Digital marketing has changed a lot since the early days of the internet. Organizations didn’t always have access to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, mobile apps, and all the other tools that have boomed in popularity over the past few years.
Although marketers can reach customers through a wide range of channels now, email remains one of the most effective, even among younger consumers. Investing in a strong email marketing strategy is key to the success of virtually any business in the digital age. When you utilize email marketing best practices, you can reach customers directly, engaging them in ways that social media ads simply cannot.
That doesn’t mean that your brand will never run into any email marketing challenges or that planning and implementing a strategy is always a simple process. No tool is a “silver bullet” that universally boosts engagement, spreads brand awareness, and increases conversions with no potential difficulties. It’s still essential to understand what the challenges of email marketing are, how they’ve changed in recent years, and what you can do to overcome them.
Knowing how certain email mistakes may reduce the effectiveness of your campaigns will help you better understand how to mitigate them successfully. Plus, they’ll help uncover email marketing best practices that you can implement to prevent future mistakes and tackle the challenges more easily.
Keep the following points in mind, and you’ll avoid the common pitfalls others often fall prey to.
1. An Email Marketing Tip to Remember: Personalize, Personalize, Personalize!
Technological innovations such as artificial intelligence and machine learning have allowed brands to provide customers with a greater degree of personalized service than ever before. As a result, consumer demand for personalization is at an all time high.
Internet users have made it clear that they want marketing content (and digital experiences in general) to be tailored to their specific needs and preferences. For instance, more than 60% of consumers surveyed report wanting brands to provide them with personalized recommendations.
You can no longer succeed by merely sending all of your followers the same general content. Email marketing best practices have changed to keep up with customer expectations. Sending out the exact same email to every single person on your subscriber list won’t help you give your customers what they want or overcome one of the greatest challenges of email marketing: getting people to open your email.
Luckily, there are fairly simple ways to adjust your strategy accordingly to meet this email marketing challenge in 2019. Segmenting your email list into multiple smaller lists makes it easier to send relevant content to your followers. For example, people who’ve signed up for your emails within the past three months might want some “onboarding” material first, while old subscribers won’t have much use for that information.
This email marketing tip has been shown to boost open rates. For instance, an apparel brand should market winter clothes to those who live in colder regions, while marketing beach gear to followers who live in warmer climates.
Take the time to divide your customers into separate groups. One of the advantages of email marketing in this manner is that doing so will make it easier to offer an individualized experience.
Including a recipient’s name in the subject line is also an effective strategy. A personalized subject line can boost the open rate of your emails by as much as 50% Again, you don’t need to make major changes to offer greater personalization and leverage this email marketing best practice to its full potential.
2. Unclear Goals Can Stop a Campaign in Its Tracks
One of the most common email marketing challenges results when you plan a campaign that has no clear direction. This is something that occurs all too often, as teams formulate outreach plans without fully understanding what it is they hope to achieve.
Simply “building your company” is a vague goal, after all. You need to decide what your specific objectives are before launching a campaign. Doing so makes it easier to tailor your content to a clear purpose.
For instance, maybe a particular email campaign could promote a new line of products. If the end goal is to boost sales, the content of the emails should explain why a customer would want these products, and the CTAs should be designed to boost conversions.
3. High Bounce Rates: One of the Greatest Email Marketing Challenges
Email addresses don’t remain valid forever and they can “go bad” for many reasons. Maybe someone who signed up for your list used an email address linked to an organization that they no longer belong to, like a university or employer. Perhaps they’ve abandoned an old address in favor of a new one. In some instances, the email provider may no longer exist.
The more time that passes, the greater this challenge of email marketing becomes. When a large number of your emails get delivered to unverified addresses, your bounce rate rises. Sending emails to addresses that are no longer valid doesn’t merely prevent you from reaching old followers; a high bounce rate could also get you tagged as a spammer. Your emails might end up in junk folders as a result. Being tagged as a spammer creates even more email marketing challenges. If too many of your messages go to email addresses that have gone bad, reaching your legitimate customers becomes significantly harder.
That’s why it’s important to check your list with an email verification tool before sending out any content. This simple step will efficiently remove invalid addresses from your list, therefore preventing a high bounce rate, and help you overcome this email marketing challenge.
4. Mobile Optimization is Key to Modern Email Marketing
Most emails are read on mobile devices now. Thus, optimizing for mobile is one of the most important email marketing tips to keep in mind.
Mobile optimization doesn’t have to be one of your greatest challenges of email marketing in 2019. There are several ways to ensure your email content is mobile-friendly. First, remember that small screens don’t always display the full text of subject lines. You may need to frontload your subject lines with important words to maintain strong open rates.
Another email marketing tip to keep in mind is that your email content itself also needs to be easily scannable on mobile devices. Large chunks of text won’t look pleasing to someone reading your emails on a smartphone. Succeed at email marketing in 2019 by keeping paragraphs short and breaking up your text with images and formatting elements (such as headers and bullet points).
5. Failure to Monitor Data Goes Against Email Marketing Best Practices
One of the key advantages of email marketing is the fact that it lets your team monitor the effectiveness of each unique campaign. By analyzing metrics, performing A/B testing, and making adjustments where necessary, your team can optimize its email strategy.
The problem is, sometimes marketers aren’t vigilant about this step in the process. They take the time to develop a strong strategy, but once the campaign has been launched, they assume it’s flawless.
That’s rarely the case. Make sure that analyzing metrics plays an essential role in your approach to email marketing. Doing so allows teams to address problems in existing campaigns, while also creating a way to plan more effective strategies in the future.
The good news is, all of these challenges of email marketing are relatively easy to overcome. Keep these points in mind as you develop a campaign, and you’ll soon understand why marketers continue to hail email as one of the most important parts of any strategy. By addressing these challenges of email marketing, you’ll leverage the channel to its full potential.