DOTLOGICS BLOG

March 14, 2018

3 Email Marketing Fails and How to Fix Them

Written byChristian Abbatecola

A graphic displaying a tablet and envelopes with the words “email marketing.”
Email marketing is not a strategy that should be underestimated. Though it may not be the newest form of advertising around, it has proven to be effective over the years. This is due in part that, when done correctly, email marketing is highly targeted and catches the attention of people who are most likely to be receptive to an ad, and partially to the fact that people actually
 prefer to receive emails over other forms of marketing.

Not all campaigns are created equal, however. If you’re actively engaged in email marketing, but not seeing much of a return on your investment, you could be making one these major mistakes.

1) Poor List Segmentation

One of email marketing’s great advantages is that it allows you to promote your products or services directly to people who have expressed a prior interest in your business. Whether you’ve obtained your audience’s email addresses because they signed up for your newsletter, made a purchase through your site, or engaged with you in another way, they’ve done something to indicate an interest in part of your businesses. That someone has expressed an interest in part of your business does not, however, mean he or she is interested in all of your business.

Consider an Ecommerce store that specializes in clothing. A user has made several purchases for men’s wear, including shirts, jackets, and pants. This user is clearly engaged with the store and a prime target for email promotions, but not every item the store sells is going to be relevant to his interests. If, for example, the store emails a series of promotions for women’s sandals, this user who has only shopped the men’s section probably won’t be interested, and may even decide to unsubscribe as the emails don’t speak to his interest.

This is why it’s important to segment your lists. If you can collect data on your subscribers and note what parts of your business are relevant to each one, you can send targeted emails that only go out to subscribers they’re likely to resonate with. Proper segmentation can increase engagement rates and prevent users from unsubscribing

2) No Calls to Action

One of the most important things your emails should be doing is convincing readers to click back to your website. If you’re spending the time and effort to advertise a product or service, you should make it easy for subscribers to make a purchase and encourage them to do so.

Calls to Action (CTA) should entice readers to click back through to your site, and also be relevant to whatever it is you’re promoting. If your email is about a particular product or sale, then your CTA should include a link to that product or sale.

A “Buy Now” button or hyperlink using the phrase “Shop Our Holiday Sale” could get qualified traffic on to your site, but the users clicking through might not make a purchase if you’re not linking directly to the subject in question. Give your readers as little work to do as possible, and point them right to the page they expect to land on based on the context of your email.

3) Your Content’s Just Not Appealing

You may think you’ve been assembling perfectly designed emails full of compelling content, but if they’re not leading to an uptick in conversions your readers may very well disagree.

Perhaps your content is truly great, but if that’s not connecting with your subscribers, then it may be great content for a different audience. It’s time to adjust your strategy and try to figure out what your readers really want to see. Try changing things up by flipping the script.


  1. Switch from text-heavy emails to image-focused ones.
  2. Reduce the focus from many products/promotions to just a couple highlights.
  3. Use a more casual, friendly tone instead of a formal one.

Any of these tips could work in reverse as well, depending on your current strategy. There’s no 100% correct way to format your emails; the point is to make gradual changes and see what does and does not result in more engagement. There are plenty of other changes you could make as well, just don’t try them all out at once or you won’t be able to tell which changes actually result in an increase or decrease in desired results.

Email marketing can be very effective, but to achieve the results you want you need to have emails that resonate with your readers, call them to action, and speak to them in a way they find appealing.

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