The average open rate for business' mailing lists is around 17%. That means that, on average, 83% of email marketing goes unopened! Why are open and click-through rates so low?
Let's face it, writing compelling emails can be tough. You're usually sending something out just for the sake of keeping up appearances or to announce your new product or service that came out last week (too little, too late!). Meanwhile, your audience probably receives 10 other nearly identical emails each day. Do you think they're going to take the time to open any of those, let alone yours?
Don't worry, though, we've got you covered. Listed here are some of the biggest issues that we see with email marketing campaigns. We've got some fool-proof suggestions for building out your next email!
Your Content Sucks
Even if you've got the best, most interesting blog posts known to mankind, nobody is going to want to open your boring RSS feed mailing each week to find something that piques their interest.
You need to curate your content for meaningful, tailored (that means concise!) emails that have a theme. Having a theme for your emails is vital: it's going to set you apart from the competition and, more importantly, it will help you to narrow the scope of your content to better address your audience directly.
Use hyperlinked text to your advantage: you can use it to draw attention to specific text and also to create interest and lead readers to want to know more. If you're going to use images or GIFs, make sure that they make sense given the context of your email. And, for the record, please stop using old memes.
You're Writing For Everybody (and Nobody)
When you write emails with generic content written in a generic tone, nobody wants to read them. We get it: you're sending this email to hundreds (or thousands) of subscribers and you want to try to connect with all of them (and alienate none of them!). Here's a secret: you can't please everyone.
Find your niche, the hyper-specific thing that you do that nobody else can provide. This is what will set you apart from your competition (and the deluge of other marketing emails) and make people actually care about what you have to say. Sure, you may end up losing a few members of your mailing list who realize they don't have the same interests that you do, but those members weren't opening your emails anyways!
Your Visual Design Is Hurting Our Eyes
If your emails have way too much going on, nobody will want to look at them. Take a look at some of your more successful competitors' emails to get a sense of what's working in their designs. Maybe their use of color or negative space is more efficient than yours, or perhaps they're making better use of bold text to get their point across.
Keep your content skimmable, which means no giant walls of text (or super distracting images). White space is your friend, use it to make elements of your design pop out and to draw attention to the key points of what you're trying to convey.
You're Taking Shots In The Dark
This one should be obvious, but don't keep blindly sending out emails hoping for the best. You need to come up with a clear, well-defined strategy to improve your emails.
This means A/B testing, lots of analysis, and embracing trial-and-error. Find the things that work, trash the ones that don't.
Remember to be OK with imperfection. Writing the perfect email is never going to happen, but if you follow the steps above, your email campaign should improve over time, which means greater readership and more interaction with your audience!