Why isn’t my Email Marketing working?

I have been asked this question frequently (from small to medium companies in India), “I have sent emails and have got xx clicks.  How do I make this audience convert into a sale / enquiry?” As a B2B marketing manager I am sure you know what I am talking about.

By this time you may have:

  1. Engaged an email service provider
  2. You have someone to create your html emails
  3. You have a list of your prospects
  4. You send out an “email blast”
  5. You get a report of opens and clicks

The question you are faced with now is “What should I do next?”

  • Should you purchase a better list with more prospects?
  • Will designing a prettier email with nice imagery help?
  • Should you get a better email service provider to send out your emails?
  • Will different subject lines help you get better open rates?
  • Should I send out this message once a week with some changes?

I will advice you against taking any of these steps.  Getting the most of our email marketing is a challenge that everyone faces.  However many times complex problems have simple solutions if you are willing to accept the outcomes.

Do this instead:

  • Pick out 10 users from your past campaigns who have opened your email.  Call them and speak to them.
  • Speak to 10 others who may not have opened your email.
  • Ask them what THEY WANT to find on your website. Sit beside your prospective consumers and OBSERVE what they do on your website. Start pouring over your website analytics data, but do SEE your audience as they look for information on your site.
  • Then look at your communication collateral.  What does your website give your audience? What does your blog give the audience? How does being on Twitter/ LinkedIn / Facebook help your consumer?

These are fundamental questions and unless you have ready answers to them, your email marketing is not going to be effective.  Once you do that then you will understand what your audience wants and then you can ask:

  • I haven’t got enough visitors to my site.  How do I generate traffic?
  • How do I incentivize my consumers to give me their email address? What promotion, event, marketing tactic will increase my email list?
  • How frequently should I send them this offer A, B and C?
  • How do I optimize my landing page from an email?

You may have a product/service  to sell but why should your consumers bother to come to your website to look at it? What is in it for them? How will coming to your website enrich them with more relevant information? Does your website solve any of their problems?

“Email blast” will never give you conversions. Conversion is about long-term value delivery.  Email is just a channel to deliver that value.  But when you do have compelling reason for your visitors to come to your website and buy your product or service, then compared to SEO, PPC, display and traditional marketing channels email marketing rocks.


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