5 challenges of email marketing

Email marketing, it’s a powerful tool, but it’s also been hugely overused. People’s inboxes are becoming ridiculously cluttered and people’s attention spans are now said to be less than a goldfish. However, email marketing is a staple in the marketing toolbox, so in our latest blog, we’re going to take you through the top five challenges of email marketing and how you can overcome these challenges. 

Achieving measurable return on investment

Yes, we’re going straight in with the big one. The biggest challenge is ensuring you get enough bang for your buck. So how do we overcome this? 

Well, the first question to ask yourself is how your email marketing is linked to your sales funnel? A lot of us are guilty of using email marketing quite holistically, as part of our overall marketing approach, which is good to a point. But at the end of the day, this is just information you’re sharing with your audience. Email marketing can be an important part of nurturing your leads through your sales funnel and can help to qualify highest quality leads, or ‘hot’ leads (depending on what lingo you like!) which your sales team can then follow up with – there’s your bang for your buck! 

Keeping up with the trends

In a list drawn up by Litmus, they asked 1,200+ marketers to rank the biggest trends for email marketing. Interactive emails, big data personalisation, HTML5 video and email automation topped the list. Sounds amazing, right? But at the same time, ahh! It can be very easy to get caught up in all of this. However, we suggest if you’re just starting out, or if you have a small marketing team, pick one or two of these trends, and weigh these up with the potential long term benefits to your business.

For example, email automation (as mentioned in point one) can help measure ROI, whilst nurturing and qualifying high quality leads. Likewise, HTML 5 video, may already be part of your strategy for social media and you may be able to look at integrating this with your email campaigns. However, our advice is whilst it’s important to stay on top of the trends; it’s more important to ensure your emails are concise, image based and compatible on mobile, before doing anything else! 

Quality assurance

This one boils down to time. Even if you have a watertight marketing plan; if you’re a small team and something needs to be done urgently, it can be tough to get everything written, checked and out the door. In terms of copy, there are some great tools out there to make sure your grammar and punctuation are on point, with Grammarly being one our favourites. Another tip is to utilise other people in your business - they don’t just have to be in marketing (particularly if you’re a one-man band). People outside of your marketing function will still be able to help with proof reading and give a general opinion on how it looks and if they work closely with you will be able to help with any technical details. 

Earning subscribers 

Earning new email subscribers is a tough one and many people often buy email lists to help. Instead, we recommend letting your subscribers grow organically. Yes, this will take longer, however, the quality of people you have signed up will be far greater than those you buy through a third party. Promoting your email subscription on your website or adding a sign-up button at the end of your posts will help to grow your list. Another way of growing your subscriber list is to provide offers that they won’t see anywhere else and tweeting/posting this on your social media accounts. 

Retaining Subscribers

It costs five times as much to attract a new customer, than to keep an existing one. So, earning new subscribers is your first challenge, but retaining them is the second and arguably the more important of the two. Cleaning and segmenting your data can help with this. Looking at your email data and segmenting them into ‘active’ and ‘dormant’ subscribers, will help you identify who you may need to run a tailored re-engagement campaign, to help re-engage your dormant subscribers. Using tailored offers and tongue-in-cheek copy, such as ‘we haven’t heard from you in a while’ or ‘we miss you’ will all help to retain your subscriber base. 

So, there you have it, our 5 challenges to email marketing. Our biggest piece of advice is, don’t take on more than you can handle. It’s more important to be relevant, concise, image based and mobile friendly before you even think about interactive emails. It’s also important to stay true to your objectives. If for example, measuring ROI is a big push for your business, then lead nurturing and email automation will be a great addition to your marketing strategy. 

If you need help tackling your email marketing challenges, get in touch with us at or for all the latest news and updates you can follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. 

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