Email is an essential marketing tool for businesses, regardless of size or industry. According to a 2020 Litmus report, the return on investment has increased and companies are seeing a $42 return for every dollar they invest in email marketing. If your company isn’t seeing any return, it could signal a faulty strategy. Conducting our checkup can help.

1. Stale Email Lists

Email databases degrade by almost 23% every year according to MarketingSherpa. That doesn’t mean the entire 23% unsubscribed due to lack of interest, so don’t take it too personally. There are many reasons email lists dwindle — including people changing jobs or ditching email addresses they created in 2007.

Including an email signup on your website and segmenting your client, partner and supplier lists is a good start, but there are plenty of other creative ways to grow your email lists.

Here are some ideas:

  • Offer an incentive, such as a discount, consultation, webinar or whitepaper, which is catered to your target audience’s wants or needs. All they need to do is fill out a form to gain access.
  • Promote email-exclusive deals on social media to encourage your audience to subscribe.
  • Include a newsletter signup link in your company email signature.
  • Collect email addresses at tradeshows or events via a form accessed through a QR code.

2. Shoddy Email Design

Emails with quick load times, attention-grabbing visuals and clear CTAs usually perform best. If you haven’t reviewed your email template design recently, consider this your wake-up call.

Your email template(s) should be easy to read, succinct and match the company brand aesthetic. Additionally, they should be mobile friendly or “responsive,” meaning the email format adjusts to fit a variety of screens. This is especially pertinent as HubSpot reports 46%of emails are opened on mobile.

When putting together email content, aim for a 60-40 to 80-20 text-to-image ratio. Image-heavy emails can be marked as spam, which will certainly kill your email mojo. Any images or graphics you include in the email should be lower resolution (under 1MB), so they don’t slow the email load time and negatively affect performance.

3. Ineffective Subject Lines

When you’re trying to increase email engagement and performance, subject lines can make a big impact. If you’re struggling with low open rates, it may be due to an ineffective subject line.

Subject lines should be short, sweet and to the point. Ideally, they are five or six words long (approx. 40 characters). It’s also important that the subject line is descriptive of the actual content. A “bait and switch” move can anger and annoy your audience.

To experiment with subject lines and see what works best for your audience, try A/B testing. A/B testing compares a variable between two versions of the same email to determine what your audience prefers. Version A is sent to a portion of your contacts and version B is sent to another comparative portion. You’ll be able to compare open rates and other metrics over time to assess trends.

4. Impersonal Emails

These days, inboxes are flooded with emails. According to HubSpot’s 2020 State of Marketing Report, email personalization is the #1 tactic marketers use to increase engagement.

There are many ways you can customize emails. Beyond personalizing the recipient’s name, segmentation is an effective way to boost email results. Segmentation refers to dividing your email subscribers into smaller lists based on specific criteria such as purchase history, industry, demographics or interests. Once segmented, you can customize the content of the newsletter to a niche audience, including a personalized subject line. In fact, a 2017 report from Yes Lifecycle Marketing (now Data Axel) found personalized subject lines boosted open rates by 50%.

5. No Consideration of Past Results or Metrics

Before you conceptualize new email campaigns, you should analyze the results of previous email efforts. Paying attention to metrics can help you maximize performance and understand the interests and behaviors of your subscribers. For instance, if your emails have a high open rate but a very low click rate, that could indicate the content didn’t appeal to their interests, you didn’t tease to the website effectively or your links weren’t placed strategically. Metrics can help identify gaps and areas of improvement for the next email.

You should also be aware of industry averages when analyzing your email marketing metrics. Your email marketing platform may provide this information and a skilled marketing team certainly can. Various industries have very different audiences, thus different preferences. A skincare brand with regular sales will send more frequent emails than a commercial litigation law firm.

In the end, if you’re not seeing results from your email marketing efforts, it’s not because it’s an ineffective or outdated tool. Making a few adjustments to your strategy can make a world of a difference.

A skilled marketing team can assess the current state of your email marketing and determine ways to improve. Learn how Aker Ink can help with your email marketing efforts.