If you dream of having a successful online business, then one strategy you have probably adopted is building a list of subscribers so that you can reach out to them on demand.
The saying, “The money’s in the list” is one you’ll hear repeatedly, and there’s a lot of truth in it. When you have a growing list that’s full of responsive subscribers, you can sell and promote products that help them achieve their goals – ultimately helping you achieve yours.
But just because you know about email marketing and implement it, it doesn’t mean you’ll see success with it. There are numerous obstacles marketers encounter, and knowing how to deal with them will help you remove the problem and clear the path for profits.
Below, you’ll find out how to build and retain a list of loyal subscribers, how to increase your engagement and conversions, improve your targeting and enhance your brand messaging.
You don’t have to sit there feeling defeated, watching as your competitors reap the rewards of their own efforts. You won’t miss any opportunities to connect with your audience and position yourself as a niche leader when you harness the power of an effective email strategy.
- Your Email Subscriber List Looks Like a Ghost Town
- Readers Find Your Emails Boring and Unimpressive
- Your Email Messages Are Skewed on Mobile Devices
- The Emails You Send Never Reach Your Subscribers' Inboxes
- The Engagement You Get with Opens and Clicks Is Nonexistent
- Subscribers Think You're Either Annoying or Absent with Your Timing
- You're Trying to Use a One-Size-Fits-All Communication Approach
- You Feel Lost Trying to Analyze Your Results and Make Adjustments
Your Email Subscriber List Looks Like a Ghost Town
Nobody wants to log into their email autoresponder system and see low subscriber numbers. It makes you feel as if no one is interested in your message or what you have to say to them in terms of being a niche leader.
When you’re trying to do your best with the email marketing, you not only have to attract the right audience, but you also have to be able to retain their subscription and keep them engaged to make it worthwhile.
What often happens is a marketer will create a lead magnet offer and landing page that is alluring enough to get someone to enter their name and email address into the form. But once they are on the list, they are unimpressed with your communications.
This makes people lose interest and unsubscribe so that their own inbox is not cluttered. You are vying for their attention with many other online entrepreneurs who are striving to put forth their very best effort when it comes to the messages they send out.
If you are either unable to get people to get on your list, or watching subscribers abandon you in droves, it’s a sign that you need to change what you’re doing. The first problem you may have is in not getting any subscribers at all.
This is a sign that either your lead magnet is not hitting on their most important pain points or goals – or that your landing page needs work in terms of the copy that you are using to try to persuade your visitors to opt into your list.
Once you do have the people on your list, the main problems you’re going to have are providing value to them at the right frequency and personalizing the content to their needs so that you minimize the number of unsubscribes you get.
Some marketers mistakenly hide the unsubscribe button or notice in an effort to reduce the number of people who are leaving their list. However, this only makes people hit the spam complaint button, and you don’t want them to do that.
You always want to make sure that your emails are capable of being delivered to a subscriber’s inbox. there are certain factors that go into determining whether or not your emails are allowed through and not simply sent to someone’s spam box.
You always want to maintain a good reputation as an email marketer to ensure that your communications get through. Stay in compliance with regulations so that you are not violating any rules.
From time to time, you want to log into your autoresponder system and remove any subscribers who are inactive or whose emails are bouncing so that your list is considered top quality.
Readers Find Your Emails Boring and Unimpressive
Email marketing is more than just the technical aspect of getting your messages through to your readers. In order for it to be successful for you, your content has to resonate with your subscribers.
Many marketers lack the spark they need to create a lasting impression, which causes people to shrug their shoulders and click the unsubscribe button to help them declutter their inbox.
When you provide them with the right kind of content, it will not only help them trust you more and connect with your brand, but it will convince them to take action on your instructions and advice.
In order to create content that has a solid impact on your readers, you have to first understand their pain points, their goals, and their preferences. You can survey them to find this out, or use analytics to find out which topics and types of slants are getting the best reactions.
Keep in mind that nobody wants to open their email inbox to a novel. You want to use brevity in your email communications so that your language is clear, and to the point. You also want to make clear from the subject line what your email is about, and not try to trick the recipient into opening it.
Every time you write an email to your subscribers, ask yourself if you have provided value to the reader. Whether you are promoting a product that will help them, informing them about something important in your niche, or educating them about something they need to know, when your emails are viewed as a valuable piece of content, subscribers will stay on your list.
Another thing you might want to do is make sure you have personalized your emails and included a bit of storytelling. This is a specific narrative that immerses your readers into a situation and it helps them connect on a more emotional level.
Your Email Messages Are Skewed on Mobile Devices
Another issue that can cause problems, which is on the technical side of things, is when you fail to check whether or not your emails are being formatted in a way that show up on mobile devices correctly.
Just about everyone has a smartphone or tablet on them at all times, and they access their email inbox from these mobile gadgets, rather than waiting until they get home and are sitting in front of a personal computer.
Your email marketing communications must not arrive in a distorted manner, or else the user will see it as a negative experience and unsubscribe or ignore what you have to say.
You could have the best messaging possible, but if your email cannot be read on their gadget, they will not go to the extra effort to let you know about the problem or to try to fix it themselves.
Make sure you are using some sort of responsive design for your communications that will automatically adapt to whatever screen size the recipient is viewing your message on.
Depending on which autoresponder system you are using, you’ll want to look to see how they ensure that their templates and design process can be seen on any type of screen without forcing you to learn complicated code.
Reading long blocks of text on a personal computer is hard enough. It’s much worse when you are looking at a tiny screen and trying to absorb a lot of information. Therefore, this is another reason why your emails should be kept short and to the point.
You want to have plenty of white space, with short sentences and small paragraphs. If you can use bullet points to make the ideas easier to absorb, that’s always a smart move.
Make sure your images are compressed so that the person is not having to sit and wait on their mobile gadget for the image to load so that they can read your email communications.
Keep in mind that on a small gadget screen, it’s more difficult to navigate any links. You don’t want to have your email cluttered with many different links and have someone accidentally opt out of your list or click on something that they didn’t mean to.
The best way to ensure that your communications are mobile friendly is to test your messages out on a variety of devices and email clients. There are some online testing tools that will show you a preview of how your emails will look so that you can make any repairs before you send it out.
Make sure you’re keeping track of the analytics for your mobile users, so that you can see how well your messages are being optimized and presented to those particular subscribers.
The Emails You Send Never Reach Your Subscribers’ Inboxes
It’s one thing to have a subscriber disinterested in or unable to read your content, but it’s another thing when you are dealing with an issue where your emails are never even reaching their inbox.
Deliverability is one of the most important factors to your email marketing success, and it’s one of the biggest problems some online entrepreneurs encounter. The last thing you want is for your messages to be sent to the spam folder.
Not only are the ISPs (Internet Service Providers) assigning you a sender reputation score to determine whether or not your messages should get through, but the quality of your content can also impact whether or not your messages are ever seen.
We’ve already talked about cleaning up your list and making sure your content shows value. But you also want to manage any complaints you get about spam. If an ISP gives you a notification of a spam complaint, you want to find out why and prevent it from ever happening again.
There are also some online tools you can use to monitor how well or how poorly your sender reputation is with the Internet service providers. That way, you can work on improving your score and increasing the likelihood that your messages are not marked as spam.
Some ISPs will go the extra mile to verify your identity as a legitimate sender. you can look into tasks that will provide them with some sort of digital signature that validates your identity as someone who is authorized to send out messages from your domain URL.
When it comes to the content creation aspect of deliverability, we talked about value, but we didn’t touch on what you should avoid in order to bypass spam filters. For example, you want to avoid using any type of language that is often marked as spam, including the word free.
If you ever notice that some of your emails are being marked as spam by your subscribers, you want to go back and evaluate the email to see why the user may have marked it that way.
Sometimes, it’s just a way for the user to quickly unsubscribe, and it really isn’t a case of you sending out spam. But if you start to see numbers rising in terms of subscribers labeling your messages as spam, this may be a red flag that you need to go back to the drawing board with your communications.
The Engagement You Get with Opens and Clicks Is Nonexistent
If you are able to build a list of interested subscribers and get your emails through to their inbox, it still may not be enough for them to open the message and then click on any links that you want them to.
This kind of engagement and conversion can be hard for many newbies to navigate. Sometimes, it’s due to something as simple as poorly written subject lines. Or, your content may just fall flat and not excite or appeal to your readers.
The subject line is the first point in your communication with the subscriber. If it doesn’t stand out in their inbox, chances are they may delete it without ever opening it. You need to study how to craft compelling subject lines, such as those that pique their curiosity.
Keep in mind that not only can the recipient see the actual subject line, but there’s a small bit of text they can see known as a preview. This is important space for you to summarize or compel the subscriber to open your message.
Making sure that you personalize the messages is something that can help you get them opened more often. Many people who are not in the Internet marketing industry do not realize that you are coding their name into the email and not specifically communicating with them directly, one-on-one.
If you really want to improve your email marketing conversions, you’ll want to split test various elements of your communications. For example, you can test out two different words being used in your subject line, or two different slants such as a question or a shocking statement.
If you are struggling to see people embrace your call to action and click through on a link to an offer, you may want to test out different call to action statements to see which ones garner the best reaction from your subscribers.
Subscribers Think You’re Either Annoying or Absent with Your Timing
One of the most common questions new email marketers ask is how often they should email their list. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to frequency. Some niches and target audiences will want to hear from you as little as once a week, while others may be good with hearing from you once or twice a day.
You have to strike a balance between giving your subscribers fatigue with the number of emails you send out, which can increase spam complaints against you, and making them feel as if you have abandoned them in their journey.
In both instances, whenever you contact the subscriber, it can cause them to unsubscribe. If someone does not hear from you often enough, and suddenly you pop up out of nowhere, they may unsubscribe because you don’t seem to be a hands on niche leader.
You will get to learn their preferences by watching how they respond to the frequency you are using to communicate with them. Different demographics may react differently to your frequency of emails, with younger groups being more open to hearing from you more often than older ones.
One thing that may help is if you tell your new subscribers in the welcome email what they can expect in terms of how often they will hear from you. You can also give your subscribers the option to get on a weekly digest if they don’t want to hear from you on a regular, daily basis.
If you want to see how your competitors are leveraging email marketing, you can get on their list to see how often they email their list. You’ll also hear back from your subscribers about the frequency you are using.
If one person complains about you emailing too often, that doesn’t mean you should necessarily cut back on your communications. You are never going to be able to satisfy every subscriber and their personal preferences when it comes to frequency.
You’re Trying to Use a One-Size-Fits-All Communication Approach
Sometimes, online entrepreneurs will take shortcuts to help them manage their time better, and this is also true when it comes to email marketing. For example, you may automate your emails to be sent out to subscribers on your behalf and schedule them to drip out to your recipients without you having a daily, hands-on approach.
Sometimes, it’s better to not automate your emails far in advance so that you can personalize the introduction with a daily message and make sure that you are delivering a fresh and valuable communication to them.
Another thing you may be sabotaging your email marketing with is not segmenting your list. If you are trying to communicate with a broad audience, it restricts you from being able to really tailor your message to the needs of individual subscribers.
Mass emails have a generic and unperson table approach. Segmenting your list is when you divvy up the main list into smaller, targeted groups that you can tailor your messages to.
Your emails can be more specific, making the subscriber respond more favorably because every message is meeting their exact needs. Take your broad list of subscribers and think about how they could be segmented.
For example, if you have a broad list of people interested in Internet marketing, but a segment of people who purchased a specific course on selling printables, you could tailor those messages to that topic.
You might also have a segment based on their age or gender, past purchases or other behaviors. Get to know how your autoresponder’s segmenting system works and start creating more targeted content to see how your efforts improve.
You Feel Lost Trying to Analyze Your Results and Make Adjustments
Lastly, another common email marketing problem many people have is in not understanding how to track the results of their campaigns and tweak their efforts so that they get a better return on their investment.
You want to stay on top of key metrics that will make a difference in whether or not you are profiting from and gaining other benefits from your email marketing strategy. For example, you have to look at your open rate to see what percentage of subscribers are even opening your emails, which can tell you whether or not your subject lines are working.
You can look at the clickthrough rate to see whether or not the offers you are presenting to your subscribers are appealing to them, or if your call to action is an effective one. You can also see your overall conversion rate, which will tell you whether or not they completed the action you were hoping they would take.
Get used to reading and understanding the analytics that you are given from your email autoresponder system and set some goals for yourself to make improvements little by little.
Check in regularly to see how your results are trending, and start comparing your efforts to see how one strategy may work when pitted against another. You can use tracking pixels and other methods to dig into more information about how certain campaigns are working.
Email marketing can be a simple strategy to implement, yet full of obstacles that can prevent you from achieving your goals if you are not proactive in identifying and repairing any problems that arise.