you can address their needs. If your email marketing doesn’t satisfy this core principle, then you’ve fallen at the first hurdle. Don’t fret, though — while it’s a catastrophic mistake, it’s also an extremely common one.
Unfortunately, this common misstep is most often made by those who have limited resources and little experience, particularly new and inexperienced entrepreneurs. If you’re a fresh-faced founder (whose email campaigns often flounder), here’s our first tip: slow down a little. When you’re starting out, excitement can override good sense, but launching any sort of campaign requires time and research.
Your first step towards reaching the right audience is to identify your ideal customer persona. In other words, you need to flesh out exactly who your emails are aimed at. To do this, you’ll need to analyze your existing customer base and identify common characteristics and patterns. Consider factors such as age, gender, location, interests, and purchasing habits to create a detailed profile of your audience.
You can also use online tools and resources to gain insights into your target audience. For example, you can use Google Analytics to track website traffic and see which pages are most popular with your audience. You can also use social media analytics to understand your audience’s interests, behaviors, and demographics.
However, it’s essential to keep in mind that every customer you serve might be purchasing your product for entirely different reasons. This can make it challenging to create targeted email campaigns that resonate with each customer. However, don’t worry — we’ll cover how to address this challenge later on in this post.
Your emails are poorly designed
While we’ll concede that it isn’t easy to design a truly beautiful email (at least not without the help of additional software), there are a few fundamental elements that you must get right if you’re to reap tangible results. Here are a few key tips you’ll want to follow when constructing your next campaign:
- Keep it simple: A cluttered email can be overwhelming and distracting for your audience. Stick to a simple and clean design, with a clear and concise message that focuses on the key points you want to convey.
- Use engaging visuals: Visuals are an essential component of any email campaign. Make sure your images and graphics are high-quality, relevant, and attention-grabbing. Use colors that complement your brand and add to the overall visual appeal of your email.
- Make it mobile-friendly: With more than half of all emails now opened on mobile devices, it’s crucial to ensure your email is optimized for mobile viewing. Use a responsive design that adapts to different screen sizes, and keep your content brief and scannable.
- Include a clear call-to-action: Your email should have a clear and compelling call-to-action that prompts your audience to act. Whether it’s to make a purchase, sign up for a webinar, or simply visit your website, make sure your call-to-action is prominently displayed and easy to follow.
By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to designing more effective and engaging email campaigns that deliver tangible results for your business.
The content isn’t strong enough
We’ve already discussed just how important it is that you have a deep understanding of your target audience and what drives their purchasing decisions. But even with a well-crafted strategy, it’s still possible for your content to fall short.
One way to ensure your email content is up to par is by fortifying your existing marketing team and bringing in some new blood. With remote work becoming more prevalent, businesses now have access to a wider pool of talent from all over the world, allowing you to source talent from anywhere — even overseas. This is particularly advantageous if your business operates in multiple countries, as your email content will need to consider language and cultural differences.
Stagnation is the enemy of inspiration, and by leveraging fresh talent — even if you employ a freelancer or contractor on a short-term basis — you can bring fresh perspectives and ideas to your email marketing campaigns.
Another way to improve your email content is by focusing on personalization. Your emails should be tailored to each recipient’s interests, preferences, and behavior. This requires a data-driven approach and the use of marketing automation tools to create targeted and relevant content, but will ensure that your emails are more likely to resonate with your audience.
Remember — email marketing is a continuous process of testing and optimizing. You should always be analyzing your metrics and making adjustments to improve your content and drive more sales.
You aren’t segmenting your mailing list
Remember how we mentioned that you could run into some issues if every customer you serve is purchasing your product for entirely different reasons? This is where segmentation comes into play.
Segmentation involves dividing your email list into smaller, more targeted groups based on characteristics such as demographics, behavior, interests, and past interactions with your brand — this is why it’s so important to have a clear idea of who you’re marketing to.
By segmenting your email list, you can create more tailored, more relevant content for each group (which comes back to personalization) and significantly improve engagement and conversion rates. For example, if you have an ecommerce business, you could segment your list based on the types of products each customer has purchased or shown interest in. Then, you can send targeted product recommendations, promotions, and upsells to each group based on what you know they’re interested in.
Segmentation also allows you to avoid sending irrelevant content to your subscribers, which can lead to them becoming disengaged. By tailoring your content to each segment’s specific needs and interests, you can build stronger relationships with your customers and increase their loyalty to your brand.
To effectively segment your email list, you’ll need to use a marketing automation platform that allows you to create and manage segments easily (MailChimp is a popular choice, but be sure to shop around before you commit!). You’ll also need to collect data on your customers, such as their purchase history, email engagement, and website behavior, to inform your segmentation strategy.
So, there it is — some key takeaways to ensure that your next email marketing campaign doesn’t fall flat. Want more on marketing? Check out our guide to the best WhatsApp marketing tools, or for a deeper look at email marketing specifically, check out our post on developing a successful marketing automation strategy.