4 Reasons Why Your Email Marketing Campaign Is Failing


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Despite the popularity of social media as a leading marketing tool, the world of email marketing is still alive and well. With is its success of reeling in new customers 40 times more efficiently than platforms like Facebook and Twitter, email marketing continues to prove its success and reliability in an ever expanding market. Still, plenty of marketers are still struggling to tap into the potential of email marketing. Forty percent, in fact, report their failure to obtain positive ROIs. They’re diligently composing their messages and formatting designs only to find later that they’re receiving bungled results.

If you’re part of the percentage of marketers who have found their email marketing strategies to be ineffective, there’s good news. You’re just not doing it right. To overhaul your efforts, consider the top mistakes that are likely compromising your email campaign:

Mistake #1: You Didn’t Get Permission

At some point, you’ve likely been on the receiving end of a non-permitted email marketing campaign yourself. Similarly, you can also probably understand why nothing will motivate a consumer to clean out their inbox and start clicking “unsubscribe” buttons to emails. When consumers sense they’ve been tricked into receiving a flood of emails from marketers, they typically feel as if their privacy is being invaded upon. More often than not, they’ll delete your emails, unsubscribe from your list and in worst case scenarios, report your efforts as spam.

Avoid having your messages blocked or automatically rerouted to the junk bin of an account by getting permission from your target audience instead. Start by implementing a binary opt-in protocol that requires subscribers to request access to your emails and then confirm that they actually made the request. Research shows double opted-in subscribers have a 75.6% increase in total message opens and an increase of 114% in clicks.

Mistake #2: You’re Collecting Bad Email Addresses

If you’re not validating your lists before clicking the “send” button, you’re doing your email marketing campaigns all wrong. Tools like Yesmail or LeadSpend allow you to verify the accounts of your users and make sure that subscribers haven’t either abandoned or closed their addresses. Remember, using a reputable email service provider and sending off messages to bad email addresses can present you with two problems. First, know that if you’re getting charged by the number of people on your lists you’re essentially sending money off into a black hole — you’ll never see returns. More importantly, you risk having your account blacklisted by email providers like Google and Yahoo, who penalize marketers for sending messages to too many inactive addresses. Be sure to regularly purge your mailing list to avoid being tossed into the spam bin.

Mistake #3: You’re Repeating Yourself Too Much

When it comes to email marketing, it’s crucial that advertisers recognize how essential content is to their efforts. As tempting as it might be to cut through the clutter of an inbox with an attention-grabbing subject line that promises “dollar deals”, don’t proceed if you don’t plan to live up to the hype. Keep in mind that consumers already distrust advertising. If you’ve managed to gain the trust of your customers enough to obtain their email address, don’t wreck your ship by taking advantage of that confidence. The more your consumers feel let down when they open your email and get into your content, the more they will be pushed into deleting, unsubscribing or reporting your messages. Always be sure to deliver what you say in your subject line. Remember, sacrificing the integrity of your brand is never worth a few clicks.

Mistake #4: You Aren’t Personalizing Your Messages

Consider how many times you’ve opened up an email to find your name in a conspicuously different font or color than the rest of the text, or read something like “Hello, there.” As a marketer, you’ve likely seen right through these tactics, but know that you aren’t the only one. Today’s marketing world is striving to deliver more customized experiences to consumers in an attempt to produce higher results. Unfortunately, most are still hitting bumps along the way and dissuading customers who are quick to pick up on attempts to draw them into a product purchase. Of course, it’s not always possible to get things so personal as personalization right, but it is crucial to make consumers feel unique as much and as accurately as possible.

The next time you draft an email for your audience that promises a selection of your products “picked out just for them in mind”, be sure to dot your I’s and cross your T’s. Improve the effectiveness of your campaign by tweaking your messages so that they appear as natural and distinctive as possible.


  1. Hi AJ,

    all true and valid points. What is missing, however, is that the email might be sent to an uninterested party; means segmentation is missing. And this segmentation needs to include interests, stated or otherwise (behaviour, browsing, purchases, reactions to previous campaigns, etc.). Also, while the permission is an important point, even legally, having the permission regularly doesn’t mean a thing as giving that permission is still all too often forced onto customers, e.g. by deactivating a submit button until permission is given, or by hiding the permission somewhere in a 100+ pages pamphlet of privacy statement.

    Last but not least it boils down to relevance as a result of very diligent and dynamic segmentation.

    2 ct from Down Under


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