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  • Writer's pictureWirya Hassan

6 Serious Problems In Email Marketing And How To Fix Them

The classic email as a marketing channel is far from obsolete. Email marketing might be vilified by some as old fashioned, yet many marketing experts continue very successfully using it for customer acquisition and retention using highly targeted email lists.

Of course, there are many hurdles to overcome here, too, which determine the success or failure of a newsletter campaign. I help you with troubleshooting and show you how you

can increase your success, from newsletter signup to conversion.

Problem 1: Few new newsletter subscriptions

The success of email campaigns depends largely on the quality and scope of the mailing list. The prerequisite is therefore a constantly growing stock of newsletter registrations. But what if just nobody signs up, if the list grows only slowly?

It seems obvious, but the practice shows: Sometimes the simplest solutions are overlooked! The newsletter should be prominently promoted across all channels of the company: be it

the website or the blog with a clear signup function, the promotion of the newsletter via social media, AdWords, guest contributions and other classic press work; the wider the reach, the better.

But casting your net wide is not enough. In view of the large number of newsletters, a clear added value must be recognizable for users. The contents of the emails should be clearly named, always starting from the question: What advantage do they offer the recipients? It is a good idea to entice new subscribers with a small "gift": the download of a document or a discount code for the next order. Just as important are confidence-building measures such as privacy notices.

Other ways to increase the visibility of the newsletter are recommendations from existing subscribers (share buttons are helpful in the email) and a search engine friendly online archive of old newsletters found through Google. Of course, a prominent signup opportunity should not be missed here.

Problem 2: Many newsletter unsubscribes

If a large number of subscribers unsubscribe from the email list, this is a warning signal for lack of relevance or quality. In the worst case, recipients do not opt out, but even mark the emails as spam.

It's important to create real value with emails, to provide information that only subscribers get. It is equally important to choose relevant content for the target group.

The expectations, which were awakened with the registration, must be fulfilled in the newsletters. The requirements for content and form can be summarized under the terms

professionalism, trust, consistency and personalization.

However, the last point should not be exaggerated: overly personalized emails can have a dissuasive effect, because hardly anyone can be fooled, a newsletter would be a personal email, which was only sent to a recipient. It is important to find the balance here, to value the subscribers without repeating the name in each paragraph and making them unbelievable. Of course, it depends on the target group, which degree of personalization is tolerated or expected.

Unsubscribing can also be avoided by allowing subscribers to receive fewer emails. In addition, surveys among recipients can help figure out what content and email frequencies are expected. Another indication of potential for optimization may also be given to recipients who are given the option to indicate a reason for the optout.

We live in the age of the mobile Internet so the users of mobile devices should not be ignored either: Is the mobile target group taken into account? Do the email templates look good on mobile devices, are the buttons easy to click?

Problem 3: Low delivery rate

If a large number of emails cannot be delivered, it is time to review the address database. How current is the address list and where does it come from? Purchased email addresses are (as well as bought Facebook fans ) not a good idea, the recipients lack the interest in the content and offers. Instead, they increase the cost of sending email.

Another point that causes low delivery rates is the spam filter that newsletters often come across. Email providers whose IP addresses are not familiar are likely to fall in the spam filter and the high quality of the email list can help here. Recipients should have already contacted the sender and be expecting the emails.

Other issues that can trigger spam filters are too many exclamation marks or uppercase words, as well as emails that primarily consist of a large image and little text. An absolute "no-go" is of course the accidental sending of emails to recipients who have unsubscribed from the newsletter. Again, professional email providers help to keep the lists clean and avoid confusion.

Problem 4: Low open rate

The only two contents that recipients see before opening the email are the subject line and the sender. If the opening rate is low, it must be optimized here.

The sender should be clearly recognizable and consistent. Similar guidelines apply to the optimal subject line as to the perfect headline , and again, it's important to test what works best.

On Copyblogger , Brian Clark summarizes the basics of the perfect email subject line under four points that should be considered:

• Helpful: Does the promised message provide added value for the recipient?

• Specific: Does the recipient know exactly what the message contains?

• Unique: is the subject line unique and appealing?

• Urgent: Does the subject create an impression with the recipient of having to be read as quickly as possible?

The potential of the pre-header is still neglected to this day by many senders. Especially for smartphones, but also in Outlook and other e-mail clients, the pre-header appears in the preview window under the subject line, even before the recipient has opened the e-mail.

For most newsletters, the link to the online version can be found here:

"If this newsletter is not displayed correctly, click here". In addition to using incentives or an exciting teaser at this point, the recipient may additionally be tempted to open.

The question of added value depends above all on the target group. With extensive email lists and campaigns a segmentation of the recipients is worthwhile. Depending on the business and marketing objectives, these segments may differ in interests (for example, what content users clicked or which documents they downloaded), geographic differences, or business areas.

A secret to successful newsletters is to build a relationship with the recipients, making sure that every email is read with interest, and in the best case even with enthusiasm. This is especially successful when the focus is on the recipients, not on your own company.

Advertising your own products or services should account for only a fraction of emails (5% is a good guideline here).

Tip: For high open rates, you can also create multi-part e-mails that send out a series of training or a series of topics, each of which builds on the previous email and announces the next one.

Problem 5: Low CTR

Although many recipients open the emails, but few of them click on the links to the landing page contained in the email, there are several reasons for this:

1. The recipients do not read the e-mails until the end.

2. The promised contents of the landing page are not relevant to the recipients or for other reasons does not motivate them enough to click.

3. The call-to-action is not conspicuous enough.

Most recipients are limited in their willingness to devote time and attention to the email. This means that the content should not be too long and must be as concrete and direct as possible. Only when the offer that is waiting for the click is well explained or piques their curiosity enough, users are ready to click.

It has proved a good approach to present just enough details necessary to provide motivation for the click, and to add an indication that the landing page provides more

information. Of particular importance is the headline, which is the first eye-catcher after opening the e-mail and should match the expectations aroused by the subject. To improve email click through rate read these 12 tips.

Problem 6: Low conversion rate

Note: The conversion rate is not clearly defined in email marketing. Here we understand a conversion as the action the visitor should take on the landing page, such as a purchase, registration, or download of a document or trial version of a program. The click in the email that leads to the landing page should not be counted as a conversion here, but will be included under the previous click through rate (CTR) point.

If the conversion rate is low, the classic landing page optimization should take effect. Of course, the relevance for the target group, but also the consistency of the landing page with the content of the e-mail, are important. The landing page must fit in its language and intention to the newsletter. The call-to-action that has brought visitors to the page should be reflected on the landing page at least in content, in the best case even recognizable linguistically.

To avoid lengthy email, the landing page generally provides more detail, building trust through customer voices, warranties, and privacy. Attention should also be paid to

details: If a form has to be filled in, only the essential fields should be required.

In general, e-mails should be handled sensitively by senders. Users who subscribe to a newsletter primarily expect information. Pure sales emails can be daunting and

lead to high unsubscribe rates (see above).

Instead of harsh sales, measures such as offering a no-obligation test, downloading more information, free trial subscriptions, or software trials are usually better for email marketing and better converting.

And of course, as with any conversion optimization, testing and reporting are the nuts and bolts of successful campaigns!

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