Why customers don’t read your marketing emails (and what to do about it)

Well thought out customer marketing emails are one of the most effective sources of sales you will ever have. When they are well planned, well timed and written to appeal to a customer’s needs you will bring customers back time and time again to buy more.

However, if done badly your emails will become at best an irritation and at worst detrimental to your brand. Here are 5 reasons customers aren’t reading your marketing emails and what to do about it.

The content is not interesting

Your choice of content is the most important factor for a successful email. If you fill your email with just dry business news or if you fill it with sales messages alone you will simply bore them and consign your email to the trash folder. The trick is to use a combination of stories that keep people interested and drive new sales. The mix of stories I like to have in every newsletter is:

  • Sales story x 1 (e.g. X% off new Z)
  • Product news story x 1 or x 2(We have upgraded X)
  • Useful resource story x 1 or x 2 (Article on our blog or even a 3rd party)
  • Competition x 1 (Answer this question to win X)

The subject line is badly written

Use your email subject line to draw in people to open the email. A sloppy, boring or vague subject line could result in the email being deleted instead of opened. Pull out the stories that most appeal to the “What’s in it for me?” ethos. For example this “X% Off Y & Win a Z” is better than “Widgets Inc puts that cat amongst the pigeons”.

They are too long

Scrolling, scrolling, scrolling, scrolling… you get the point. Your email should ideally fit in to one screen, or at least require very little scrolling to see all the content. Some great examples to draw inspiration from include:

They look terrible

People are naturally turned off by something they consider to be unattractive. This may be because you use an old fashioned design or one that is exclusively text. Even if you do all your email marketing in-house that is still no excuse to have an ugly design. Market places such as http://www.themeforset.net have hundreds to choose from for as cheap as $13.

There are too many of them

It doesn’t matter how great you think you are or how important you think you are in their lives be careful not to over step the mark and send too many. Sending out one a day or even one a week can soon lead to a reflex action of being deleted. If you are sending out more than 1 every 2 weeks scale it down a bit. Once or twice a month should be more than enough to communicate everything you say.

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