Email continues to provide the most effective method of marketing. Not only that, research has shown that it’s one of the least difficult to execute. However, as with any channel of communication, email marketing does not come without its share of obstacles.
It is a relief to know that there is always a solution to the problems posed by email marketing. We take a look at some of the most restrictive challenges facing email marketers, and provide solutions for each of them.
1. Building Your List
A recent study from Campaigner revealed that earning new subscribers is the biggest challenge experienced by email marketers in 2015. The report was based on a survey completed by 506 email marketers, many of whom claimed finding new subscribers to be their main challenge.
The best way of overcoming the problem of earning new subscribers is to ensure the benefits of subscription are clearly obvious to potential subscribers. Having a clear value proposition will serve to answer those key concerns people have before opting in. You might be providing exclusive offers and discounts that cannot be found elsewhere, or providing links to premium web content: Either way, make sure the benefit to the recipient is immediately obvious.
2. Increasing Open Rates
Another common problem experienced by email marketers is increasing open rates. In the Campaigner report, 26.3 percent of respondents thought of increasing open rates as the single biggest challenge, with 20.3 percent citing it as their second biggest issue.
It all comes down to writing catchy, engaging subject lines. The subject line is the first thing your subscribers will see, and their decision to open the email is based on this alone. When crafting a subject line, you should keep it short and concise, immediately grabbing the recipient’s attention.
A well-crafted subject line should make subscribers intrigued enough to click through to the rest of the email.
Research from Sidekick found that emails with personalized subject lines had a 20 percent higher open rate than those with non-personalized subject lines. The same study found subject lines with fewer than 30 characters performed better than longer ones. The key is to write short, catchy subject lines that speak directly to the recipient.
3. Improving Deliverability
Your email’s content and subject line will not make the slightest bit of difference if your emails are headed straight for the junk folder. Sidestepping the spam box is another major challenge facing email marketers, and increasingly intuitive junk mail filters only exacerbate this issue.
When your deliverability rate falls below a certain percentage, some internet service providers will send your email to the spam folder. This is a waste of time, money and effort.
Avoid using spam words in your subject lines to prevent your emails from getting filtered as junk. The words classed as spam vary between industry, but some common examples include: cheap, free, buy, cash, subscribe, click, cost, and prize. Integrate any of these words into your subject line and you’ll be shooting yourself in the foot.
There are a number of measures you can take to improve the deliverability rate. You can monitor the contacts that have been inactive for a long time, and the ones that never open your emails, and delete them from your list. You can also avoid adding non-existent emails to your list by asking subscribers to confirm their opt-in via an email link.
4. Retaining Subscribers
Growing your email list is wasted effort if you are losing subscribers at the same rate. Retaining email subscribers ranks within the top five challenges experienced by email marketers. If you have a large group of active subscribers, do whatever you can to keep them.
The best method of retaining your subscribers is to send out the right emails to the right audience. This means segmenting your list into groups, and speaking directly to each type of buyer. A study from Lyris found that segmenting email lists results in a reduced unsubscribe rate for 28 percent and higher customer retention for 21 percent of marketers.
5. Low Click-Through Rates
Another challenge ranking highly among email marketers is improving click-through rates. Your subscribers might be opening your emails, but if they’re not reading the content and clicking links through to your website, you don’t have much chance of converting them into paying customers.
Email list segmentation is the key here, too. However, low click-through rates may be a result of disinterested subscribers. You can fix this issue by running a re-engagement campaign every year. Send out an email to all your subscribers asking if they want to keep receiving your emails, and include a clear opt-out option.
Low click-through rates in emails can also be the result of sending out emails too frequently. A study conducted by The Relevancy Group and LiveClicker found that too high a frequency of emails was the primary reasons that consumers disliked receiving marketing emails on their smartphones. You should allow subscribers to customize the frequency of emails based on their preferences.
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