This is why your email marketing isn’t getting results

I’m going to say it. Nobody really likes email marketing, do they?

It’s not necessarily because it’s complex or overly technical – in fact there are plenty of programmes that can help beginners to send smart, professional emails.

No, we dislike email marketing because it can be a truly thankless task. A regular email schedule takes a huge amount of effort and feels like a complete waste of everybody’s time when it doesn’t hit the mark.

We keep plugging away because we know it can occasionally get fantastic results. In fact, done right, email marketing is a hugely powerful tool. It opens doors to prospects you may never usually get the chance to interact with.

Luckily, if you’re getting a poor response from your e-marketing, the likelihood is that a few simple changes could help you start improving your success rates. So, where exactly might you be going wrong?

Let’s start with what good results look like. The average email open rate for UK SME’s is currently around 15-20%, but this fluctuates depending on your industry and, more importantly, the quality of your data (which we’ll come back to). A respectable click through rate is around 2%.

If you’re regularly hitting these numbers, then great. But if not – don’t worry! Take a look at the following reasons to better understand where you can improve:


1. Your email subject lines aren’t grabbing people

This is an obvious one, but if your email open rates are low, then think about your subject lines as this is how somebody will decide whether or not to open them.

Keep subject lines to less than 40 characters and avoid sales-y, promotional copy. Instead, lead with something that catches the attention of your audience like a question, pain point or key benefit.

Split testing your subject lines will then allow you to understand which perform better with your audience. There are dozens of ways to create effective subject lines – check out our blog ‘6 subject line strategies for boosting your e-marketing open rates’ for some ideas.

2. Your data is old and/or poor quality

You can design the world’s flashiest email but send it to poor data, and unfortunately, your messages will fall on deaf ears.

Very old data that you have emailed frequently will become saturated as people gradually lose interest, causing response rates to decline. Keeping your data updated with new prospects is the best way to create fresh opportunities for your sales people to follow up.


3. Your haven’t segmented your data properly

Blanket emailing your whole contact base may seem like the most time-efficient option, but it is the least effective and you are only going to succeed in alienating a large proportion of recipients.

We increasingly expect to receive personalised email content – or at least content that is relevant – and many people will simply switch off if they don’t believe you understand their needs.

Segmenting your data is how you avoid this. Splitting it up into customers and prospects, and by factors such as industry sector and location, allows you to tailor your messages specifically to these different groups for increased relevance and higher response rates.

4. You aren’t providing useful content

The secret to a good long-term e-marketing strategy is remembering that not every person will always be ready to purchase, but each email is an opportunity to keep them interested. Your emails can be a platform for sharing useful content that shows your expertise.

Spamming people with sales driven ‘buy now’ emails might get the occasional click through, but in the long term, it will turn people off.

By all means, make sure you include an easy way to enquire, but be sure to pack your emails with content like blogs, case studies and downloadable guides to engage those prospects who are not yet ready to buy.

5. You are going for style over substance

You’ve created a fantastic email. It’s bright, it’s colourful, and it’s covered in high quality images and company branding. There’s even a GIF of a dancing monkey. It’s a hoot.

But, where do I enquire? And, what is it that you’re actually selling again? Your message has been completely lost by the email’s design theme.

This is something that businesses of all sizes are all guilty of and it should be avoided by prioritising your key information. Make sure you have a clear headline, subheading and call to action above the fold, as a minimum. This will ensure your key message is picked up ahead of anything else.

Want to improve your e-marketing results? Talk to us about plugging Engine Room into your business and increasing your e-marketing response rates.

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