5 Email Marketing Problems & How To Fix Them

5 Email Marketing Problems & How To Fix Them

As with any marketing effort, you will want to set goals for yourself to achieve and re-assess if you don't quite make them. The goals you set should be realistically attainable, with a set deadline and assigned responsibilities. Every company's marketing goals will be different, and will depend on what you want to accomplish within a certain set amount of time. 

Before determining an area of your email marketing is not up to par, set goals for what you want to achieve, how you want to achieve it, and when you want to achieve it by. Then, when it comes time to assess the results, you will be able to make more educated and informed choices on what needs to change to get there if the goals haven't been met.


Fixing Email Marketing Problems: 5 Easy Solutions

Let's dive in and discuss some common email marketing roadblocks that are faced.

1. Low Open Rate

Your open rate refers to how many recipients of your email actually opened it. While you may think that if people are on your mailing list, that they are surely reading your emails. But this is not necessary the case. According to SuperOffice, in 2019, the average email open rate was roughly 22%. That's fewer than a quarter of contacts on any given list opening your emails!

Of course, that does mean this is every single email's open rate; some emails will always get more opens, and some will always get less. But the trend is that a minority of contacts open their emails from a company, and if your emails' open rates are trending lower than the industry standard, this needs to be resolved.

Causes: So what causes low email open rates? One of the biggest reasons is likely predictability. Being reliable in your email's content and scheduling can absolutely be a strength—when your contacts know what you are delivering and roughly when you will be delivering it, it builds anticipation. However, this only works if you deliver strong content which your contacts learn to see as valuable. If you don't promise something valuable for your recipients, there is little to no incentive for them to open the message. Hence, your open rates may be down. 

Solution: Your first impression when it comes to marketing through emails is the subject line, and the first sentence of preview text. You don't get many other chances to make an impression, so make sure you leave a lasting impression! Test out various subject lines, and include a token for their first name if you can to personalize it.

As well, try out sending this message from different email addresses and names. Recipients will likely open an email that comes from an actual person than from a company, especially if it's a newsletter-type email. 

2. Low Delivery Rate

Your email database's delivery rate is how many of your emails are making it to inboxes successfully, and not bouncing back. According to SendBlaster, 31 billion emails bounce back every day. Yes, thats billion with a B. It's clearly a larger-than-life problem in the digital age, and results in hard work wasted on cold leads. 

It's completely normal to have some undelivered emails, but if you see an alarming number of messages go undelivered, and the remainder seem unresponsive, it's time to look into a solution.

Causes: A low delivery rate indicates that your mailing list may be full of addresses that are out of date, or addresses that aren't valid to begin with. Bulk-adding addresses can cause this, as well as infrequent updating of email databases. It can also be caused by a recipient having a full inbox, or by them being on vacation/out of office. 

Solution: It's always a good ideas to comb through your prospects and customers to establish where they are in the funnel, or if they're even in the funnel anymore. Creating a two-step validation process where the subscriber finishes confirming their opt-in through a follow-up email is a great way to approve contacts and avoid dead-ends from populating your list. When they confirm their subscription, you will know a real person is a subscriber and not a bot.  


3. Low Conversion Rate

You've worked hard on a newsletter for an upcoming class, and want to reel in some registrations. After sending it out, you check the results—and nothing. Barely anyone has signed up for the class.


Talk about a let down. Even if you think you've written up the best email possible to promote a new class or service, responses can fall flat. According to Word Stream, the average landing page conversion rate was 2.35%—yet the top 25% are converting at 5.31% or higher. Let's explore why low conversion rates happen.

Causes: Often, a low conversion rate on an email campaign can be the result of murky messaging. We are visual creators, and many of us scan through our emails quickly to get the idea of the message. If the call-to-action isn't clearly shown, and the valuable benefits of this promotion aren't fully communicated, we'll lose interest face and go onto the next thing.

Another big reason for this may be how well your email shows up on mobile. Roughly half of all email opens happen on our smart phones now, and having an email that is easy to interact with on mobile is more important now than ever.

Solution: Examine the call to action in the email. Is it clear, or are there too many options? Before sending it fully, ask a team member to review it and see if they understand what they should do next after reading this message. It is always helpful to have another set of eyes examine your work—we often take shortcuts and fill in the gaps when we know the answer while reviewing our own writing!

4. Low Active Ratio

Your email's active ratio is the percentage of recipients who consistently open, read, and take action on your emails. This number is important in telling you how many people are engaged with your emails, and how many ignore them—or possibly don't receive them at all.

According to Campaign Monitor, to find the average click rates of your emails, 'you simply divide the number of contacts who clicked on a link in your email by the total number of people who received the message and then multiply by 100.' It's very similar to your click-to-open rate, which should be between 20 to 30%.

Causes: A low active ratio can be the result of many things we mentioned earlier. It is likely an indicator that your mailing list is made up of addresses that are either outdated and not used anymore, or made up of users who don't want to receive your emails anymore. 

Solution: There are two strong ways to help improve your active ratio: segmenting and re-engagement. Segmentation will increase the likelihood that your email message is relevant to your audience, with the help of sending content that is personalized and written specifically for that group. A re-engagement campaign will help get people loving your email again, and help you see which contacts don’t care any longer.

5. Low Subscriber Count

Finally, your email strategy and the goals that come with it are attached to one key metric: subscriber count. How many subscribers are you adding to your list each day, week, or even month? While your email marketing will have more specific goals at the campaign level, all of your actions directly contribute to this one, overarching goal.

Another metric that goes hand-in-hand with this one is how long contacts stay subscribed. If you see a trend of subscribers joining the mailing list, then almost immediately unsubscribing, it may be an indicator that there are issues to patch up. 

Causes: Dwindling subscriber numbers could be attributed with many different factors. Perhaps your subscription process is more difficult to navigate, or perhaps their expectations for the newsletter were different than what they received. 

Solution: Review your on-boarding process for new subscribers. Consider adding a welcome newsletter to tell new members of the mailing list what they will receive, and how often they will receive it.

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