Email Trouble - What Can I Improve?

Email marketing remains a cornerstone for businesses seeking to engage and connect with their audiences in today's fast-paced digital landscape. But it's not always smooth sailing–several challenges may hinder your email marketing success.

From email deliverability concerns to open rates and list growth, we'll delve into actionable strategies to enhance your email campaigns. 

Email Marketing

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1. Email Deliverability

Email deliverability is the foundation of any successful email marketing campaign. It's the practice of ensuring your emails reach their intended recipients' inboxes rather than getting lost in the digital abyss. Poor email deliverability can be a silent killer for your marketing efforts, causing low open rates and high unsubscribe rates. Here's how to improve it:

Monitoring Email Deliverability

  • Regularly check sender reputation: Your sender reputation is pivotal in determining whether your emails land in the inbox or spam folder. Monitor it closely using tools like Sender Score or Postmaster. Maintain a good reputation by sending relevant, valuable content and avoiding spammy practices.

  • Use DMARC, SPF, and DKIM authentication: Implement these email authentication protocols to prove the legitimacy of your emails. They not only help in preventing phishing but also enhance your sender reputation. It's a step towards building trust with internet service providers (ISPs).

Reducing Bounce Rates

  • Keep your email list clean and updated: Regularly scrub your email list to remove invalid and outdated addresses. High bounce rates can negatively impact your sender reputation. Use list verification services to ensure data accuracy.

  • Implement double opt-in processes: Encourage subscribers to confirm their email addresses after signing up. This confirms their interest and reduces the chances of fake or mistyped addresses in your list.

Avoiding the Spam Folder

  • Craft engaging subject lines and email content: Spam filters analyze subject lines and content to determine an email's fate. Avoid using excessive capitalization, exclamation points, or trigger words commonly associated with spam. Instead, focus on creating compelling, relevant content that resonates with your audience.

  • Optimize for mobile devices to avoid spam triggers: Many people read emails on mobile devices. Ensure that your emails are responsive and display well on various screen sizes. Broken layouts or unreadable text can trigger spam filters. Test your emails on different devices to make sure they look great everywhere.

80% of users will likely delete an email if it isn't mobile-friendly.

By paying attention to these email deliverability best practices, you'll increase the chances of your emails reaching your recipients' inboxes and create a more trustworthy and reputable image for your brand.

2. Open Rates

Open rates are a critical metric in email marketing because they reflect how engaging your subject lines and email content are to your audience. A higher open rate means more subscribers are interested in what you have to say. Here are some strategies to improve open rates:

Craft Compelling Subject Lines

  • A/B test different subject line strategies: Experiment with various subject line styles, such as curiosity-driven, benefit-focused, or urgency-inducing. A/B testing helps identify what resonates best with your audience. Continually refine your subject lines based on what works.

  • Personalize subject lines when possible: Including the recipient's name or referencing their past interactions with your brand can create a sense of personalization, increasing the likelihood of your email being opened. Personalization is about making your subscribers feel like valued individuals, not just another email address.

66% of consumers unsubscribe from emails because they are not relevant to them.

Segment Your Email List

  • Create tailored content for different audience segments: Not all subscribers are the same, and their interests and needs vary. Segment your email list based on demographics, purchase history, or engagement levels. Send content relevant to each segment, such as special promotions to loyal customers and informative content to new subscribers.

  • Analyze engagement data for insights: Keep a close eye on how audience segments respond to your emails. Pay attention to what type of content they engage with the most and when they're most active. Use this data to create targeted and timely email campaigns.

Remember that open rates aren't just about getting your emails seen; they're about creating a solid first impression and setting the stage for further engagement. Engaging subject lines and personalized content help build anticipation and trust with your subscribers, making them more likely to open your emails and explore your content.

3. Click-Through Rates

Click-through rates (CTR) are a pivotal metric in email marketing, as they gauge how effectively your emails drive subscribers to take desired actions, such as clicking on links, visiting your website, or making a purchase. Higher CTR indicates that your content and call-to-actions are compelling. Here's how to enhance your click-through rates:

Design Responsive Email Templates

  • Ensure mobile-friendly design: With a growing number of users checking emails on their mobile devices, it's crucial to have responsive email templates. If your emails don't display well on smartphones or tablets, you risk losing a significant portion of your audience.

  • Use clear and prominent CTA buttons: Make it easy for recipients to understand where to click. Utilize well-designed, attention-grabbing call-to-action (CTA) buttons that stand out from the rest of the email. Include a single, primary CTA to avoid confusion.

Provide Valuable Content

  • Solve customer problems or fulfill their needs: Your email content should address your subscribers' pain points and interests. Offer solutions, share valuable insights, or provide exclusive offers that resonate with their desires.

  • Use persuasive copy and visuals: Craft compelling copy that encourages action. Use persuasive language and visually appealing images that support your message. A well-designed email communicating the link value you want your audience to click is more likely to drive higher CTR.

Additionally, consider implementing the following strategies:

  • Segmentation: Tailor your email content to different audience segments. Create unique messages for different groups, ensuring the content and CTAs are relevant to their interests or needs.

  • Personalization: Use subscriber data to personalize emails. Address recipients by name and recommend products or services based on their previous interactions with your brand.

  • A/B testing: Experiment with different elements, such as CTA button colors, text, or placement. A/B testing helps you identify which variations perform better, allowing you to make data-driven improvements.

  • Behavioral triggers: Implement automation that sends emails based on user behavior—for instance, trigger emails related to abandoned carts or product recommendations based on past purchases.

By focusing on responsive design, creating valuable content, and leveraging these additional strategies, you can boost click-through rates, encouraging subscribers to take the desired actions and further engage with your brand.

4. Unsubscribe Rates

While building your email list and improving open and click-through rates is essential, it's equally important to keep a close eye on unsubscribe rates. High unsubscribe rates can signal that something in your email marketing strategy needs adjustment. Here's how to manage and reduce unsubscribe rates:

Offering Unsubscribe Options

  • Make the unsubscribe link easy to find: Ensure that the unsubscribe link is clearly visible in your emails. Hiding or making it difficult to locate can frustrate subscribers, leading them to mark your emails as spam instead.
  • Provide options for frequency preferences: Instead of immediately losing a subscriber, offer alternatives like reduced email frequency or content preferences. This way, subscribers can customize the emails they want to receive without fully opting out.

53.49% of emails sent are classified as spam.

Soliciting Feedback

  • Use surveys or feedback forms to understand customer preferences: Include an option for subscribers to provide feedback when they unsubscribe. This can help you gather valuable insights into why people are leaving. Are your emails too frequent, irrelevant, or too sales-focused? Feedback provides a chance to address the root causes.

  • Implement feedback for better email practices: Act on the feedback you receive. If multiple subscribers mention the same issues, make necessary improvements. This proactive approach demonstrates your commitment to providing a better email experience.

In addition to the above strategies, consider the following:

  • Segmentation: Ensure that your subscribers receive content relevant to their interests. Overwhelming subscribers with content they don't care about is a common reason for unsubscribes.

  • Content quality: Consistently deliver high-quality content. Valuable, informative, and entertaining content is less likely to prompt people to unsubscribe.

  • Consent verification: Implement a double opt-in process to confirm subscribers' interest. This can help ensure that those on your list genuinely want to receive your emails.

  • Consistent branding: Maintain a consistent look, tone, and style in your emails. Sudden changes can confuse and alienate subscribers.

It's worth noting that while reducing unsubscribe rates is essential, unsubscribes are not always a negative thing. Sometimes, it's better to have a smaller, more engaged list of subscribers who genuinely want to receive your emails rather than a larger list filled with disinterested recipients.

Advanced Email Marketing Improvements

Engagement Metrics

Engagement metrics are the heartbeat of your email marketing strategy. They reveal how well your emails connect with your audience and drive them to take specific actions. 

  • Monitor open, click-through, and conversion rates: These metrics are the primary indicators of your emails' performance. Track the percentage of recipients who open your emails, click on links, and complete desired actions, such as making a purchase. Regularly analyze these rates to assess the effectiveness of your email content and strategy.

  • Use tools like Google Analytics to track website visits: By integrating your email marketing with website analytics, you can connect the dots between email campaigns and website traffic. Track the number of visitors, pages viewed, and conversion rates for users arriving from email links.

  • Continuously adapt email content based on metrics: Engage in a constant improvement cycle. If you notice a particular type of content or subject line consistently performing well, replicate those strategies in future emails. Contrastingly, if certain content is underperforming, reconsider its relevance or presentation.

  • Test different send times and frequencies: Experiment with the timing and frequency of your email sends. A/B test to find the optimal days and times for your audience. Remember that the ideal schedule may vary from one audience segment to another.

List Growth

Growing your email list is an ongoing process that forms the foundation of successful email marketing campaigns. A more extensive, engaged subscriber list allows you to reach more potential customers and drive higher revenue. 

  • Use opt-in incentives: Encourage website visitors and social media followers to subscribe by offering incentives. Free ebooks, discounts, or exclusive content are great ways to entice users to join your email marketing list.

  • Leverage social media and website sign-up forms: Utilize your online presence fully. Prominently display sign-up forms on your website, blog, and social media profiles. Ensure the process is user-friendly and straightforward.

  • Remove inactive subscribers periodically: Some subscribers may become disengaged or change their email addresses over time. Regularly review and prune your list by removing inactive or bouncing email addresses. This improves deliverability and ensures you're targeting an engaged audience.

  • Implement re-engagement campaigns: Before purging inactive subscribers, try to re-engage them. Send a series of re-engagement emails to assess their interest. If they still don't engage, consider removing them from your list.

Email Marketing Automation

Email marketing automation has revolutionized the way businesses communicate with their audience. It allows for personalized, timely, highly targeted messaging, leading to better engagement and conversions. 

  • Set up welcome and abandoned cart emails: Welcome emails are the perfect way to make a strong first impression on new subscribers. Automated abandoned cart emails, on the other hand, can recover potentially lost sales by reminding customers of their abandoned items.

  • Create personalized drip campaigns: Nurture leads and guide them through the customer journey with automated drip campaigns. Share relevant content, product recommendations, and offers based on the subscriber's interactions with your brand.

  • Monitor automation performance: Regularly review the performance of your automated workflows. Analyze open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates to identify areas for improvement.

  • Adjust email sequences based on customer behavior: Make automation more effective by segmenting your audience based on their actions. For instance, send different messages to customers who've purchased than those who abandoned their shopping carts.

Remember, email marketing isn't just about numbers; it's about meaningful connections with your audience. As you continuously improve your email marketing efforts, always prioritize subscriber preferences, monitor performance, and adapt to the changing tides of your audience's needs. By doing so, you'll overcome email troubles and achieve email marketing excellence, fostering solid and long-lasting relationships with your valued customers. Happy emailing!


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Nicole is a copywriter turned content manager, experienced in all things writing and editing. Based in Brooklyn, NY, she is always on the hunt for the best New York-style pizza, in addition to being an avid reader, traveler, and yogi.

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