How To Avoid The Top 3 Problems With Email Marketing

Steve Counsell

How To Avoid The Top 3 Problems With Email Marketing

We've all tried email marketing in some form or other haven't we? Many of you will be reading this article because email marketing has just not ended up with the results that you wanted or expected.

The biggest misconception I see when I speak to about email marketing is that "Email Marketing Just Works!". In part, this is a fundamental truth about email marketing in that if you send out enough of the right emails to enough people eventually it'll result in you selling something.

The problem with this approach is that it's just too time-consuming and can become very expensive with little payback or "Return on investment".

Here are the main problems as I see them:

1 - Your Email List Quality & How to Recover it

List size is rarely a deciding factor when we're looking at why a campaign is not working. You see even if you have a million email addresses in your list, it's simply no good if only a few of that million strong list are interested in the types of things you deal in.

It's the quality of the list that is of the greatest importance when considering an email campaign. If you've built your list from scratch and people have subscribed to it because they actually like and want the information you promised them when you asked them to subscribe, then it's going to be much easier to convince them to take an action to buy from you now and then.

Of course, you can destroy your list by flooding their inboxes with requests to buy from you rather than useful and helpful information that they need and would want to share with their contacts.

If you're struggling with getting your email list to open your emails, click links in the emails they do open or to take any action at all then here's a way that you can start to regain their trust and to drive up the quality of your list.

Start by assembling as many useful hints, tips, and helpful guides about your niche business as you can think of. Aim for a list of 52 things so that you can create a set of 52 emails to be sent out on a  1 a week basis where you don't ask for anything in return.

What you're trying to do here is to rebuild trust and remove any perception that your emails are just "Sales Mails" or what they might consider SPAM!

Once you have as many useful emails as you can muster, ready and assembled to send out, get them into your email system (I use and schedule them to go out at the same time each week. Don't worry if you can only think of a smaller number of useful things to say right now, you can get started with 10 or 12 and then assemble others along the way. I'd say that you need 6 months worth at least and then you can start to recycle them with updated and refreshed info.

So, you have your starter set of emails all ready to go out to your list, now you can start to think about dropping in between those a very few "Sales Mails" at not more than one email every 6 or 7 useful emails you send out.

Make that sales email useful too

2 - Your Email Subjects Lines Really Suck!

Getting your email subject line just right is an ART and a SCIENCE. Luckily you can learn both over time and become really very good at writing email subject lines that get your emails open rate going through the roof.

Many of the emails I see going out in campaigns lack the emotional pull that would make people want to read more of what's inside the main email. 

Imagine if you received an email with the subject "Latest News From YourComanyName"...

How uninspiring that is; first of all I don't care about YOUR COMPANY and that goes for everyone in your email list too. Not one of them cares about your company! What they care about is what's in it for them.

Sparking an interest in your email is about appealing to your email recipients emotions. Tell them that if they open your email they with gain something of value to them.

Note the title of this blog post "How To Avoid The Top 3 Problems With Email Marketing". You're reading this for a reason and I suspect that you want to improve your email marketing campaigns. This is exactly why I have written the title in this way, I wanted to appeal to your inner need to solve the problems you have with email marketing campaigns. Note that I have used the "HOW TO..." at the start. This is speaks to your need for knowledge, and then I've used the "TOP 3 PROBLEMS..." phrase which focusses on problem-solving and leads solutions.

This title was analysed by the FREE online system over at which is a free tool that'll hep you to create great headlines and email subject lines that appeal to more people.

Of course, you'll need to start with something, but there is a whole load of help alongside the software so you can read and learn along the way.

3 - Call To Action

Many people write their emails "off the cuff" and don't even consider that they should have a call to action (CTA) in the email at all. In fact, it does not even figure in their thinking at all.

Others plan their emails and make sure that they cram in as many offers as the email will take and subsequently overload the recipient with so many options that they eventually don't know what to click on and simply close the email.

These are the two extremes; my recommendation is that each email should have ONE and only one CTA that is inviting enough to gain maximum click through.

Limiting your CTA to just one will limit the decision process to "Should I or should I not click" and remove the thought process of deciding which one to click and then should I click it after all.

Offer something in your CTA that appeals to the emotional side of your reader, apply urgency to it, and make it an offer they can't refuse.

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