You may have heard that email marketing gives you an estimated $40 return for every $1 spent. And you may have also heard that email marketing produces better conversion results than social media and print channels.
But what if you aren’t seeing these kinds of results? Here are 23 reasons you may not be seeing the return you are expecting, and some tips on how to fix that.
Can’t watch the video right now or rather skim the text? Here are the highlights of why your email marketing doesn’t work below.
What Doesn’t Work
1. Doesn’t work on mobile
Mobile changes everything. More emails are now opened on mobile devices than on desktops. 80% of users will delete an email that doesn’t look good on mobile. Don’t make your readers pinch and zoom to see your message.
2. Fonts are too small
You only have a few seconds to get your point across. Make sure readers can easily read your message. A mouse can hit a much smaller link area than a finger. Make the links big enough to press on mobile.
3. Your colors make it hard to read
Fewer, more consistent colors make an email much easier to read. Make sure there is contrast between background colors and text colors. Keep accessibility in mind as a good percentage of the population has some colorblindness too.
4. Your entire email is an image
You may have a great flyer or design made, but many email clients have images turned off by default. Many users will need to click to see your content, but they likely won’t. Your email will look like the screen on the left instead of the one on the right for many readers.
5. You aren’t using any images
Conversely, not using any images gets less engagement. 82% of people pay more attention to emails that have images. A picture is worth a thousand words.
6. You’re using too many images
A 2015 Constant Contact study found that email campaigns that included 3 or fewer images got the best results. More images also increase download time and your readers data usage.
7. You don’t have a clear call to action
What do you want your readers to do when they read your email? You won’t have any conversions if your readers don’t know what you want them to do. Make it obvious.
8. There are too many calls to action
However, too many choices often lead to no action at all. Decision fatigue is very real.
9. It’s too long
We only have about 7 seconds per email, so make sure the information you want people to get is right there and quick and easy. A 2015 Constant Contact study found 20 lines or text or less got the best results.
10. It’s not skimmable
When reading screens people rarely read every word. Be sure to format your email so readers can quickly skim the key points. If there’s additional information add a read more link to your website. This also makes the information available through search in addition to email.
11. You are trying to make it look like your printed newsletter
Replacing a paper newsletter is a good idea. But people are used to getting emails now, and shorter, more frequent communications are getting better engagement than reproducing your paper newsletter format.
12. Your brand is not recognized
Your email should feature an instantly recognizable, consistent header image, colors and logo. It should match the same image you have on social media, on your website and on your printed materials. Consistency and familiarity will get your brand noticed. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to make every email communication look new and different. That takes too much time anyway!
13. Your contact info is missing
You want more business, not less, right? Don’t make your readers take an extra step to contact you – many won’t. Include phone numbers, hours, location and website link on all emails.
14. Your social media links are missing
Don’t forget how to contact you on social media too. Most U.S. adults now use more than one social media network on a regular basis.
15. Your subject line is terrible
Avoid spammy words like “free,” avoid use of ALL CAPS, and avoid boring topics like “December Newsletter.” Make it interesting.
16. You aren’t using teaser text
The first few words of the email show up in the inbox before someone actually opens the email. Be sure to pay attention to this teaser text. The combination of subject line and teaser determines whether your email will get opened.
17. You didn’t test it before you sent it
Have someone else read your email for errors, view your email on a mobile device and test all the links. There’s nothing worse than having a reader who wants to act but can’t because a link is broken.
18. You aren’t growing your list
You can have the greatest emails in the world, but if no one is receiving them you are missing out. Make growing your list a regular part of your business. Be sure to get emails from all customers and contacts. You can offer incentives to join your list: a whitepaper, a drawing, a coupon. Even a jar with business cards or a paper sign up at checkout are effective techniques.
19. You purchased an email list
No one wants spam, and when you buy a list you are spamming people. Besides that purchased list don’t get results and may even get your domain blacklisted. Using permission-based marketing, you are building a relationship with customers and prospects over time. Respect that relationship.
20. You are not providing any value
Be useful. You are an expert. You give useful, valuable advice to people every day. You have information to share – share it on email.
21. You do nothing but sell, sell, sell
It’s not all about you. Certainly you can make offers, but if that is all you ever do, readers will ignore you or unsubscribe.
22. Your email doesn’t use your voice
Don’t be afraid to be human and sound human. Why are you different? Tell your story with words and pictures and make sure it sounds like there’s a real person writing the emails.
23. You are not consistent
This one is really important. Repetition builds familiarity. Sending on a regular, consistent basis (even down to the day and time) gets a lot more traction than intermittent communication. Teach people when to expect to hear from you, and they will look forward to hearing from you.
What You Should Do
So what can you do right now to be sure your email marketing is effective? These two tips will help you correct most of the mistakes.
Use a Template
Use a template on a consistent basis that has your branding, a spot for teaser text, a call-to-action section, a title, your social media and your contact information. This will save time on developing your emails and will be sure you hit the important points. Keep it short and simple and make sure from the start that it looks great on mobile.
Use a Calendar
Create a schedule and plan your communications around the seasons and events of your business. Write down this plan. With this schedule, working on a few emails at a time and scheduling them can save you a lot of timeand get you better results!
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