What’s Making your Email Marketing Ineffective?

One of the most proven and reliable digital marketing tactics is email marketing. It has existed since the earliest days of the Internet, however, there still exist a few companies who are marketing strategy does not include email marketing. However, being ubiquitous does not imply that email marketing is always well executed.

Often times, email marketing campaigns are left without regular oversight and effective management thus leading to gradual dwindling of the results they generate. The failing of the channel itself is usually not the reason for your email marketing campaigns underperforming. Not grabbing enough opportunities for optimization might be responsible for this failure.

When implementing and managing the email marketing campaigns, most companies tend to make these mistakes rendering the campaign unsuccessful:

An absence of goals

The first essential step to see success with digital marketing campaigns is to set proper achievable goals for yourself. Often, email marketing campaigns, considered to be the tried and tested legacy methods of digital marketing, do not have goals attached to the. Thus it is possible that to lose sight of overarching goals when responsibilities and campaigns are handed from one hand to another making the campaign fall into a pattern of coasting.

To be informed by business objectives is significant when setting email marketing goals. The goals should not just be achievable but meaningful instead of lacking context. To simply set a goal of achieving higher email click through rate is largely vague and non-meaningful goal.

However, in case you are seeking to acquire more repeat customers for your business, the specific goal then is supposed to contribute to this objective. If you are looking for repeat traffic ultimately leading to conversion, a higher click through rate from pre-existing visitors acts as a progressive milestone towards your goal.

The first step you need to take, if you have not set measurable and precise goal for your email marketing campaign, is to reassess your campaign and goal. Even if the goal you set a while back has not appeared to work well for your business, you may seek to reassess or reevaluate if it is still relevant to your business.


Improper list segmentation

One of the most critical factors when determining the success of an email marketing campaign is list segmentation. The “spray and pray” phenomena is now a thing of the past. You wouldn’t want to receive promotional emails in your inbox if they are not relevant to your specific interests or needs, and thus proper segmentation is an inevitable part of a good email marketing campaign.

The marketing messages the user receives need to be relevant and personalized for them to build a relationship with your business. The challenge of personalizing is often most easily accomplished in channels like email marketing due to the sophistication of list segmentation options. Spending time of maintaining your distribution lists and optimizing them at regular intervals is essential. In order to have your email appeal to unique segments of the list, you must also devote extra time and creativity to write and design different emails to target specific lists.

An unstructured distribution schedule

A mailing schedule, which isn’t designed or implemented strategically, is as bad as mailing to a huge list without segmenting them according to interests. The distribution times too, like all other elements of the marketing campaign, needs to be tested and optimized accordingly. Instead of sending emails randomly when you feel like it, send them at a time when you think you have something relevant to say and the time to say it is appropriate.

Mostly, the distribution schedule that ends up successful for your business is largely personal. It may not work for another business, though you might want to stick to general rules of thumb. The mailing frequency, day or time the mail sent may impact the result generated according to how much could you capture the audience’s attention. Test for different days, times, and frequencies and then decide on a distribution schedule that works best for your business. This will help make the most out of every promotional email you send.


Boring content

The internet is already flooded with content to keep people informed and entertained. When competing for attention among personal and work emails in a person’s inbox, you need to focus on offering what other brands in competition do not. The audience you’re targeting to capture attention of is also likely to be distracted and may be bouncing back and forth between apps throughout the day. Thus, if your content is boring, your email marketing efforts will go in vain.


The email itself is not everything that email marketing is about. If there is nothing worth mailing the client about, your email will be left unnoticed or if you fail to provide high quality brand content, some users may as well unsubscribe from your email marketing lists. Depending on the type of business, the content needs to take different forms to suit the interests of its consumers. A fashion brand may need to highlight a trend or tricks on imitating or styling it whereas formal businesses may have to focus on providing real time case studies or original research papers.

The subject line too must appeal to the user, since the email body won’t matter if the email isn’t opened at all.


Missing CTA’s and mismatched intent

A call-to-action is essential for your email marketing to be effective. The odds of potential customers taking action towards conversion if you do not direct them to are slim. Your email thus needs to direct them to what to do.

Also, simply having a CTA is job half done. Your CTA should be set as the correct place in the email and must be enticing enough for the user to notice and to believe that clicking on will benefit them.

The CTA must inform the user of what to expect next. If your CTA calls to ‘shop sale’ and the page they land on does not offer discounted prices, the mismatch may make the consumer feel cheated, thus discouraging them from noticing your emails in the future.

Though a tried and tested tactic, email marketing still may not yield results for businesses simply due to these mistakes they make. Improving your email marketing initiatives and avoiding these mistakes will help generate strong leads and profits at minimal investment.


“If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.”
― Mark Twain

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