Every business wants more leads and increased revenue. But too many turn to social media as their only marketing channel, unaware of the low organic reach and limited success rates that make it a challenging avenue to get meaningful results. Now contrast this with email marketing, which has proven to be a remarkable tool for (reliably) driving conversions and connecting with your target audience. While social media reaches a measely 3-7% of your target audience, an optimized email campaign can reach exponentially more leads. More precisely, you can reach 1,300% more leads this way – but how?
Let’s take a look the common mistakes and failures of email marketing campaigns. You will learn how to improve audience reach, resulting in more leads and revenue.
The Power of Email Marketing: Reaching Leads that Social Media Misses
Shattered Dreams: The Pitfalls of Overestimating Your Target Market
Many business owners mistakenly believe that their target market consists of millions of potential customers. Yeah… “millions.”
The reality is often sobering. When you focus on in-market prospects, the number of viable leads (you know, those who’d seriously consider your offer because they actually have a need for it and find it valuable) is typically in the thousands.
Promotional email campaigns to people outside this specific group can lead to annoyance and result in your emails being marked as spam, damaging your domain reputation and killing your campaign within a few months. You need to narrow down your target market and craft tailored emails to reach the right audience effectively.
Quality > Quantity: The Damage of Excessive Email Volume
Many business owners want to send hundreds or thousands of emails per day. This may seem like an efficient digital marketing strategy, but it can have dire consequences. Email Service Providers (ESPs) are quick to suspend accounts who engage in such practices. Once an ESP suspends your account or downgrades you (more on that further down below), your marketing email never makes it to the primary inbox of potential customers – instead, it gets sent directly by your ESP to the Spam folder. When the Spam filter is activated by an ESP, all your emails to any email address get filed away before they are seen by your prospects. This includes emails you send to your existing clients.
To make things worse, an excessive email volume of unsolicited emails leads to the premature exhaustion of your best leads. When this happens, your business is left with lower-quality leads that often convert at a significantly lower rate – or not at all. If you learn to maintain a balance and strategically target your ideal audience, you can maximize the effectiveness of your email campaigns.
Time Management: Accurately Assessing the Email Marketing Journey from Prospect to Deal
One of the most common mistakes made by businesses is underestimating the time required to prospect, qualify, and close deals. Initial simulations often reveal that the client acquisition plan demands over 60 hours per week. This leaves minimal time to deliver services effectively.
Adequate time management is crucial for success in email marketing. By accurately assessing the time required for each stage of the process, businesses can allocate resources effectively and ensure a seamless transition from lead outreach to deal closure.
The Risk of a Wrong Email Service Provider and Poor Quality Lists
Choosing the wrong Email Service Provider (ESP, or Email Client) or relying on a subpar email list can significantly impact the success of your campaigns.
A reliable ESP is essential for ensuring a high deliverability rate, which is critical for reaching your target audience’s primary inbox. Additionally, using a quality email list allows you to connect with individuals genuinely interested in your offerings. Neglecting these aspects can hinder your email marketing efforts and reduce your chances of generating leads and increasing revenue.
Insider Mistakes of Veteran Email Marketers: Learning from Failure
Even experienced email marketers can make fatal mistakes that sabotage typically successful email marketing campaigns before they even start. Learning from the failures of others is a valuable opportunity to enhance your email marketing strategies. Let’s explore some real-life examples of businesses that faced challenges and overcame them, providing insights and inspiration for success.
Example 1: The Tale Of Two Business Consultants Email Campaigns
For years, two highly accomplished business consultants (Sheryl and Lee – names changed), diligently compiled a vast database of email addresses from both their potential clients and existing customers. Both had newsletters, but didn’t email their list consistently.
They each wanted to reactivate their lists. Sheryl filled an event with 168 people in attendance. Lee, on the other hand, got his email account suspended. What happened?
Sheryl, the consultant who filled her event, had used the right email tools, but that’s hardly enough. She also followed the best practices for list hygiene, copy structure, and automated campaign setup.
Lee just wanted to get the emails out and decided to skip those steps. He cut corners and burned what should have been a valuable asset and made it worthless…while also compromising his ability to send one-to-one emails to existing clients. This mistake cost him revenue – but that’s not all: He also had to set up a new domain name because his domain was now flagged as SPAM by any ESP (Email Service Provider) he tried to use. Essentially all his emails landed in the SPAM folder by default and didn’t make it to the recipient’s primary inbox.
Example 2: The Recruiter’s Nightmare
This duo launched their recruiting business with great success. Over $1 Million in revenue in their first six months of operation. They had just signed a lease for office space, and hired more staff. This recruiting firm was flying high… until it all started to unravel.
They began using cold email outreach, because it was far more affordable than running ads. But they were using an ESP to send cold emails (which is against the TOS – Terms of Service).
Because their unsubscribe, bounce, and spam complaint rates were higher than average, their ESP downgraded the quality of their Sender IPs. Sender IPs are the pathways for delivering emails. Lower-quality Sender IPs reduce the chances of your emails reaching the recipient’s inbox.
The poor-quality Sender IPs damaged their domain reputation, so all of their emails went to spam. Revenue came to a halt, while their expenses were burning through their available cash. The news I had to give them were devastating. They would have to start over…from scratch. That was a business death sentence, given their financial obligations. The right setup could have prevented this situation.
You’ll Only Succeed By Integrating Email Into Your Marketing Strategy
To generate more sales, you have to add email to your campaign mix. Once you recognize the unparalleled power of email marketing, you will understand the significance.
In contrast to social media channels, which offer limited reach and success rates, email marketing has consistently proven to be a highly effective method for turning prospects into customers. By adding email to your marketing mix, you can increase the visibility of your promotional message by 1,300% to 1,667% when compared to social media alone. Harnessing the potential of email marketing is the key to unlocking the full potential of your lead outreach and revenue generation efforts.
But to achieve that, you will have to follow proven practices that ensure key metrics are met, such as open, click-through, and conversion rates. For example, by understanding and measuring user behavior, you can create highly targeted campaigns with personalized messages that drive conversions.
In contrast, if you fail to analyze data and segment your list, you’ll be doomed to repeat the same mistakes as many veteran email marketers. Learning from their failures is the best way to ensure success.
Typical mistakes with marketing emails include
- sending too frequently,
- using an email list that is ignoring segmentation and personalization,
- using the wrong tone of voice,
- having unengaging email subject lines,
- failing to optimize for mobile devices, or
- not providing valuable content or relevant messages.
Common mistakes like these will lead to high unsubscribe rates, Spam complaints or even being flagged by ESPs and experiencing the ultimate penalty of blacklisting. Once that happens, your emails never reach the email inbox of your audience.
The Game-Changer: Running a Simulation for Optimal Campaign Success
Launching an email marketing campaign without simulation and optimization is a recipe for failure. The vast majority of campaigns fail because marketers focus on the wrong elements and lack audience insights that they need to capture attention and interest.
However, you can accurately assess the profitability of your business email campaigns before launch and receive specific recommendations for optimization. This is a game-changing approach. It has transformed the way businesses reach their target audience, which has lead to a substantial increase in audience reach and campaign success.
If you want to learn how to generate leads using email, sign up to join a free email marketing course. You’ll learn how to turn your social followers into email subscribers so you can get their attention (and business).
Ed Forteau is a renowned business expert for email marketing and lead generation. As the founder of Email Open Rate Optimization, Ed has helped hundreds of businesses improve their email marketing strategies and achieve exceptional results. Ed brings valuable insights and actionable strategies to businesses looking to generate more leads and increase revenue. Learn more about Ed and his expertise on LinkedIn and at EmailOpenRateOptimization.com.