I’m sure you’ve seen the same statistics as I have – only 4% of consumers who click through to a website are going to make a purchase.
That number might seem low, but it’s twice as high as the rate for search engines and social media. Those two platforms are placed on a pedestal and worshipped by the same people who slam email marketing.
Do you want the simple truth?
If your email marketing efforts are falling flat, then the problem is your overall campaign. It’s not that email marketing itself is a failing trend.
This blog is going to review some of the factors that will cause email marketing campaigns to fail.
Prospects are already jaded about emails because they receive a bunch of useless spam, so you’re already at a disadvantage. The reason so many email marketing campaigns fail is because they do not go into it with the mindset that their audience is jaded.
If your emails are not being opened, then don’t panic just yet. You are probably making one of the mistakes that plague so many entrepreneurs. Here are the top reasons why email marketing fails.
Inefficient Subject Lines
On average, an office worker will receive upwards of 121 emails every day. There is absolutely no way they can open and read all of these emails. But they will see all of the subject lines. The likelihood of someone opening an email with a poor or cliché subject line is quite slim.
Writing headlines is a form of art. It’s not something that you should take for granted. The subject line of your email is going to directly affect its open rate. So, it needs to hype the reader, so they open the email.
Just be careful that you don’t accidentally create click bait! For those who don’t know, clickbait are headlines that are overhyped to bait people into clicking. Then the content does not deliver on the promise. People have learned to easily spot this style.
Digital Marketing proved it in a recent study that it’s possible to improve your open rates 3x just by tweaking your subject lines. There’s absolutely no reason you can’t do the same thing.
Digital Marketing used subject lines to hype readers into opening their emails. Then those emails were designed to earn trust by helping the recipient solve a problem. Once they earn a customer’s trust, they can start sprinkling in sales pitches.
Not Segmenting Email Lists
Email subscribers are not members of a cult, so why would you send them all the same messages?
Only cult members think and act the same so unless you’re leading a cult, you should be sending your subscriber’s different messages based on how they act.
According to the 2015 National Client Email Report from the DMA, 77% of email marketing ROI came from segmented, targeted and triggered campaigns.
Additionally, of the marketers who do use segmentation, 43% use up to six segments on average.
Sending Emails that Offer Little Value
A lot of entrepreneurs go into email marketing with the mindset that users will subscribe to their list, open their emails, and then click a link to buy something.
While this is a realistic end game for email marketing, you should base your campaign around the idea of creating trust by offering value to your subscribers.
Email campaigns are complex and consist of dozens of different elements like subject lines, text, call to action, products, scheduling, and target market. No wonder so many entrepreneurs are overwhelmed by email marketing! The result is that these entrepreneurs end up sending the same routine type of email, at predictable times.
Travelzoo has proven that creating valuable content is done through simplicity. First of all, let me give you the highlights of Travelzoo. Their website highlights all of the best travel and entertainment and travel deals.
Travelzoo goes a bit against the grain by sending the same email template with the same subject line at the same time every week. The subject line is simply, “This Week’s Top 20.” It’s a text only, very simplistic email that is easy to scan.
Why does this email convert at such a high rate? The answer is quite simple. It offers value to the subscriber. It’s easy to scan. And it’s consistent. Subscribers are going to trust these emails because they provide true value.
Emails That Offer Too Much Information
This goes hand-in-hand with the previous section, so I will keep it short. While you are supposed to create value with your emails, make sure that you do not include too much information.
Subscribers do not want to be overwhelmed with information in their inbox. Ask a question and answer it as quickly as possible. Or use a setup like Travelzoo to create simplistic, valuable and consistent content.
Kickstarter is an amazing example of keeping it short. Kickstarter has a lot of new projects posted every week, but they only include the top three in their weekly newsletter. They keep it simple and as a result, their emails convert well.
Transform a Failing Email Campaign into a Successful One
We’ve gone through the failures that cause so many email campaigns to fall flat on their face. They don’t seem that bad after facing them head-on, do they?
In most cases, entrepreneurs that make it far enough to market their business through email already understand the basics. They just need a few minor tweaks to their overall email marketing campaign.
Step 1: Create Better Headlines
Your email’s personality matters. The truth is that there’s no universal formula for creating amazing headlines. It’s dependant on the email. You are probably going to have to experiment and test new subject lines until you find the right fit.
Step 2: Simpler, More Efficient Emails
Shorter is almost always better. Punchy sentences backed by compelling points of interest are always going to win over long, drawn-out paragraphs. If subscribers want to read content, then they can visit your website.
Step 3: Avoid the Dreaded Unsubscribe
What is it that makes people click on that dreaded unsubscribe button? While there are a lot of reasons behind unsubscribes, the number one reason is frequency.
Receiving too many emails is annoying while receiving too few emails will cause subscribers to forget you. The key to avoiding unsubscribes is to find the optimal frequency of emails. This will require testing and consistency.
It’s also important to send emails that are relevant and of value to your subscribers.
You now have a place to get started with improving your email campaigns. We have tried to cover the most important areas, but we understand that there are more ways that an email campaign can go wrong.
Are you having trouble getting your emails to convert? Have you experienced some of the mistakes that we discussed and found a more efficient way to correct them?
If so, then the comments section awaits!
Are you ready for a smarter way to engage with your customers?
Benchmark helps you do email marketing the practical way. Create an ongoing relationship with your subscribers that leads to increased sales and happier customers.