Email marketing is by far the most effective marketing channel for businesses across the B2B and B2C industry.

email marketing roi

While the channel offers a high ROI on even the smallest of marketing budgets invested, it is a fact that it doesn’t seem to work as effectively for everyone.

As a marketer, I’ve been there and lived through it.

I have seen my newsletters getting trashed, bouncing off, not getting delivered, not getting opened – in short, practically not working for me.

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What was wrong?

The content seemed to be getting fair amounts of social shares and engagement. But somehow when I sent the same content pieces to a similar audience, it failed to deliver the results I expected.

Even though this is an assumption, I know most of you probably relate.

Going through endless analytics, segmenting our lists as much as possible to understand our audience and still failing at achieving the desired ROIs – it is like an endless chain of email marketing failure.

After having my fair share of hitting the same rock over and over again, and going through thousands of tactics shared by experts, I finally cracked a few tips to actually get my emails read – well, not a 100% but certainly more than before!

Understanding why your emails are getting trashed

There could be a thousand reasons behind your emails landing in spam or the trash can of your recipients. Here’s taking a look at some of the common reasons that each one of us has experienced:

1. Poor subject line

Let’s face it, if the title of an article doesn’t interest you, you’re not even going to bother opening it – no matter how promising the content within is. The same holds true for emails. It needs to capture our attention instantly or we let it pass!

2. No outlined value proposition

If you’ve gotten the recipient to open your email and then trashed it, he had some expectations from you and you’re clearly not meeting them. If the recipient sees no outlined value in your email, he is more likely to trash it the next time you send something across.

3. Too much content

On any given day, how likely are you to read a thesis to understand a small takeaway? Not likely at all. You’ll probably look for a summary or a shorter source of information. Emails are usually checked on the go or in between a busy day. If yours are getting trashed without a read, then they have a bad rapport of being longer than necessary.

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4. Far too many images

Your recipient could be travelling, commuting to and fro from work or simply not have network enough. While it is a good practice to include some images in between your email content, going overboard with it will get you nowhere – like, what if they just don’t load?

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5. Uninterested subscribers

There are chances that those who did opt in to your email list are actually passive prospects. They were interested in one of the topics you covered and then lost interest on seeing the others. In this case, you might just want to nurture them first or clean up your email list!

6. Flagged as spam

Overzealous marketers and businesses have a tendency to break the golden rules of email marketing. But the moment you start doing so on a mass scale, your emails become likely to get blocked by the recipient’s servers. Once marked spam, you’ll face an uphill war with the likes of Google, Yahoo and others to win back your rights.

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7. The wrong timing

Alright, there is no such thing as the right time to send an email. But receiving emails at 12 in the night is certainly not something I’d appreciate. A lot of your emails could be getting trashed because your recipients are receiving them post their business hours or let’s just say, at odd hours. The odder you are, the worse it gets.

8. No call-to-action

If your email is following all the best practices so far and is still getting trashed, there’s a simple reason behind it – the recipients don’t understand where to go from them. In simpler words, you got dumped because there was no call-to-action and the reader felt like it was all a waste of time!

Smart tactics to save your emails from getting trashed

1. Write a captivating subject line

First things first, you need to work on your subject line writing skills. Take inspiration from all those magazine copywriters who somehow manage to grab your attention every time. Make sure you don’t look salesy right from the subject line; instead look at resolving an issue or a common concern of the recipient.

2. Tap into the recipient’s psychology

Psychology plays a big part in how internet users interact with businesses. For instance, too many negative reviews might take them to another brand and some promising reviews might bring them back to you. Similarly, tap into the psychology while emailing with a subject line that isn’t just relatable, but somehow peaks the recipient’s interest.

3. Nail the opening line

Right, so you got the recipient to open your email. Here comes the second challenge – keeping him from hitting trash or going back to the inbox! That’s exactly why you need a killer opening line. Use lines that encourage interaction between the two of you instead of the usual introduction of yourself. You want him to feel it is about him right from the start. Using some of these power words from Smart Blogger might just come handy here!

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4. Keep the body crisp

Like we said, no one wants to read a thesis in the middle of a busy day – Monday, for instance! So work on creating content for the body of your email that is crisp and yet delivers the point to the t. Ensure that the information you’re sharing adds value to the reader, but doesn’t end up overwhelming him either. Simple rules to follow here include keeping the paragraphs short, formatting, including an image or two and keeping the tone non-robotic.

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5. Get to a closure

If you end up spending 4-5 minutes reading this post, you really don’t want to go away with a feeling of having achieved nothing. Hence, ensure that your email has a call-to-action – a direction for the recipient to follow through after consuming the information you’ve shared. Because else ways, you just wasted his time and yours, and he isn’t going to trust you again!

6. Stimulate an action from the reader

Emails are that one channel where you can directly address a recipient and nudge him towards taking an action. But it takes more than just a call-to-action. Ensure that the body of your email flows in such a way that taking an action comes naturally. Of course, the copy needs to be stimulating enough for the reader.

7. Personalize, personalize and personalize

We think marketing is no longer effective if there’s a lack of personalization. You just need to put in that extra effort to dig out customer data and understand them better before reaching out to them. Personalization is the future of marketing so create smarter segments of your subscribers based on their interests, previous interactions and other insightful data, before trying to push the same content to all of them!

8. Mind the time zone

As we mentioned in the above section, no one’s going to read your email at midnight – especially after a long day at work. So when you personalize your emails, take it a notch higher by keeping the time zones in mind. For instance, you don’t want to be sending out an email to me about a webinar that ended in the morning but reached me at night because I’m in India.

Over to you

The bottom line is, email still matters in every marketing strategy. It is the one channel of communication with your customers and prospects, that you don’t want the gates closed to ever.

So ensure that the people you’re pushing out emails to have previously shown some interest in your business or niche. Else you’re just adding to their trash bin or overloading their spam folder with salesy and irrelevant messages.

Remember, if you won a visitor’s trust enough for him to share his contact information, you don’t want to break it!

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Vanhishikha Bhargava

Content Marketer at Exit Bee. Most of the times found trying to create compelling copies for blogs and digital campaigns, keeping a watch on what's happening on social media or ranting on Twitter. At all other times, not found.

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