There’s no denying it.
With most email users using automated spam filters and emails getting sent directly into Gmail’s Promotions folder, the deliverability and readability of marketing emails has dropped drastically.
Does this mean that email marketing is losing its edge as the most efficient B2B marketing strategy? No!
In the B2B space, email marketing has a unique set of challenges – but once you learn how to turn the stumbling blocks into stepping stones, it is still a surefire way to win over customers and generate plenty of business.
What we need to understand is that is that email marketing campaigns do not fail because there is too much clutter to break through. They fail because of the inability of their marketer to chalk out a robust email campaign strategy.
Harsh, but true. If you have ever witnessed failures in your email campaigns, you need to read this post.
Below are the seven key reasons why your email strategy may not be getting the desired results.
1. Lack of insight into your target audience
A recent study from The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) revealed that 77% of ROI comes from segmented, targeted and triggered campaigns.
Not being able to identify your potential target audience could present a major constraint when it comes to sending out email communications. Marketers must do their homework before carrying out their email marketing operations – this means clearly defining who their target customers are, and what their needs, preferences, demographics and psychographic characteristics might be.
2. No personalization
Personalization is the way forward in today’s world – marketers can no longer rely on a ‘one-size-fits-most’ approach. The open rate for e-mails with a personalized message was 18.8% in 2016 as opposed to 13.1% without any personalization, says a Statista report.
The time-efficient solution for marketers is to divide their target market into different segments based on the similarity of interests, values, and preferences shared by the customers.
This will help you design and disseminate personalized, needs-specific messages to customers and stimulate the right triggers in customers’ minds.
3. Outdated email database
Every database goes through substantial depreciation over a period of time. An outdated and under-performing database impedes your campaign success and may lead to a very poor response rate, conversion rate and ultimately a lesser ROI. This means it’s imperative for marketers to make no compromises when it comes to acquiring quality databases.
If you already have a database, make sure it is well maintained and fully up-t0-date so that your sales teams are equipped with reliable data at all times. You may also opt for data appending services to capitalize on a reliable, accurate and error-free database.
4. Unappealing subject line
The average office worker sends or receives about 121 emails a day, according to a report by the Radicati Group.
Out of all these emails received, the likelihood of someone opening one with a naff or cliched subject line is low. People open based on the name of the sender and the subject line, and an un-catchy, vague, and misleading subject line can lead to low open rates and eventually encumber the success of your email campaigns.
The subject line of your emails must be clear, intriguing, and attractive enough to catch the recipient’s attention. Excessive use of punctuation marks, use of all caps and misleading phrases should be shunned.
5. Poor email design
If your target customers lack the motivation to read your emails, there could be something wrong with the design, look and feel of them.
Savvy marketers should have an arsenal of attractive email templates that best appeal to their target prospects. The use of the logo, colors, pictures, call to action buttons and other elements should be synchronized well, and experimentation in design must not be feared.
In addition, the body of the email (including the subject line) must clearly convey the intended message. You should also consider how many emails are opened on mobile devices and optimize them for better readability accordingly. According to Litmus’ Email Analytics report, the number of emails opened on mobile devices has risen and sits at 56% of all emails sent.
6. Unknown or ambiguous sender
Nearly half of all emails are deleted straight away if the identity of the sender is not known or appears dodgy. Sending emails from sales@XYZ.com, info@XYZ.com, admin@XYZ.com or any such name does not appear to be genuine and will often get marked as spam by the recipients.
Using a real person’s name and email address as the sender makes an email look more authentic and trustworthy. This small change will positively impact your message deliverability and readability rates – I guarantee it.
7. Lack of relevance
Quite often, an email is simply not given any attention by the receiver due to the lack of perceived value in it.
Before sending email communications out to a mass audience, digital marketers must segment their target market as well as keeping in mind their specific needs and preferences. They should design messages that personally appeal to them and address their individual challenges and needs.
Failing to do so could lead to an increase in unsubscribe rates, low open rates, low response rate, and eventually a low conversion rate on all email marketing efforts.
Running an effective email marketing campaign is not exactly rocket science, but it is an art. It needs careful planning and meticulous execution.
Test out different email templates on a small group of loyal users if you’re thinking of tweaking your formatting or design to see how they respond to changes in the email design, subject line, or content. This will help you identify the templates that best serve your purpose.
Similarly, try to research the best time to send marketing emails: the time at which you send your emails directly impacts the open rate and response rate of your campaigns.
Guest Author: Sudheer Kiran is a digital marketing consultant & co-founder of the digital marketing agency DigitalVow, which offers digital marketing services to small and medium-sized enterprises. He is passionate about marketing, startups and entrepreneurship.