3 Problems Businesses Face In Email Marketing

The journey of email marketing has been a roller coaster ride for the last 15 years. In the late 90s, everyone was snatching up an email address. By the early 2000s, email had become the way to communicate.

Always eager to profit from the latest shiny new object, businesses quickly jumped on the email marketing bandwagon. Of course, it was only a matter of time before businesses knocked over the wagon, overwhelming people with spam and poorly executed campaigns.

Because spam left a poor taste in people’s mouths, email marketing was widely viewed as a low-value marketing channel, and it eventually took a backseat to the next shiny new object – social media.

However, there were people who understood the value of email marketing. Not the spammers…but those who were able to use email successfully to interact with their subscribers.

They realized that having a list of engaged customers is one of the most valuable assets a company could have.

And while social media became noisy and cluttered, email marketing made a comeback.

Companies have realized that email provides a certain level of exclusivity that other platforms don’t. As long as you use that exclusivity to deliver content that’s relevant and valuable, there’s a good chance people will engage with your emails and your brand.

Why? Because people don’t want to be “marketed” to. They want to build a relationship with a brand they care about.

How do you make that happen? Start by avoiding these three common problems most businesses face with their email marketing.

Problem #1: No Strategy

People originally jumped on the email marketing bandwagon because everyone else was doing it. That’s an awful reason to do anything…need we remind you of the story about lemmings and cliffs?

Too many companies play “follow the leader” with email marketing. Their strategy basically involves sending out emails once per month, week or day. Throw it against the wall, sit back and see what sticks. As long as an email goes out on schedule, mission accomplished, right? Wrong.

If you’re going to use email marketing effectively, you have to figure out the “why” behind it. Why are you doing this? What do you want to accomplish? What value are you delivering to your subscribers? And why should they care? The answers to these questions will help you develop content that matters to your audience.

There’s a huge difference between engaging people and just sending them marketing emails.

Problem #2: Struggling to Build a Quality List

Anyone can build a simple desk with four legs and a work surface if they have the tools and materials. Of course, if it isn’t built correctly, the desk is useless.

Likewise, anyone can build a massive email list too. But building a list of engaged customers who actually care about your content and won’t flag it as spam…now that’s a different story.

News flash. Bigger actually isn’t always better.

If you send out an email with a coupon and only one percent of your list opens it, don’t you just need to build a bigger list?


A massive list of people who don’t care about what you have to say will end up wasting a lot of time and money. A list of 10,000 with a 15 percent open rate is much more valuable and easier to manage than a list of 50,000 with a one percent open rate.

Focus on building a quality email list and segment your list according to behavior, needs, and interests. You should deliver content that speaks to those specific subscriber segments. Don’t just blast the same email out to your entire list all of the time. The same email is not going to work for everyone on your list.

Problem #3: Um… Did It Work?

It’s easy to see how many emails you’ve delivered, how many people opened them, and how many people clicked. But that just scratches the surface of what your email analytics are capable of telling you.

Everybody loves free services like Google Analytics, but if that service isn’t tied directly to your email service platform, you’re not getting the most out of it. When people are clicking emails and making purchases, you should be able to quantify revenue on a campaign basis.

What’s better than tracking revenue on a campaign basis? When the data is no longer anonymous and you can track activity and revenue on an individual basis.

Advanced analytics platforms enable you to connect specific email addresses and profiles with individual user actions and purchases. It completely removes the anonymity of your website visitors.

This is a critical function of analytics that can help you evaluate campaigns and content strategies, optimize and segment your email list, and guide future email campaigns.

You can’t get this from Google’s free analytics or other free services. Period.

Interested in learning about some advanced analytics platforms and how to gain actionable insights from your data. Check out our blog, “The Truth About Google Analytics.”

If you want to succeed with email marketing, you need a sound strategy, a quality list and an analytics tool that lets you see the whole story. If any of these three components are missing, you’re most likely leaving money on the table.


Interested in making the most out of your email marketing?

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