Not too long ago, email marketing was pronounced dead. This may be due to the fact that there were few regulations or guidelines, and lots of black hat practices going on.
Tidal waves of spam mail and cyber exploits led many people to mistrust email, and many marketers found their efforts landing in spam folders.
The good news is, more efficient filters have reduced spam, and antivirus software reduces the risk of infiltration by criminals. With these problems neutralized, if not eliminated entirely, email marketing remains one of the most effective ways of generating leads and providing added value to your audience.
How Effective is Email Marketing? Statistics You Need to Know
Statistics reveal that there are 269 billion emails traveling back and forth daily. Thriving businesses can receive up to 100 emails or more each day. Due to sheer volume, many of those emails will never be read. Emails containing red flag issues won’t even make it to an inbox. Even when they’re optimized, the average open rate for email is only about 14 percent.
That may sound like discouraging news, but there are plenty of good reasons to make email a major plank in your marketing platform, as shown in this infographic by Oberlo. A few interesting facts:
- Of all digital marketing platforms, email has the highest ROI with a ratio of 38:1
- Launching a properly segmented email campaign results in an average revenue increase of 760 percent
- Nearly 75 percent of marketers credit targeted email personalization for increased engagement rates
- Email is 40x more effective for generating sales than Facebook or Twitter
- 73 percent of millennials cite email as their primary method of business correspondence
- Transactional emails have an open rate 8x higher than traditional emails
Are your “Unsubscribe” rates higher than your engagement rates? Here are nine reasons email marketing is failing you and how to turn things around.
You Don’t Know Your Audience
The old way of doing things was to just send out a bulk mailer and hope it hits a hot lead now and then. This is not only a waste of time and money, it’s also a disservice to your audience.
Put in the work of analyzing your audience and segmenting them according to where they are in their journey. That will allow you to send targeted emails that address your audience according to whether they’re still at the information stage, a little hesitant, or primed and ready to buy.
You Launched Without a Plan
This goes hand-in-glove with audience segmentation. You’ve identified who your target is and where they are on their journey.
Now, what is your plan for engagement?
Initializing any marketing campaign without a plan of action will get you nowhere fast. Identify measurable goals and KPIs, decide the best way to reach those goals, and tie your efforts to each milestone or metric.
You Being Too Generic
Are you guilty of salesy language and generic “Thank you for your business” messages? Nothing will turn you into a wallflower faster than being basic. Customers like to feel like they’re dealing with a real person rather than a bot.
This doesn’t mean you have to be unprofessional. Just state your opinions truthfully, be honest about possible objections, and forthright in your ability to overcome those objections. Emails should be concise but informative, and you should provide your readers with a clear course of action to follow at the end.
You Lack Consistency and Follow-Through
Generating interest in your company doesn’t guarantee a sale. You have to be consistent and follow-through on every action. If you promise find information the customer needs, do it in a timely manner. If someone expresses an interest in your products, send a followup email.
You Aren’t Getting Personal
Emails with generic subject lines and messages rarely get read, let alone elicit a response. You want to come off as warm and engaging without seeming inauthentic. Take the time to collect information about your subscribers when they opt-in, and weave a few bits of personal information into your message. If you address them personally in the subject line, do so in a way that doesn’t come off as spammy.
You’re Getting Too Personal
Personalization should be relegated to the customer. Inspiring as your personal journey may be, most people don’t care. They want to hear about their problems and how whatever you’re selling can help them.
Your Emails Don’t Have a Purpose
With so much email to sort through, no one has time for pointless correspondence. You should keep in touch with your customers if you want to retain them, but avoid coming on like a stalker.
When should you contact a customer?
- When you want to thank them for taking an action
- To remind them to take an action
- To inform them of changes in your company or some aspect of your business
- To acknowledge a holiday or anniversary
- When you’re launching a new product, line, or service
- To re-engage inactive subscribers
Many of these are transactional emails that relate to a specific event or action. Plan any campaigns in advance, and stick to those dates. You can also ask your subscribers how often they’d like messages and under what circumstances.
Your Emails Are Full of Errors
Few things will put you in the spam folder faster than sloppy mistakes, misinformation, or inaccuracies, whether intentional or not.
Make sure that your subject line and the body of the message contain correct spelling and grammar. Make sure your return email and the addressee’s are correct, and check any links to make sure they’re active and lead to the correct page. If you have little knowledge of CSS or HTML formatting, here’s a checklist and guide.
You’re Not Analyzing Your Campaigns
First of all, you should be using a professional email manager if you’re in business. Whether you’re signed on with Mail Chimp or another platform, any reputable system comes with analytics as part of your plan.
Are you tracking your results?
With all of the other analysis and reporting that comes with eCommerce, this is something that’s easy to overlook. It’s also dangerous.
Each time you launch an email campaign, pay attention to which emails have the highest engagement. That way, you can put your efforts into what is working and eliminate what isn’t helping you reach your goals.
What kind of results have you experienced with email marketing? Tell us about your triumphs and challenges.