Reality check: how email marketing mistakes are hurting your customer relationships
How often do you email your customers -- once, twice a week? Daily? What kind of content are you sending them? Are your open and click through rates consistent?
These are the kinds of questions your marketing team needs to ask in order to evaluate whether it might be time to adjust your email strategy. Understanding how you communicate with your customers and how they engage with your efforts will help you find out where you’re falling short.
Why emails are sent to the spam folder
According to a new nationwide survey conducted by TechnologyAdvice Research, almost half of U.S. adults receive irrelevant marketing emails from businesses every day, and an additional 30 percent say they receive them at least once a week. Almost 32 percent of respondents said they had marked emails as spam because of irrelevant content.
The study noted that frequency was the biggest offense, with about half of consumers flagging incessant emails. Around 36 percent also banished emails to junk mail if they did not purposefully subscribe to them (or perhaps couldn’t remember doing so).
“The overwhelming frequency of irrelevant email content can be attributed to two main suspects: antiquated techniques and outdated technology,” said the study’s author, TechnologyAdvice Content Manager Zach Watson. “Consumers expect businesses to provide value in exchange for their attention. Personalization is without a doubt the strongest tactic marketers have for standing out and piquing interest, but it’s important to pair that with a balance in the frequency of those emails.”
Why consumers read business emails
The greatest value consumers gained from reading business emails was convenient access to relevant information. Although the study revealed that 60 percent of adults read emails from businesses, only 16 percent report actually reading them on a regular basis. According to the survey, people read marketing emails mainly to receive promotions or discounts -- but notably more women (almost 47 percent) cited this as their primary reason, compared to 30 percent of men. Men were more likely to subscribe to emails in order to receive news or updates.
How businesses can improve
The results of the survey explicitly showed two areas where email marketers could improve: sending frequency and relevant content. Approximately 44 percent of respondents said less frequent emails would be the best way to improve business’ email marketing efforts. This number far surpassed the next two primary recommendations, which were more informative content (24 percent) and more personalized offers (23 percent).
Regardless of your next move to reach out to consumers, the email inbox is one of the most effective places to make a connection. Testing and observation are required to find out how often to send emails and how to segment your content. The two concepts are also intertwined: the more relevant your emails are, the more open recipients will be to reading them.
“It’s clear that consumers are open to receiving certain types of marketing emails, but attracting the attention of the majority of readers regularly is a difficult undertaking,” said Watson. “Technology could certainly help. The current underuse of marketing automation technology plays a substantial role in poor email segmentation and irrelevant campaigns. Ultimately, email marketers who respect the inboxes of recipients and cater to the individual preferences of consumers will bring the most value to the reader.”
What are some other email marketing mistakes businesses often make? What does your company do to successfully connect and engage with customers?
You might also be interested in
Charlotte Ritter is a staff writer for TechnologyAdvice. She covers business intelligence, gamification, project management, and other emerging technology. She has also written about startups, company growth, and talent management. Connect with her on...