10 Reasons Your Email Marketing is Failing (And How to Fix It)

Email marketing has been around for what seems like forever. By the look of things, it is not going anywhere anytime soon. And, this is despite the prevalence of social media marketing. Why is this the case, you ask?

Because email marketing has been, and still is, an effective marketing tool. However, making some obvious mistakes can diminish the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns. Here are ten such mistakes that you should avoid.

1. Using Your Personal Email Account

Cash-strapped and inexperienced first-timers often make this mistake. Since they cannot afford an email marketing provider, they consider it a good idea to use their personal email account. This “good idea” backfires on them for two reasons. One, it is unprofessional.

Two, their emails end up in a recipient’s spam folder, not the inbox. If a recipient cannot see the message, he or she cannot respond to it. It was as if the email was never sent. In contrast, email marketing providers know how to deliver a message to a recipient’s inbox, not the spam box. That is why they charge for their services. Even if you are on tight budget, use them.

2. Sending Unsolicited Emails

email marketingYou may use an email marketing provider, but still fail to make headway. Look closer. You could be sending emails without a recipient’s permission. Unsolicited emails are not only annoying but also an invasion of your privacy. You would never respond to even one. Instead, you would delete it or report it as spam. And, if you realize you were duped into joining a mailing list, you will unsubscribe from it immediately.

This is how you would react to unwanted marketing emails. So, why would you expect a recipient to respond differently? When visitors visit your website or blog, use the opportunity to convert them into subscribers and to grow your mailing list.

As you do so, remember that the secret is to let your subscribers opt into your mailing list. Next, let them confirm that they have opted in. Once they both opt-in and confirm, your open rate increases by 75.6% and your click-through rate by 114%.

3. Sending to Inactive Email Addresses

You are using an established email marketing provider and an opt-in program, but you are yet to make waves. You might be guilty of the third mistake: sending marketing emails to inactive addresses. This practice presents two problems.

One, email providers charge you based on the number of emails you send regardless of whether the recipient address is active. You are losing money. Two, if you send emails to too many inactive accounts, email providers will blacklist you. To overcome these two problems, trim your bloated mailing lists with an email validation tool.

4. Not Optimizing for Mobile Devices

Statistics show that two out of three people today access their email using mobile devices. And if these people get an email that is not compatible with their device, they refuse to open it. Not optimizing your emails for mobile devices is a fatal error. So, when you send marketing emails, do so in responsive styling.

5. Bad First Impressions and Overselling

Even when you send emails correctly, you aren’t out of the woods yet. In email marketing, content is the key. How successful you are depends on how you frame your content. When writing content, novices make two mistakes: making a bad first impression and overselling.

Whether your email makes a good or a bad impression depends on the subject line. Good ones encourage people to open them. Bad ones do the opposite. To spot one, look for all caps, more exclamation points than you care to count, and a spammy headline.

Overselling is harder to spot, but this is how it works. A subscriber sees a hyped up subject line full of promises. Encouraged, they click on it. However, the content fails to live up to the hyped-up subject message. Disappointed, they leave. If this happens too many times, they eventually stop clicking on your messages.

6. Sending Impersonal Messages

People will always respond better to personalized emails than to impersonal ones. Email marketing providers know this. For this reason, they incorporate message personalization tools in their programs. Use them. Subscribers detest impersonal messages. They see them for what they are – an attempt to get them to buy.

Here is an interesting experiment that details the difference between personal and impersonal messages. A webinar was promoted using two similar messages: one personal and the other impersonal. The results were surprising. The personal message had a 137% higher open rate and a 128% higher click-through rate than the impersonal one.

7. Not Having a Target Audience

Your subscribers will never be one cohesive block. They will differ in age, income, level of education, personal taste, and more. And so will their needs. As such, no single message can address these differences or needs.

To be able to send one that does, first break your list into segments. Next, use the segmented lists to conduct segmented marketing campaigns. They yield 55% better results than unsegmented campaigns.

8. Inconsistent Mailing

Human relationships are nourished by consistent contact as are those between marketers and recipients. To keep your clients interested, you must mail them consistently and at regular intervals. This breeds familiarity. Soon your name becomes a common and welcome sight in their inbox.

In contrast, every time you stop mailing them, the relationship turns cold. To get it back on track, you must work twice as hard. If you are habitually inconsistent, you may lose them for good.

9. No Call-to-Action

Any email you send out should add value to your organization. This only happens if you include a call-to-action (CTA) in the message. The CTA prompts your recipients to act on your message. For this reason, it is specific. It may prompt your recipient to click on a link or to download a brochure.

Whatever its nature, your CTA must always be well defined. More importantly, you must never forget to include it in the message. And unless it is really necessary, never include too many CTAs in one message. One well-defined one is often enough. Besides, too many CTAs tend either to conflict or to compete with each other.

10. Poor Landing Pages

When subscribers decide to respond to your CTA, do not disappoint them. They do not want to click on a link that sends them to an unappealing or unhelpful site. Even worse, avoid sending them to a landing page where the offer you promised is non-existent or undefined. That will really anger them.

In summary, to launch a successful email campaign, avoid the following mistakes:

  • Do not send emails from your personal account or send unsolicited emails.
  • Never send emails to inactive accounts or fail to optimize your emails for mobile devices.
  • Regarding content, do not oversell, make a bad impression, or send impersonal messages.
  • In addition, be wary of having no mailing consistency, target audience, call-to-action, or good landing page.

Thanks for being an awesome reader. Please drop a comment and share this post on social media. If you link to it from your post, let me know so I can help promote your post as well.

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22 thoughts on “10 Reasons Your Email Marketing is Failing (And How to Fix It)”

  1. Email marketing is the backbone of any online business.
    I am still struggling to get emails. I am currently working on an ebook which I will use to exchange emails.
    Other than that I think the content would always speak for itself.

  2. If we use software for E-mail marketing, Does it will took to fail way ??. I am going to start a email marketing so help me to improve about this email marketing.

  3. People seriously need to improve points #4, #6, #8 and #10. They are the biggest irritating factors I face when I subscribe to newsletters.

  4. Hi Enstine,

    This is a great and informative article. Actually, it’s my first time to know that some marketers send emails using their personal email address. It will definitely stall your mail campaign. Also, sending unsolicited emails is awful. I get that a lot of times-unsolicited emails and I wonder how they got my address. Recently, Ryan Biddulph deleted thousands of subscribers from his list because, as he puts it they’re inactive. So, having thousands or millions of inactive subscribers will never improve your email marketing campaign.

    Other tips that doesn’t work is trying to talk too much on your email, not making the email about the recipiant, as well as sending irrelevant emails.
    For example, are you segmenting your email lists according to what kind of content your recipients want? If a recipient want to find a solution on how to setup a WordPress blog and you send him a content explaining how to create videos, do you think he will want to read that? Thus, make sure your emails are as relevant as possible to your subscribers by segmenting them according to the type of content they want. All others tips are great.

    Thanks for sharing, Enstine.

    • Hey bro,
      I have received messages from some marketers with lots of emails in the BC field. This just tells you how some folks still have a lot to learn. Such messages are just plane with no unsubscribe links 😉

      Yeah like Ryan, a couple of weeks ago, I removed over 1500 from my list. It’s better to function with a few active than have a large list you pay for no reason.

      Yes list Segmentation is the way to a higher open rate and CTR. Of course it’s something that people need to learn and I’m preparing an article on it.

      Thanks for showing up with a beautiful comment bro. Hope you are set for a wonderful weekend

  5. Thanks for article. Email marketing is one of the best ways to advertise.It’s a helpful information.

  6. Hi Enstine,
    You never fail to write a post with so much great information. I’m another one who has failed to build a list. I just don’t seem to think about preparing for it each week and then I think it’s too late because my post was 2 weeks ago, etc.

    I am trying to do differently now and we’ll see how it goes. Going over your list again for reference.

    Thank you.

    • Hey Monna,
      You my friends are my source of inspiration. Thanks for being so wonderful and supportive.
      Do you have any specific problem when it comes to email marketing? I could help you out. MailerLite is good to start with. No charges for up to 1000 list members

  7. Hello Enstine,

    Great post as usual. Email marketing is one of the best ways to advertise and it is effective too. Sending unsolicited emails always distract users and it is quite annoying too. I always personalize email newsletter to create a more strong bond with the subscribers which leads to more trust and increase conversion. Thanks for sharing these helpful tips here.

    With Regards,

      • yes, Enstine, I have articles written on email marketing. You can check them out on my blog. I also happy to have you in my contact.

        With Regards,

  8. Excellent Enstine! Agreeing on every one of these tips bro. The ones that get me the most are unsolicited emails and going heavy on selling without sharing anything helpful or valuable. I get unsolicited email daily and of course mark all as spam. Meaning these emails almost always wind up in all subscriber’s spam folders eventually, which is the email marketing kiss of death.

    As for the heavy sell, too many email marketers believe you can sell effectively without sharing free, helpful content to earn folk’s trust. Doesn’t work that way. Lead with free value then wrap it up with a clear, short, simple call to action pointing toward your sell.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂


    • Hey Ryan,
      You are right about spamming those unsolicited mails. We get them daily and sometimes, they are very annoying.

      If you signup to a list of someone on warriorforum, you will get the real feelings of this heavy sell. I have practically signed out of all those lists and I’m feeling some air of freshness 😉

      Bloggers do it the right way. Well, some bloggers.

      Thanks for adding value to the post bro

  9. Hi Enstine, very interesting. I do email almost weekly. I try to add a little person info in the beginning and then share info in the emails. I don’t try to sell anything which is something I have to adjust on. I should use it as a marketing tool!
    I also still use Mailchimp and having been thinking of switching to an auto responder like Convert Kit. I’ve been shying away from it afraid to lose my list.
    Thanks for the informative tips and reminders here Enstine.

    • Hey Lisa,
      I’m on your list and get all your mails I believe and I’m glad I’m on. Yes I know what your email content looks like. It’s mostly driving traffic to your articles. Remember segmenting is a great strategy to break your list into pieces. Some folks signup from your blog just to receive your updates. Some may be comfortable with marketing materials as well. It will be a good practice to segment so you don’t burn your list with marketing content.

      I have seen a lot of people use and promote ConvertKit too but I’m comfortable with MailerLite. It has quite impressive marketing and automation tools. It’s a small game player but a big game changer. Have you known of it?

  10. I am the WORST when it comes to email marketing! And I admit it. 🙂

    I hardly ever send out emails to my list. I simply don’t want to bother others! LOL

    I also don’t usually have anything to sell them. Generally, it’s all about informing them of what my latest blog post is.

    For the last six months, I pretty much stopped blogging. I have lost interest in it. But I have a ton of stuff that is SUPER VALUABLE and unpublished, so I will eventually publish it.

    But gone are the days of consistent blogging!
    I guess when you are busy doing other things (including making money, which I am doing), you lose interest in such things! LOL

    • Hey Lorraine,
      I have been to your blog a couple of times and noticed it’s not being updated. I can understand these things because I once was away too for almost 2 years. I was making money and studying cryptocurrency but I just had to come back to my blog (While still doing well in cryptos)

      If you are making money offline or using some platform online that doesn’t require building a virtual community, one can understand while Email Marketing is not part of your strategy. Otherwise, your list is your marketplace and pretty good source of traffic.

      In any case, I hope you are soon coming back 😉

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