Email marketing plays a pivotal role in boosting sales for businesses. It remains a great tool for engaging consumers, building connections, and driving conversions because of its low cost, personalized targeting, and broad reach. Understanding its importance is critical for small businesses looking to prosper in the digital era.
However, Low open rates, uninteresting content, poor calls-to-actions, poor mobile responsiveness and uninteresting design layouts all contribute to why many businesses feel discouraged from email marketing. Addressing these difficulties is critical to maximize email marketing’s potential and generate better outcomes.
This article gives an in-depth look at the issues many struggle with, analyzing poor sales, and discussing possible remedies. I’ll also share a few concrete techniques to improve the performance of email campaigns and ultimately generate sales.
- Ineffective Subject Lines and Content
The Role of Subject Lines in Email Open Rates
How successful a campaign is, is determined largely by the Subject Line. A well-crafted subject line may spark the curiosity of recipients resulting in improved open rates and more interaction with the email content. It doesn’t matter how beautifully designed a campaign is if the email subject line isn’t appealing and enticing enough to get your emails opened.
If you’re confused about writing subject lines, my guide of 500 professionally designed email subject lines can make it easier & help increase your open rates. It provides dozens of types of subject lines for multiple businesses and industries. It also includes useful insights to generate engaging and efficient subject lines for successful email campaigns.
There are hundreds of ways to write subject lines and regardless of which you choose, there are 3 mistakes you should always avoid:
- Vague or Misleading Subject Lines
Vague or misleading subject lines reduce email open rates by failing to effectively communicate the emails objective. Subject lines that are clear, simple, & appropriately represent the content serve to develop trust with recipients, encouraging them to open and interact with the email.
- Overuse of Salesy Language
Excessive use of salesy language in subject lines might turn off receivers resulting in poor open rates and email deletions. Maintaining audience engagement and improving email effectiveness require striking a balance between offering value & avoiding excessive commercial language.
- Ignoring Personalization
Failure to personalize subject lines might result in emails that seem generic and irrelevant. Subject lines that are tailored to individual interests and behaviors enhance the chance of the recipient opening the email. Personalization demonstrates to clients that their needs are being met resulting in more engagement and better email marketing outcomes.
Once you master crafting subject lines, it’s time to get creative with the body of your email. If you struggle with writing emails, I got your back. Checkout my email template library for immediate access to tested campaign copywriting that’s proven to work.
There are 3 areas you should focus on:
- Improving Email Content for Higher Engagement
- Crafting Compelling Call-to-Actions (CTA)
- Keeping Emails Concise and Relevant
Focusing on benefits to the customer & reiterating problems you help them solve rather than product information is the easiest way to improve your email content. Highlighting how the product or service solves their pain areas builds a better connection improving engagement and conversions by providing recipients with value-driven information that resonates with them.
I breakdown email campaign writing for beginners here 👇🏾
Let’s break this down more because there are 6 solid benefits for doing this and they all directly impact your revenue:
- Customer-Centric Approach: When your emails emphasize how your product or service directly benefits your customers, you immediately capture their attention and interest. Customers are more likely to engage with content that directly addresses their pain points, aspirations, and concerns. This content approach helps customers better envision what it's like to work with you or try your products, which makes it easier to convert them.
- Problem-Solving Messaging: By reiterating the problems you help customers solve, you're showing that you understand their challenges. Instead of bombarding them with technical details & features they may not need about your offering, you're conveying how your solution can make their lives better or easier. This makes your email content feel more relevant and relatable.
- Building Emotional Connections: Highlighting how your product/service addresses pain areas builds an emotional connection with your audience. People are driven by emotions, and by tapping into their concerns and needs, you're showing that you care about improving their lives. This can lead to a sense of loyalty and trust, which are crucial for long-term customer relationships.
- Value-Driven Information: Providing recipients with value-driven information demonstrates that you're not just trying to sell them something, but genuinely offering solutions that matter to them. This approach enhances your credibility and positions you as an expert in your field. It also encourages recipients to view your emails as a source of helpful insights rather than mere promotional messages.
- Resonance and Relevance: When your content resonates with your audience, it becomes more relevant to their lives. By identifying and addressing their pain points, you're speaking directly to their needs and desires. This relevance is key to capturing and retaining their attention, ultimately driving higher engagement rates.
- Improved Engagement and Conversions: When recipients see the direct value in your offerings, they are more likely to take action. Whether it's clicking through to your website, signing up for a webinar, or making a purchase, they are motivated by the benefits you've highlighted. This increases the likelihood of conversions and a positive ROI for your email campaigns.
Once you master crafting the message, it’s time to work on developing your call to actions. Creating captivating call-to-action (CTA) wording is essential for increasing engagement. A clear and compelling CTA motivates users to complete the intended action such as purchasing, signing up, or visiting a website. CTAs that are well-designed increase click-through rates by directing receivers to the following stages in the customer journey.
Here’s a 25 simple call to actions I love & why they work:
- Shop Now: Encourage recipients to make a purchase directly from your online store.
- Get Started: Invite readers to take the first step in using your product or service.
- Learn More: Lead readers to a landing page with more detailed information about your offering.
- Download Now: Offer a downloadable resource such as an eBook, whitepaper, or guide.
- Request a Demo: Invite recipients to see your product or service in action.
- Book an Appointment: Encourage readers to schedule a consultation or meeting.
- Claim Your Gift: Offer a special discount or promotion to incentivize immediate action.
- Join Our Community: Invite readers to join your online community or social media channels.
- Start Your Free Trial: Invite recipients to try out your product or service for a limited time.
- RSVP Now: Promote a webinar or online event and encourage sign-ups.
- Get Your Free Sample: Offer a free sample of your product to entice interest.
- Find Your Perfect Fit: For businesses offering customizable options, guide readers to find the best fit.
- Upgrade Your Plan: Encourage existing customers to upgrade to a higher-tier plan.
- Join Our Loyalty Program: Invite customers to enroll in your loyalty program for exclusive benefits.
- Unlock Exclusive Content: Offer access to premium content in exchange for engagement.
- Book Your Spot: For limited-capacity events, encourage readers to secure their spot.
- Enroll Now: Promote enrollment in a course, workshop, or educational program.
- Register Now: Encourage sign-ups for in-person or virtual workshops.
- Get Your Custom Quote: Offer personalized quotes for services or products.
- Shop the Sale: Direct recipients to a special sale or clearance section of your website.
- Apply Now: Encourage job applicants to submit their applications.
- Refer a Friend: Promote your referral program and encourage readers to refer friends.
- Access Our Resource Library: Invite recipients to explore a collection of valuable resources.
- Share Your Story: Encourage readers to share their experiences or success stories.
- Connect with an Expert: Offer readers the opportunity to connect with a subject-matter expert.
Even though I’ve shared dozens of tips, I need you to Always remember the first draft of an email is NOT the email you send out. This email is typically an outline and needs to be edited and revised to produce the best results.
Keeping emails short and to the point ensures that recipients remain interested and engaged. Remove wordy information and deliver material that is relevant to the receiver's interests to increase reading comprehension. Concise emails are more likely to be completely read, improving the likelihood of desired actions and total email campaign success.
Outside of writing bad subject lines or overly wordy emails, a very common mistake is not building segments. Segments tell you what your customers need, how to sell to them and the content you should be sending.
In a recent article, A comprehensive Guide to Customer Segmentation For Small Businesses, I share how categorizing email subscribers into discrete groups based on common qualities and preferences increases engagement, relevance, and email marketing performance.
The blog article emphasizes the need of audience segmentation in driving effective email marketing strategies by addressing the repercussions of non-segmented email campaigns and providing practical implementation solutions. You will learn how to acquire relevant consumer data, organize subscribers based on common characteristics, and send personalized emails to distinct groups for best outcomes.
Audience segmentation is important because it enables organizations to separate their email subscribers into various groups based on common features and preferences. This personalized strategy allows for tailored communication which leads to more engagement, enhanced relevance, and, ultimately better email campaign success.
Non-segmented email marketing might result in generic & irrelevant material being sent to the incorrect people. As a result, open rates are lower, unsubscribe rates are greater, and overall effectiveness is diminished. Failure to segment may also result in missed possibilities for greater conversions and client loyalty.
There are several benefits to segmenting, but here’s 3 that really matter:
- Collecting Relevant Customer Data: To understand subscriber preferences and behaviors collect data via sign-up forms, transaction histories, and customer interactions. This information is required for the creation of meaningful segments.
- Grouping Subscribers Based on Common Traits: Divide subscribers into categories based on demographics, interests, behavior, or previous interactions. This enables customized content distribution that is relevant to each group.
- Sending Tailored Emails to Different Segments: Create customized emails for each segment addressing their unique requirements and interests. Personalized content develops a closer relationship with the audience resulting in improved conversion rates and customer satisfaction.
Here’s a quick crash course on building email segments for beginners 👇🏾
Now, let’s address the big elephant in the room … your emails don’t convert because they aren’t mobile optimized.
To clarify, mobile optimization for marketing emails refers to the practice of adapting and tailoring your email marketing content and design to provide an optimal experience for recipients who access and interact with your emails on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Given the increasing prevalence of mobile device usage, ensuring that your marketing emails are well-suited for mobile screens is crucial for maximizing engagement, conversions, and the overall effectiveness of your email campaigns.
Here's a closer look at what mobile optimization for marketing emails entails:
- Responsive Design: Creating email templates with responsive design ensures that your emails automatically adjust their layout, font sizes, images, and other elements to fit different screen sizes. This prevents the need for recipients to pinch, zoom, or scroll horizontally to read the content.
- Clear and Concise Content: Mobile users have limited screen space and shorter attention spans. Therefore, your email content should be concise, engaging, and easy to understand. Get to the point quickly to capture recipients' interest.
- Simple Formatting: Opt for a single-column layout to accommodate the vertical scrolling behavior typical of mobile users. Avoid complex or multi-column layouts that could lead to a cluttered and difficult-to-read appearance on small screens.
- Large and Easily Tappable Buttons: Make sure your call-to-action (CTA) buttons are large enough to be tapped with ease. Provide enough spacing around buttons to prevent accidental clicks and make interactions smooth.
- Readable Fonts and Font Sizes: Choose legible fonts and font sizes that ensure text is easy to read without requiring zooming in. Maintain a good contrast between text and background for optimal readability.
- Optimized Images: Resize and compress images appropriately to maintain fast loading times on mobile devices. Also, consider using ALT text for images in case they don't display properly.
- Strategic Use of Preheader Text: Craft a compelling preheader text that provides a brief preview of your email's content. This text appears next to or below the subject line in most email clients and can influence whether recipients open your email.
- Mobile-Friendly Subject Lines: Keep your subject lines concise and impactful, as mobile screens may truncate longer subject lines. A clear and relevant subject line can entice recipients to open your email.
- Testing and Preview: Use email marketing platforms or tools that offer mobile preview options. These tools allow you to see how your email will look on various mobile devices before sending it to your subscribers.
- Minimized Load Time: Mobile users expect fast loading times. Optimize your email content to minimize load times, which is particularly important for images and other media.
- Limited Use of Rich Media: While rich media like videos and interactive elements can enhance engagement, ensure they're mobile-friendly and enhance the user experience rather than causing slow loading or compatibility issues.
- Consistent Branding: Maintain consistent branding across different devices to provide a cohesive experience for your subscribers, regardless of how they access your emails.
- Unsubscribe and Contact Information: Make sure that the "unsubscribe" link and contact information are easily accessible, as required by email regulations. This is especially important for maintaining a positive sender reputation.
Mobile optimization is an integral part of email marketing strategy, enabling you to effectively reach and engage your mobile-savvy audience. By delivering well-designed, user-friendly emails that cater to the preferences and behaviors of mobile users, you increase the likelihood of achieving your marketing goals and delivering a positive recipient experience.Poor Design and Mobile Responsiveness
Emails that are well-designed improve brand image, user experience, affect consumer engagement, and conversions. Layouts, images, and branding aspects increase the impact of the email & inspire readers to perform desired actions.
3 common flaws I see in email designs include:
- Cluttered and Unappealing Layouts
- Lack of Branding Elements
- Disregarding Mobile-Friendly Design
Cluttered emails overwhelm recipients and reduce the efficacy of the content. Creating visually attractive and tidy layouts promotes readability or user engagement. These cluttered emails aren’t usually mobile optimized either, so they don’t sell well or help meet your goals.
A lack of consistent branding undermines brand awareness and trust. The use of logos, color schemes, and brand images strengthens brand identification or builds a better relationship with the audience. You need to be mindful of this during your design phase, otherwise your email experience for readers won’t be cohesive.
Ignoring mobile responsiveness alienates a significant chunk of your audience. Optimizing emails for diverse mobile devices guarantees a consistent customer experience and higher conversion rates. Over 80% of readers open your emails on their phone which is why mobile optimization should be a priority, not an afterthought.
Using responsive email templates ensures that emails adjust to multiple screen sizes and devices giving mobile users a consistent or user-friendly experience. Also, thoroughly testing email layouts on multiple devices and email clients reveals possible difficulties allowing for required revisions to ensure maximum mobile responsiveness or engagement.Analyzing Email Metrics and User Behavior
Data analysis gives useful insights into the success of email campaigns and consumer behavior. Using data-driven tactics improves decision-making & help firms to improve their email marketing operations. For direct insight into your audience's interest, there are 3 metrics you should always measure:
Tracking open rates demonstrates how effectively subject lines and sender names connect with receivers or suggesting the email content's early attention.
Click-Through Rates (CTR)
CTR assesses the efficacy of email content and CTAs by determining whether recipients take desired actions after opening the email.
Conversion rates represent the proportion of recipients who performed the targeted action such as completing a purchase or signing up and illustrate the overall performance of the email campaign.
Next, you should invest more time into Identifying User Behavior Patterns. You can start doing this by analyzing Engagement with Different Content Types and studying the Customer Journey through Emails.
Examining user reactions to different content forms (e.g., text, photos, videos) assists in understanding audience preferences and tailoring future material appropriately.
Tracking how customers respond with successive emails in a sequence helps map their customer journey exposing touchpoints and opportunities to optimize the email funnel for greater engagement and conversions.
Strategies for Improving Email Sales Performance
Now that you’re aware of why your emails aren’t making sales, here’s 5 strategies you can try to start generating revenue.
- Crafting Irresistible Offers and Deals: Creating enticing offers and unique bargains encourages recipients to act. Offering value-added promotions and limited-time discounts may boost email conversions or drive sales.
- Implementing Urgency and Scarcity Techniques: Using urgency by emphasizing time-limited offers and scarcity by emphasizing limited supply or availability promotes a fear of losing out motivating quicker replies and more engagement with the email content.
- Leveraging Personalization and Dynamic Content: Personalizing emails with suggestions and dynamic material based on consumer choices increases relevance and engagement. Personalized emails build a better connection with recipients resulting in greater client loyalty and conversions.
- Testing and Iterating Email Campaigns: Testing various aspects such as subject lines, images, and CTAs on a regular basis gives vital insights into what connects most with the audience. Continuous activity based on performance data enhances email efficacy and results in more sales.
- Integrating Email Marketing with Other Channels: By coordinating email marketing efforts with other channels like social media and website promotions, a consistent consumer experience is created. Cross-channel integration boosts the effectiveness of email marketing by enhancing brand awareness and total sales performance.
Ineffective subject lines, bad email content, a lack of customer segmentation, poor design, and mobile responsiveness are all common causes of low sales in marketing emails. Identifying these issues is critical for enhancing the success of email campaigns.
Businesses may improve their email marketing operations and produce greater outcomes by addressing identified problems and using proven tactics. Improving subject lines, content, segmentation, design, and monitoring analytics will result in greater engagement or conversions.
Despite obstacles, good email marketing remains a potent tool for increasing sales. Campaigns that are personalized, well-designed, and data-driven may connect with consumers, increase engagement, and eventually lead to substantial company development.
For a more comprehensive breakdown of email marketing and how to master it, checkout our newest tool kit - The Master Email Marketing tool kit.