8 reasons why email marketing fails

With customers often becoming the drivers of your brand image online, email marketing, such as newsletters, is increasingly important in controlling and spreading the company message. CEO of agencyonnet, Rajesh Menon, takes a look at the common reasons why your email marketing fails to achieve its goals.

why email marketing failsThe other day I accepted a LinkedIn request from a lady to connect. A short while later I got a prospecting email in my inbox from her. Apart from the bad English grammar, what struck me was the fact that the young lady had ignored all fundamentals of effective email marketing in reaching out to me, and it got me thinking, why email marketing fails.

While email marketing is today the best way to reach out and prospect, most times people get it wrong and as a result their email marketing deliver very low conversions. Here are some classic common mistakes to avoid and why your email marketing fails as your marketing tool:

  1. Do you know who I am?

We are inundated daily with a dozen or more spam emails offering everything from Viagra to a home in the sun. The ones that make it past my spam filter I simply delete without opening. Knowing who your prospect customer is and sending email to your prospect rather than to everyone is fundamentally the backbone of good email marketing. A good list vendor should be able to provide you with carefully selected email lists.

In this particular case, although the lady was connected to me, there was no attempt to check out my company page or my profile to see if I was really a prospect for an ERP or CRM solution. I am not. I am a start-up.

  1. Tell me who you are quickly.

I get over a hundred email’s every day. I can’t possibly do justice in reading every one of them. So tell me quickly who you are in one single sentence. Nobody has the time to read through the entire email to figure out who you are.

  1. Tell me what you want quickly.

Want me to go through your entire mail to figure out what you want? Think again. Nobody has the time to do that either. Your key message has to come within the first five lines of your message if you hope to catch their attention. The rest of your mail is simply an explanation of the why, rather than the what.

  1. Don’t keep hitting me with mails and hope you will tire me out.

Sometimes system developers forget that there are actually human beings who read mails. They develop system driven auto-responders that are flagged to be triggered off when certain conditions are met. I am all for automation, but at times it does get to be a bit too much. Set up an additional rule that prevents the system from sending more than “X” number of emails to a subscriber.

  1. You really don’t expect me to download pictures, do you?

My email filter blocks all images, as do most email clients. The result? Your lovely HTML emailer reaches me looking like a mess of code. Optimize your images or create your email template in a way that your basic core message gets through the email clients of prospects.

  1. Earn. Win. Profit. Gift.

As a kid I used to love receiving those Readers Digest mailers that screamed “You have won” in big and bold. Thanks to plenty of “Nigerian prince” scams and phishing emails, my email client usually junks all such correspondence that carry these words. But I guess that there are still enough naïve people out there who still eagerly open an email with the above words because I am continuously surprised to see how many of these types of emails still adorn my junk folder.

  1. Did I open or click on your email?

Because of its frightfully low cost and ease, many people tend to treat email marketing in a casual manner. They do not track the response and fine tune their email marketing campaign. Tracking lets you play around with subject lines, content and layout so that you can improve your response rates.

  1. What do you want me to do now?

Another common mistake I keep seeing is email marketing managers forgetting to put a specific “call-to-action” in the email. Your specific call-to-action could be as simple as asking your prospect to call you at a number, or to visit your website (remember to give a specific, actionable link), or to simply download something of interest. Not having a call-to-action could be the reason your email marketing fails.