Email marketing is not dead – you are just doing it wrong

Contrary to what some people may think, I don’t think email is dead. If it is for your company – you are either doing it wrong or your desired target audience is in a much younger demographic.

The development of larger social media platforms can be unreliable at best from a company perspective.  You don’t have ownership and control if you don’t pay for it terms of reaching your customers, although as useful social media is, having a CRM or at least collecting emails give you security for your business that you can both communicate with your customers and pinpoint and segment who you want to reach with what type of message to a much smaller cost.

Done right, email is still one of the highest converting digital marketing channels. With good reason, because you have endless possibilities to be helpful for your customer along their journey towards making a decision for purchase, build lasting relationships and show you care about your customers.

Here are 6 common mistakes businesses do in relation to using or not using email marketings full advantage and the related opportunity on how to correct this.

1. You are sending emails too often

One indication of that you are sending emails too often is that the open rates go down, the clickthrough rate dwindles and that the unsubscribe rates are high. Even though your emails may still have a reasonable conversion rate, you are bleeding and missing even more in terms of sales opportunities and customer relationships.

ask your subscribers how often they wish to receive an email from you. Segment accordingly and re-adjust the frequency as one of the segmenting parameters for your email standouts.

2. You are sending emails to seldom

The symptoms of this may be the same as the one above. Dwindling engagement and unsubscribes because the subscribers, as attention spans are shorter, may not even remember that they signed up for your emails any more when you get around to send an email

Opportunity: ask your subscribers how often they want to hear from you, use this to segment your subscriber database accordingly and increase your frequency.

If your strategy is to send emails more seldom, then utilise an autoresponder for this purpose, that welcomes new subscribers with a message about this, to set their expectations accordingly.

3. You are not delivering value to your subscribers

Either it is lack of inspirational or useful content, images, messaging, offers and so forth. Different businesses have different challenges here. You have to pinpoint what it is that your subscribers value and adjust your email marketing strategy including content accordingly.

Opportunity: create s customer survey and run this with existing subscribers. Compare the answers in terms of how long someone has subscribed to your newsletter. Identify ways to improve in delivering value to your subscribers. Sometimes it can be as easy as streamline content on a topic or rearrange existing content based on the recipient.

4. You are not segmenting your subscriber database

If you create content for everyone you are relevant to no one. Use whatever technology paired with the insight you have to segment your subscriber base. If you don’t have insight into the customers, you ask them or buy third-party data to enrich your database. It’s worth it.


Existing subscribers – process your existing subscribers with a quick survey where you identify what they want from you in terms of content in their inbox. Use this to be more relevant in your communication with them.

New subscribers – either add an additional layer to your sign-up page or a step in your email sign-up process to capture what the new subscriber wants to receive from you. Or utilise an autoresponder for sending this type of quick survey to new subscribers. Even MailChimp has this functionality, so it’s really easy to implement no matter the size of your business.

5. You are not being helpful

Dwindling engagement can also be a sign of that you only have your business interest in mind when creating your email communication. There are various ways you can use email as a way to be helpful to your customers. Ideally, your emails should be anticipated by your customers. If you are a fashion brand, then emailing various ways to style whatever new clothing purchase the customer has made, for say autumn. To make the purchase the customer made last longer you can share care instructions or just a personal post-follow-up after the purchase to see if you can help in any way, can go a long way.

Opportunity: identify how you can use email marketing in a more personal way to cater to your customer’s needs, erase pain points and make them feel cared for post-purchase beyond delivery updates or similar.

6. You are not using email as a tool to build your business performance

If you have any way to track your visitors on your website when they are logged in or when they have clicked on an email from you and visits your website. You can use that data to be both helpful to your customer and to drive more sales.

Opportunity: collect data in terms of browsing data and send your customers targeted emails. Could be a recent product search summary and comparison, abandoned baskets, to offering advice that the customer may be research pre-purchase to free shipping and discount offers. There are various tools that can help you with this such as Rejoiner for basket abandonment.