Email marketing is uncontested when it comes to engaging customers, making announcements, and reaching leads. However, that’s not to say that email marketing doesn’t come with its fair share of challenges.
In this article, we’ll talk about some of the most common pitfalls of email marketing and highlight real-life solutions that you can implement.
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Six big challenges in email marketing
We’ll cut right to the chase; here are the top challenges you’ll face with email marketing.
1. Attracting and retaining subscribers
One of the most common challenges in email marketing is attracting and retaining subscribers. If you’re starting at 0 – you’ll need to build your email list. There are plenty of ways to do this, but one of the best is to add an email sign-up list to the key parts of your sales cycle (such as the checkout page and home page of your website). That way, those signed up are actively interested and want to receive your content.
It can be just as difficult to retain email subscribers. Even if you start out with the biggest list of contacts in the world, you need to keep engaging these people to keep retention high. In short, value is what will keep your subscribers coming back for more.
Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to keeping retention high. For most businesses, creating high-quality, engaging, and valuable content is all you can do. If the customer has fun reading the content (and gets something out of it), then you’ve achieved this.
- Ask for feedback: It’s difficult to track how your audience likes your content, though. Yes, unsubscribe and open rates can help you visualize the data, but we recommend taking it one step further – by adding a form in your emails where readers can provide their feedback.
- Segment your list: To make content more targeted to each individual, segment your subscriber list into smaller groups based on demographics, behavior, or technographic factors. This helps boost relevance, which ideally promotes the open and click rate of your emails.
- Exclusive offers: People want deals. Reward loyal subscribers with exclusive campaigns, such as special offers, early access, or exclusive content. This will foster a sense of belonging and encourage them to remain subscribed.
- Follow-up: Quickmail found that 55% of all replies come from follow-up messages. That means if you’re not sending follow-ups, you’re missing out on deals.
2. High spam rates
As email marketing continues to increase in popularity, more spam messages are present. Unfortunately, spam messages significantly reduce the effectiveness of email campaigns for everyone – as emails sent by marketers may end up in recipients’ spam folders instead of their primary inboxes. With regular updates from mail providers, it’s essential to stay up-to-date on spam blockers if you want your messages to be delivered.
There are a lot of factors that contribute to whether a message is marked as spam or not. Most notable are the content of your message, the email reputation, the format of your message, and any attachments you include in your message.
Here are some helpful tips for reducing your spam rate:
- Verify your email reputation: Emails have a reputation, depending on the service provider you’re using and the number of times your messages are marked as spam. We recommend you use a trustworthy email service provider that follows email regulations to maintain your sender reputation.
- Clean your email list: Regularly clean your email list by removing inactive or bouncing email addresses to maintain a healthy list. Be aware that bounce rates can set off spam filters, leading to poor email deliverability.
- Unsubscribe links are mandatory: Honoring unsubscribe links is legally required if you’re sending out marketing emails. Ensure your unsubscribe links are easy to locate.
- Keep an eye on your language: Using deceptive words or subject lines can quickly mark your email as spam.
3. Low open rates
It’s daunting when your emails have low open rates. Just like the other challenges we’ve mentioned, low open rates can be caused by many problems. However, most often, it has to do with the subject line of your emails.
If you’re regularly getting low open rates on your messages, your email reputation will sink. That means that your messages are more likely to end up in the spam folder.
If you’re struggling with low open rates, try these things:
- A/B tests your subject lines: Experiment with different tones, lengths, and levels of urgency to see what resonates best with your subscribers.
- Personalize subject lines and content: Use recipient names and customize content to align with readers preferences. For example, if a customer has been looking at certain products on your site – send them a message about those products.
- Send emails at optimal times: Research your audience’s habits and time zones to determine when they will most likely check their email. This way, you can send your emails when they are most likely to be seen.
- Make your emails mobile-friendly: Most people check their emails on mobile devices. Before sending any messages, make sure that your emails are properly formatted for desktop and mobile viewing.
- Avoid spammy words in your subject lines: Words like “guaranteed,” “free,” and excessive exclamation marks can trigger spam filters. Do yourself a favor and avoid them.
4. Not enough personalization
Personalization is a powerful tool in email marketing. When done right, it can boost your engagement, relevance, and click rate. However, personalization requires access to data on subscribers’ preferences, behaviors, and demographics. Unless you’re using the right tools, this can be difficult.
On the flip side, there is a delicate balance between personalization and compliance with data protection regulations. Overpersonalization of your messages can break privacy laws. So, make sure you’re up to date on data protection laws.
Here are some tips on how to customize your emails:
- Get the data: There are endless data analytics tools out there. Look at things like purchase history, browsing behavior, and demographic data.
- Use dynamic variables: You can use dynamic tags to insert personalized elements like the recipient’s name, location, or product recommendations into your emails.
- Recommend based on browsing history: A relevant way to promote your products is to suggest based on past interactions. Not only is this great for a high conversion rate, it also shows that you care about your audience.
- Automation tools are your friend: The best email marketing automation tools will allow you to personalize your emails based on various factors, such as triggers and actions. Of course, we recommend that you give We-Connect a shot.
Readers of our blog get 14 days of We-Connect on us. Try it today.
5. Email deliverability issues
We think email deliverability is the silent killer of marketing campaigns. Again, there are a ton of factors at play when it comes to your emails sending correctly. For starters, sender reputation, authentication, and the content of your message all play important roles.
Your emails may not be effective if they don’t reach the inbox, even if they’re well-written. To improve email deliverability, here’s what we recommend:
- Authenticate your domain: Before sending any emails, authenticate your domain and use SPF and DKIM records: Additionally, set up Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) records. These measures assist email providers in verifying that your emails are legitimate.
- Monitor your sender reputation: Your sender score, which measures your email reputation, significantly impacts email deliverability. The higher, the better.
- Avoid using free email addresses to send emails: Instead, use a professional email address associated with your domain. Sending emails from free email services like Gmail or Yahoo can raise suspicions and harm deliverability.
- Check email content for spam triggers: Utilize email content scanning tools to identify potential spam triggers in your email content, such as excessive use of capital letters, misleading subject lines, or specific keywords that could trigger spam filters.
We’ve dedicated an entire article on how to avoid spam filters. Check it out here.
6. Low click-through rates
The last common challenge in email marketing is low click-through rates. Typically, low click-through rates are indicative that your email content or design is not engaging enough for readers to interact with it.
Low click-through rates negatively impact the goal of your email campaign. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can try to change that.
Here are some helpful tips to improve your click-through rates:
- Create clear and compelling calls-to-action (CTAs): Your CTAs should be action-oriented and indicate what you want the recipient to do. Make sure you nail your copy and design work here.
- Use eye-catching visuals: Incorporate high-quality images that support your message and resonate with your audience. In fact, emails that are well designed are more likely to receive high engagement.
- Keep your emails concise and focused: Avoid overwhelming recipients with too much information. Each email should have a clear and specific message or offer. More clutter can lead to clarity and reduced click-through rates.
- Buttons over text links: Buttons are more visually prominent and attract more clicks than plain text links. Ensure that they are well-designed and contrast with the background.
- A/B test different elements: Continuously experiment with various email elements, such as CTAs, images, and content placement, to optimize click-through rates.
Before you start an email campaign, familiarize yourself with the best practices for email marketing. In summary, we recommend authenticating your email, checking your sender score, and A/B testing the most important parts of your message.
If you want help with your messages, don’t hesitate to try We-Connect today.