15 Reasons Your Email Marketing Doesn’t Work

Some of those proclaiming the premature demise of email are speaking from the ineffectiveness of their own email campaigns.

Despite announcements of the death of email as a marketing tool, it remains the most popular tactic among B2B marketing professionals, at least in part because it is the most cost-effective. Some of those proclaiming the premature demise of email are speaking from the ineffectiveness of their own email campaigns. At least some of them are still trying to be successful while using their grandmother’s email strategy – the strategy that worked five or six years ago. If you find yourself in this group, here are a possible 15 reasons your email marketing doesn’t work.

1. You are still sending out an email newsletter that is nothing more than links to your most recent blog posts. You need fresh content.

2. Your emails are not mobile friendly. If your email is unreadable on a Smartphone or a tablet, it might not be read at all. More than 75% of people read email on mobile devices.

3. You are still using boring subject lines.

4. You are not triggering emails with recipient actions. This takes more time to set up, but more people will open your emails.

5. You still devote a significant portion of each issue of your newsletter bragging about something in your personal life that you believe convinces everyone of your success and wealth. It’s still inappropriate, and it still makes you look like a “wanna-be.”

6. You are not including video files. If your email service provider refuses to include video, you should talk to them or change providers. If you are using a video format other than HTML5, you need to get up to date.

7. If you are in a business that uses special characters (music notes, foreign language alphabets, etc. ) and you still think you cannot use these special characters in email subject lines, yet up to date and start making your subject lines more appealing.

8. You are still using boring headlines.

9. Your timing is bad. Kissmetrics has published powerful data on email frequency at each stage of the customer relationship. (http://blog.kissmetrics.com/email-clickthrough-rates-skyrocket/).

10. You are using a format for personal communication impersonally. The broadcast email with impersonal push-marketing messages has been laid to rest. Email is your best opportunity to start a conversation with a real person, or to continue a conversation begun by a prospect or customer.

11. You forgot that people said they wanted to hear from you when they opted-in and joined your mailing list. Manage your lists effectively and send people what they said they wanted from you.

12. It’s the ideal way to send customers coupons and gift cards. According to recent research, free shipping is no longer considered an added value. It is an expected part of a deal. The new free shipping offer is a coupon or a gift card. Email service providers make it very easy to add a coupon or a gift certificate to an email.

13. You have one big email list and everyone gets the same email content from you at the same time. This was your grandmother’s approach to email. Success today requires micro-segmented lists based on interests, needs, buying habits, etc. – not age and location.

14. You are sending email in isolation from your other marketing efforts. Email is like social media in this regard: it needs to be integrated into larger marketing efforts as one of several mutually supporting activities.

15. Your email calls to action do not take people to the appropriate landing page. Landing pages are important because they make it very clear that people are on the right page of your website to continue the action they began with a click-through from your email, they tell visitors what they need to do next, and they provide any necessary additional information.

If you are making any or all of these email marketing mistakes (or others), it is not surprising that your email marketing doesn’t work. By fixing these mistakes, one by one, you will be well on your way to email marketing success.

By Vickie Pittard, Partner
Little Black Dog Social Media & More

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Steven January 09, 2013 at 11:22 PM
# 2 you say: More than 75% of people read email on mobile devices. Where did you get that figure? Good tip, but that number seems a bit high.


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